I’m a fan of travelling in style, so the concept of ‘matching luggage’ appealed when marketers first responded to channel proliferation with a drive to integrate their communications by using the same look and feel. Of course fashions change, and as people learnt more about how digital channels worked, marketing evolved to integrating around an idea – so there was still a co-ordination of luggage, but it didn’t all have to be the same colour.
Today, as more brands are recognising that a meaningful customer experience is the key to delivering growth, communications must move on again. (NB ‘customer’ is used to define the brand’s target: consumer, customer, expert etc).
Evolving from just broadcasting a message via mass media to thinking about how to drive awareness, engage the customer and invite participation is a first step. This isn’t about having a separate ‘digital engagement’ plan – but ensuring digital communications and experiences are woven into the plan from its inception. A further step is to create a mutually beneficial relationship with customers, which evolves and develops as the customer moves through their ‘journey’. To deliver this successfully, the focus must switch from customercommunications to customer engagement, and the capability agenda must switch to support this.
Companies like Lego, P&G, Lafarge and Novartis are now seeing customer engagement as key to delivering customer centred growth.
At Brand Learning, we have developed 4 principles for customer engagement:
We will explore these further over the next few weeks, in our 3-part series on this critical aspect of customer-centred capabilities.
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