Marketo recently released a white paper entitled The 7 Principles of Engagement Marketing and, to that end, published a corresponding piece at VB about this new type of marketing to designed to more effectively engage with potential customers.
The fact is, blogs in and of themselves are now a form of engagement marketing, completely unlike the traditional form of marketing where a single, mass message was designed to appeal to the greatest amount of potential customers as possible.
The goal of marketing certainly hasn’t changed. Acquiring customers, growing their lifetime value and converting them into loyal advocates who then help to grow a brand has been the focus of marketing since, like, forever.
Today, however, there’s been a paradigm shift in how marketers reach their market, and it starts with the market itself, the consumers.
Today’s consumer is, to coin a phrase, empowered. Chandar Pattabhiram of Marketo suggests in his VB essay that technological advances have given consumers access to an extraordinary amount of pre-purchase information, allowing them to form opinions much earlier than ever before, and certainly well before they actually begin to interact with any particular business, company or brand. In fact, research from Forrester shows that upwards of 90% of the buying process is now self-directed (as opposed to being directed by marketing messages).
When you consider that the average consumer sees approximately 3,000 marketing messages per day, the reason behind engagement marketing becomes clear; if a company or brand can interact with a consumer on a more personal level, they can influence them early so that, when they actually do make a purchase decision, they have a favorable opinion of that company and thus more of a likelihood of purchasing from them rather than their competition.
Engagement marketing is, at its core, still marketing as it’s always been, but now on a much deeper, more personal and individual level. Rather than creating marketing messages that have mass appeal, marketers are creating highly customized messages that appeal to smaller groups and, in some cases, individuals.
It’s interesting stuff, to be sure and, as consumers become even more empowered by technology, engagement marketing is likely to become more specific and targeted as well.