Customer Engagement

Recently I have read a fantastic journal article titled “Differentiating customer engaging behaviour by targeted benefits – an empirical study” by the journal of consumer marketing. This study focuses heavily on the idea of customer engagement and why companies should jump on this opportunity, and to be honest I agree with them.

I have found that through my own research and experience companies and charities really don’t capitalise on their customer engagement and it’s a real shame. As the study shows there is 22 major benefits for companies utilising their customer engagement effectively. However instead of listing these out to you I’ll just tell you my top 3.

The first major benefit of actively engaging with customer is the creation of brand advocates. Brand advocates are one of the best marketing tools your business will ever have and that’s because they are normal people talking to normal people, without any company input. This means that people relate to people far more than they do a business. To quickly prove this, if one of your friends said to you that they loved their new car and they recommend that everyone goes out and gets one. Now compare this to a car advert telling you that this car is the best car in the world, which will have greater influence over you?

The second major benefit is an increase in customer participation. This does not sound like a major benefit, however we all know how hard it is to try and get people to contribute to surveys and to give us their opinions on products/ services. This is where customer engagement really helps with this problem as people actively want to give you their opinions and to help you develop your product / service.

The third major benefit is customers engaging with your brand on a social level. This could be through actively going to your events or through other channels such as social media. This is again phenomenal for marketing as you know have customers who actively share your content with their friends and family and want to come and meet your business at events.

These are my top 3 benefits for companies effectively utilising customer engagement, however there is still another 19 in the article.

So how do we effectively utilise customer engagement in our marketing plans?

The major reason why companies can’t connect as easily with a younger audience is because companies need to develop an engagement proposition for audiences that are looking for reward and enrichment from their relationship, as well as knowledge that their actions will have a positive impact. In order to do this, you need to target 2 major areas for effective customer engagement, these are: social recognition and acceptance as well as being able to make their own decisions/ act independently.