Engagement marketing, sometimes called "participation marketing," is a marketing strategy that invites and encourages
consumersto participate in the evolution of a brand. Rather than looking at consumers as passive receivers of messages, engagement marketers believe that consumers should be actively involved in the production and co-creation of marketing programs.
Ultimately, engagement marketing attempts to connect more strongly consumers with brands by "engaging" them in a dialogue and two-way, cooperative interaction.
For decades, consumers would simply watch a commercial or look at a print ad that advertisers produced. That’s one-way
communicationand doesn't qualify as engagement, where consumers participate, share, and actually interact with a brand.
This is closely related to the definition of transparent marketing. Transparent Marketing is a strategy used to personalize the content marketed to a customer by engaging them in Web 2.0 social media technologies such as blogs, live chat and product ratings. Through these web based technologies, companies are able to provide true transparency to their company and products, good or bad. In addition, they are able to build trusting and lasting relationships with their customers.
In an interview with Henry Jenkins DeFlorz Professor of Humanities and Founder and Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT, Alan Moore said...
Engagement Marketing is a very broad term, and purposefully so. At its heart, is the insight that human beings are highly social animals, and have an innate need to communicate and interact. Therefore, any engagement marketing initiative must allow for two-way flows of information and communication. We believe, people embrace what they create.[ [http://www.henryjenkins.org/2007/01/an_interview_with_alan_moore_p.html Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Engagement Marketing: An Interview with Alan Moore (Part One) ] ]
And why is this important? Because in advanced economies the values of society and the individual change. At the heart of this is the key issue around identity and belonging. We have always had community. Pre- industrialization, we were tied to our communities by geography, tradition, the state and birthright. External forces shaped our identity. However, in a post-modern world we can have many selves, as we undertake a quest for self identity.
This is described as Psychological Self-Determination the ability to exert control over the most important aspects of ones life, especially personal identity, which has become the source of meaning and purpose in a life no longer dictated by geography or tradition. [ [http://www.psych.rochester.edu/SDT/theory.html Psychological Self-Determination] ]
The Community Generation, shun traditional organizations in favor of unmediated relationship to the things they care about. The Community Generation, seek and expect direct participation and influence. They possess the skills to lead, confer and discuss. These people are not watching television and have grown up in a world of search and two-way flows of communication.
Going further Engagement Marketing is premised upon: transparency - interactivity - immediacy - facilitation - engagement - co-creation - collaboration - experience and trust these words define the migration form mass media to social media.
The explosion of: Myspace, YouTube, Second Life and other MMORPG's, Citizen Journalism, Wicki's and Swicki's, TV formats like Pop Idol, or Jamies School Dinners, Blogs, social search, The Guinness Visitor Centre in Dublin or the Eden project in Cornwall UK, mobile games like Superstable or Twins, or, new business platforms like Spreadshirt.com all demonstrate a new socio-economic model, where engagement sits at the epicentre
Alan Moore's [http://www.henryjenkins.org/2007/01/an_interview_with_alan_moore_p_1.html Second interview with Henry Jenkins]
Last Friday, I introduced my readers to Alan Moore -- not the comic book creator but the brand guru -- a cutting edge thinker about the ways that grassroots communities are reshaping the branding process. Moore, with Tomi T Ahonen, wrote a book called Communities Dominate Brands. The book spells out their vision for where media is headed -- towards what Moore described last time as a "connected society"-- and what it means for the branding process. Here, Moore gets deeper into some of the issues which will be of particular interest to regular readers of this blog -- the economic value of fans to advertisers and media producers, the issue of compensating for user-generated content, the case of Pop Idol as a global media franchise, and the concept of transmedia planning.
Early examples of successful engagement marketing campaigns
Tohatolaunched two new snacks brands, "Tyrant Habanero Burning Hell Hot" and "Satan Jorquia Bazooka Deadly Hot" in 2007 in an award-winning campaign which broke new ground in engagement marketing by combining multiplayer online gaming with advertising, on a mobile phone. Customers were encouraged to join nightly battles in a virtual game, on behalf of either snack brand, to determine the winner of the "World's Worst War". The games ran at 4 AM. The campaign was designed by Japanese ad agency Hakuhodo and won the Yellow Pencil award at the annual D&AD advertising awards ceremony where mobile ads were recognized for the first time in May 2008.
Another good example of engagement marketing is seen in the unique marketing strategy of Jones Soda. At the company website, regular customers are allowed to send in photos that will then be printed on bottles of the soda. These photos can be put on a small order of custom-made soda, or, if the photos are interesting enough, they can be put into production and used as labels for a whole production run. [ [http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/oct2005/id20051026_869180.htm?chan=sb Keep Up with the Jones, Dude! - Business Week] ] This strategy is effective at getting customers to co-create the product, and engaging customers with the brand.
* Ahonen, T. and Moore, Alan. "Communities Dominate Brands: Business and Marketing Challenges for the 21st Century", Futuretext, 2005. ISBN 0-9544-327-3-8
* Tönnies, Fredinand. "Community and Society: Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft", Dover Publications (December 3, 2002). ISBN-13: 978-0486424972
* [http://farisyakob.typepad.com/blog/2006/10/transmedia_plan.html Transmedia Planning]
* Brandweek magazine article on "engagement marketing" [http://www.brandweek.com/bw/magazine/features/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003599796]
* How consumer conversation will transform business [http://www.pwc.com/extweb/pwcpublications.nsf/docid/452132E0E4043D6E852573D9005BF037]
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