Customer engagement has become a ‘buzzword’ within the marketing vocabulary in recent times. The question is why should customers be engaged directly ?

  1. Consumerism has swept the global markets in the last 2-3 decades and is rapidly spreading into developing markets where economic activity and growth has shifted. Growth from developed markets have been limited due to many factors. Businesses need to understand their consumers/customers better than ever before in these new emerging markets.
  2. The spread of information and communication technologies and internet and Social media is empowering consumers/customers like never before. Consumers are armed with all the information they need to make informed choices for products and services they need in their lives. This new empowered customer need to be understood better as part of the ongoing business process.
  3. Advertising through traditional Media channels (Print and TV) have become very expensive for large businesses to use, though they contribute to over 50% of marketing spend for most consumer companies, even in 2014. Measuring and achieving reasonable ROI has become more difficult with traditional media and without a minimum budget size, making a mark with traditional media is next to impossible. This is also because traditional media is almost like a ‘spray and pray’ approach since measurement of consumers directly reached and its conversion are more difficult to measure.
  4. From a consumer/customer viewpoint the clutter associated with traditional media has also become an issue. Standing out in a crowd with distinctive campaigns and measuring impact has become increasingly difficult.

Most consumer companies have started to consider and spend more marketing dollars in the internet and social media of between 10-20% of their total marketing budgets. In the internet and social media channels, measurement of customer interest is more easily tracked be it either through advertisements or Blogs. The challenge in these channels have become however: where and how to find your customers/consumers and how to get them to be interested in your content/thought leadership expressed. Inbound marketing has become the new practice.

What are your experiences as a Brand/Marketing Manager in engaging customers directly in these times of momentous change ?

Pl. share your thoughts.