Customer engagement can be broadly defined as when a targeted consumer focuses their complete attention on a particular brand’s message in an uncluttered environment. Then, this attention is accounted for and recorded. True engagement is a long-term play that encourages repeat customer value through purchasing actions and the generation of word-of-mouth interest.
Loyalty can be described as behavior created within a consumer as a result of brand or product engagement, hopefully over a period of year or more. Long-term customer engagement comes only as a result of providing a quality offering to the right people at the right time, with the gaining of their trust as the ultimate goal.
The challenge for marketers and brand managers lies in the substantial decrease in brand loyalty for many consumers. The internet has transformed many industries by allowing consumers immense choice of products from multinational sources. Hyper-niche marketing is needed to reach consumers who are typically in greater control of when and where they receive advertising messages.
Many advertising or branding practices might preach consumer engagement, but they aren't offering real value as a result of that engagement. Therefore, they can devalue the entire model by taking resources from brands and advertisers without merit and where it's not been rightfully earned.
Brands that focus on building long-term, value-based campaigns can foster greater consumer engagement. What are some ways that true customer loyalty is redefining the meaning of an engaged consumer?
• Real customer engagement provides a 100 percent share-of-voice, where the advertiser’s presence is measured against a set total market. This allows consumers the ability to engage with the brand offering in a clutter-free environment.
• Always having the permission of the consumer to engage them with content is of paramount importance, not just because it's a legal matter, but because in marketing it’s always better to get permission instead of asking for forgiveness.
• Building solid consumer lifetime value is achieved through a deeper understanding of what the customer wants in terms of both product and messaging. The key is to develop campaigns and communications that focus solely on the customer’s wants.
• Companies that wish to foster long-term brand engagement need to focus on fresh and relevant content at all times. Trends and interests change quickly in the online world, and maintaining a sense of relevancy will hold the customer’s interests first, with their purchasing to follow — hopefully.
• Customers need a reward for their time and actions. Loyalty to a brand just based on relevant messages only goes so far. You need to introduce rewards that add tangible value to the recipient’s everyday life.