Marketing has evolved for the better, and companies that are embracing digital engagement are reaping in the rewards compared to their counterparts who are still stuck in ‘traditional ways’. With consumers preferring a ‘digital’ (dynamic) experience, marketing firms and corporate marketing are scrambling to ‘engage’ consumers in the digital era. Why do consumers prefer and interact digitally? There are many reasons:
Consumers Interact on Their Own Terms. Smart marketers know that engagement is a two way street. When consumers ‘interact’ digitally, it’s because they want something in return. It may be an experience they expect or being able to engage in positive feedback on a product and have the company listen to them. Engagement happens on their own timeline, when they are searching for it. Retail has seen the biggest benefits of digital engagement as consumers investigate products and shop from their couches instead of going to retail locations.
Educate Me vs. Sell Me (something else). As the saying goes, education is priceless. Fueled by helping educate consumers with better purchasing decisions, consumers appreciate pro-active, non-biased information instead of a hard sell. The biggest shift toward educational engagement is happening in the financial services industry, with firms dedicated to helping create financially savvy consumers.
Being a Brand Ambassador is in the Consumer’s DNA. We love a conversation where people listen to us, instead of being alienated from a conversation. We feel empowered when we share our ‘loves’, which is what social media is all about. If we love your product, we tell everyone about it. If we had a bad experience, we tell everyone about it! Make sure the experience is a good one.
Consumers Want to Relate. When we see a brand that looks like us, we are more likely to engage. Ethnic culture as well as ‘ethical’ culture is what engages consumers. Gone are the days of ‘white collar’ American men being the only ones driving sports cars and drinking Coca Cola.
Give Them Something to Talk About. Companies that have implemented social media can rely on their employees to spread the message. Employees promoting themselves and their company via posts created internally, drives customer and prospect engagement. Companies are realizing that allowing their employees to showcase relevant, industry specific content ‘captures’ all of the employee’s connections. Consumers have connections to employees before they have a connection to the company. Remember it’s a powerful network!