Technology has clearly changed the way we approach marketing. In just a few short years, we have seen huge changes in the way people consume information, research products and communicate with one another. We all know that we can no longer go out and shout our message to the new consumer and expect them to go buy the stuff we are shouting about.
Successful engagement marketing is achieved by encouraging our audience to:
• Participate in conversations
• Interact with the brand
• Influence others to become further engaged
An engaged consumer chooses to hear a brand’s marketing message when the message delivers value to them. For engagement strategies to work, we as marketers must take an integrated approach. Here at The Brandon Agency, we, along with some other cutting edge agencies, have identified three fundamental channels through which all marketing flows. The channels are: Paid; Earned; and Owned.
This was the precipitating factor in our creation of a Channel Management group within the Agency itself. These three channels form the core basics around which we build our engagement strategies for our clients. Of course, the Paid channel speaks for itself. It is everything that we have to “buy” on behalf of our clients to deliver our message. It doesn’t matter if we are paying for a behaviorally targeted banner campaign or planning a cable run, it’s all part of the Paid channel.
The Owned channel has changed significantly in just the past year or so. The Owned channel is anything that the brand owns and controls, and can be used to tell its story and sell itself. Think Web site, database, Facebook page, Flickr page, Twitter, YouTube Channel and Wikipedia page. The owned options are much larger than ever before, more accessible and more important.
What is most interesting is that both the Paid and Owned channels filter into the Earned channel. The Earned channel is where customers become the channel, giving the brand the opportunity to gain insights, engage in conversations and facilitate loyalty. In many cases, the Owned channel, if done correctly, has Earned channel elements, such as Facebook posts, blog posts, etc. Here is where we are different. We understand that engagement marketing is really all about how Earned media is facilitated.
Engagement marketing is the marketing process where communicators understand the biggest opportunities lie in creating a word of mouth campaign with their social contacts. Here, both in private communities and open communications like Twitter and blogging, a company develops a community management process for building relationships with their customers, evangelists and advocates, and as a result of those relationships, can get the word out about their products, brand and services through each individual’s owned media companies.
Of course, it all works together and that’s why we believe so strongly in an integrated approach where everything works toward driving increased consumer engagement. The more engagement, the more sales!