Yesterday’s marketing was about the emotional connection between a brand and an individual. How does your Lexus make you feel? What are you thinking when using your Blackberry? Back then the way a brand made a consumer feel was the deciding factor if someone bought that product or service, and likewise, the deciding factor for brands in attracting and retaining customers.
Fast forward to 2015. No longer is it just about that emotional connection, it’s about the relationship. In our digital-dependent, plugged-in world, brands need to shift from mass marketing to targeted, conversational communications in order to connect with consumers on a more personal level — what’s known as engagement marketing.
Marketers need to tap into their audience’s hopes, dreams and dilemmas, and apply these insights into creative marketing communications that fulfill a need, be they emotional or rational. Engagement isn’t about a campaign or a moment in time — it’s continuous. It anticipates a need and reaches them where they are. If you’re currently having a one-sided conversation with your consumers, chances are you’ve lost them, or never had them to begin with.
So how do you get to know your audience and keep them engaged?
Last fall, we conducted consumer research on health savings accounts to help our client identify what stage people are at in their health savings journey and what gaps and opportunities exist to keep them moving forward. Our insights then drove the 2015 engagement plan — both refining current tactics and adding new ones. Using tailored messaging by stage across all touchpoints, our creative team developed direct mail and email, and helpful tools such as videos, infographics and self-guided tours. So was the investment worth it? The first campaign of the year delivered an annualized lift of over $10 million — a 309% ROI and a 9% stage progression rate — the most successful shift to date. This campaign, the first of its kind to apply primary research insights to the marketing of health savings accounts by a person’s stage, proved just how essential knowing your consumers is to increasing engagement — and revenue.
The days of mass marketing campaigns have passed. The new way to market is through an integrated, continuous, multi-channel approach that puts consumers in the driver’s seat. It’s a relationship that allows brands to become part of consumers’ daily lives, providing opportunities for them to reflect and participate. Welcome to the era of engagement.
To learn more about our engagement capabilities backed by consumer insight, contact us.