Engagement is a Privilege, Not a Right

In the old world of marketing, there is a level of expectation that consumers want to hear about our brands and that if we push it – it will sell. Today, that has changed. In today’s world of personal filters and lenses, consumers don’t see your brand unless they want to. We are blind to web ads, we fast forward to TV ads, and have the option to choose to “like” a brand. Consumers hold all the power.

Daily I face the challenge of finding ways companies can engage with their target consumers. And the answer is simple, but not one that many companies want to hear. So, I’ll tell you instead.  Brands need to be human, customer-focused and provide good products in the first place. Grab a piece of paper and answer the following questions in this exercise. Come on, it’ll be fun!

Step 1: For kicks, let’s go back to middle school or hell, high school will do too. It’s your first day. You know no one. Your backpack is filled with Five Star note books and all the essentials on the school shopping list. You know, because you checked twice. What’s the first thing you do? What do you see? How do you feel?

Step 2: The bell rings and it’s the dreaded lunch time. So the question is – do you lock yourself in the bathroom, do you eat lunch alone and wait for someone to come to you, or do you try to make a new friend? What do you say, how do you make friends?

Step 3: Two weeks have gone by. You now know the popular kids in school, the sports they play and the ultra-cool language they speak. There’s a party coming up and you want to go. How do you find the in?

Step 4: You got the invite and to be honest, it was a blast! But, the weekend’s over and it’s Monday morning. What do you do?

Now, imagine that these four steps were just a different setting. The new school was an online community, lunch
time is your moment to truly engage. Step 3 is focused on what you talk about, what you do and how you build relationships within that community. Step 4 is aimed at maintaining the relationship, so that you can keep getting invited to that party. The only world is all about cliques and niches, and becoming a member isn’t a right – it’s a privilege to be welcomed. Be real, be yourself and consistent. Same rules apply for engaging with consumers.

Posted on January 12, 2011, in Marketing, Media, Professional, Public Relations, social media, Web/Tech. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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