It used to be that the quality of goods or services is what created a happy customer. But that was then. And this is the age of customer engagement: Today, customers want to feel appreciated, engaged and connected with their chosen brands. Consider these new statistics:
- 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience
- By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (source: Walker)
Research is also finding that, even in today’s digital era, customers are seeking more authentic, human-centered interaction—but without constant interruption. This is the challenge that we face as marketers: To connect with our customers in ways that are real and relevant, while providing transparency, in a frequency that keeps them engaged at every touch point.
A recent article from Inc. Magazine offers three tips for creating happy customers through customer engagement:
One way to increase customer interaction is to understand where your customers have been—and where they’re going—based on their behavior. Behavioral marketing is one of the best ways to find engaged brand users. By basing your marketing strategies on behavior (Where are how are consumers interacting with your brand?), you can improve the quality of your leads and identify previously inaccessible customers.
Influencers and Thought Leaders
Inc. magazine says, “One of the biggest ways to boost credibility for a brand is by developing partnerships with people who already have the trust and confidence of your audience.” Influencer marketing is gaining popularity. Consider the Nationwide campaign with Peyton Manning and Brad Paisley. Together, these celebrities appeal to a broad audience.
If your company doesn’t have the budget to book high-dollar celebrities, you might consider using thought leaders to push your brand. Gaining endorsements from industry experts or existing clients that are thought leaders in their industry is one option. The other is to create your own content and market your company as the industry thought leader.
Another way to connect with qualified customers is to engage in frequency illusions. According to Inc. magazine, “The basic principle is that after someone encounters a name or brand, they suddenly begin to see it everywhere. For example, after seeing a commercial for the newest Prius, you start to see them more often when you are on the road. In reality, they were around before, which is why it’s an illusion.”
Through tools like retargeting, social media, and influencer marketing, companies can intentionally increase the frequency someone encounters their brand.
To read the entire Inc. magazine article about creating greater customer engagement, click here.
I found this article very insightful. It’s a reminder that any successful marketing effort requires a balanced and integrated approach. What tips do you have for creating engaging connections with your customers? I’m interested in hearing from you.