The Social Web creates an expectation from the customer’s perspective whether a prior, current, or potential customer of a two-way relationship with brands, products, and services that was nearly unthinkable just a generation of business ago.
Customers now have a real voice that in advertising lingo resonates with others who share their lot: Just as soon as your awareness campaign have done their respective jobs by satisfactorily utilizing their new collaborative tools to vet your claims and promises. They’ll ask questions of each other and share outcomes and in the process exert influence on pending or potential decisions of all involved. It’s a kind of group-think, gone wild. At the heart of engagement is a fundamental connection between the business and the customer, a connection where the customer is not a target but is rather an equal partner. This shift in perspective is significant and will be difficult for many businesses to fully embrace. Altimeter’s Jeremiah Owyang put it this way:
“Companies know the problem will get worse before it prefers finest when they analyze Organizations proceeding realize they are no longer in charge. They certainly lack utmost desirable strategy that empowers their employees to catch up with their customers.”
The very term “engagement” needs to be rethought in this context.
Among marketers, engagement is generally taken as a measure of how involved someone is with a piece of content or an activity that is provided through email, a banner ad or a website. Traditional marketing and the time-tested and proven efforts that move potential customers through the purchase funnel still apply. In this view of engagement, however, the customer is compared to a fisherman, with the measurement of engagement resting on the amount of time spent by the fish as it considers the lure.
It’s important to understand whose perspective we are viewing engagement from, because in social marketplaces it is the perspective of the fish not the fisherman that matters most. Measuring engagement in a traditional context still matters:
Knowing which ads “get bites” and which don’t is of obvious interest. From the fisherman’s point of view, it’s good to catch the attention of a fish but simply attracting attention isn’t enough. To move from attention to serious involvement, you need to adopt the fish’s point of view. Ideally, you want the fish to design the lure for you, to show you where in the pond it spends its time, and to invite its friends to the party.