The 5 principles of engagement marketing: engage people continuously over time
This week, Business Review USA is featuring the five principles of engagement marketing based on the e-book by Marketo, which “[helps] marketers master the art and science of digital marketing.” Principle one is to engage people as individuals. Number two is to engage people based on what they do.
Principle 3: Engage people continuously over time
You went through your day wishing each hour had been one uninterrupted pattern of actions toward your personal and professional goals. In reality, you were interrupted numerous times by advertising. It happened first when a tire company pitched a commercial on Pandora. It happened when you drove to the mall and a sign twirler “informed” you that there’s a new pet grooming shop.
While this kind of interruptive, single-message marketing is still ubiquitous, each day it’s less effective. Quoted in Marketo’s e-book, Forrest research writes that “today’s customers distrust and resent one off campaigns that interrupt or intercept them.” In engagement marketing, the business establishes a conversation with the customer and sustains it over time. It is another mode of engagement and it works for marketing the way a long-term conversation works with a friend. You know the kind of conversation I am talking about. It’s the kind where you discuss a theme with a friend over weeks, months or years. Engagement marketing replicates this dynamic but associated to a product or service.
“We now have the opportunity to listen and respond to every customer at every stage of his buying journey, keeping him engaged and helping to drive purchase decisions. Using intelligent, nurture tracks, marketing messages should flow in a logical fashion, creating engaging, personalized conversations. It’s not about individual messages, or even individual campaigns—every interaction asks for another interaction, and is part of a longer chain of events,” writes Marketo in their e-book.
To understand how this works in reality, Marketo puts for the example of a tech company which sells an excellent but high-priced product. Due to competition and the high price, the buying cycle will be longer. The customer needs time to measure the pros and cons of the investment as well as to compare with the competition. This means that it’s harder to keep your brand’s products top-of-mind.
“Using an engagement marketing strategy, that tech company could instigate and maintain continuous conversations, offering their potential customers a series of highly relevant, educational materials through email, social, and on their website,” explains Marketo. Over time, as a matter of course of the conversation—and positioning itself as an expert—the brand would earn the right to tell buyers about their products.
The conversation would not end when the potential customer became an actual customer. Instead, it would continue but shift gears. The company could use the existing relationship to help make their buyers successful with their purchases, for example with “Getting Started” kits or explainer videos.
You get the idea.
Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR
The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.”
NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well.
2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer.