12ahead recently featured this article. The original piece can be found here.
What should businesses strive for? Loyalty? Customer satisfaction? Brand advocacy? In a world fragmented by media and complex buying cycles, none of these adequately capture the right marketing objectives. Why? They’re too silo’d in old world thinking.
Engagement is all of these and more. Customer Engagement is about recognising mutual value between the customer and a business over time. It goes beyond reacting to a brand’s marketing activity, but actively choosing to engage with the organisation and its products and / or services.
In light of the technological revolution and advances in capabilities, businesses finally have the opportunity to truly realise and implement a holistic Customer Engagement strategy.
As referenced in my colleague’s previous 12ahead blog, Rosetta Consulting recently released a white paper highlighting the findings of a survey of 4,800 consumers about their experiences with 83 market-leading brands. The results demonstrate that engaged customers are the best customers – they purchase 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction, and deliver three times the annual value each year. But the study also showed that engagement is far too complex to be captured by a five-point satisfaction survey. In my experience, there are only three rules of engagement needed:
- Make it personal: In fact, 86% of highly engaged customers in the study said “this brand is my favourite” vs. just 17% of others. Eighty-eight percent state they are “passionate about this brand” vs. 8% of others. These positive feelings can lead to dollars down the road. Highly engaged customers are six times more likely than others to believe “this brand is worth more than I pay for it.”
- Have the right metric – being loyal is not enough: When compared to customers who are simply “loyal” (those who agreed “I am loyal to this brand”), highly engaged customers are 40% more likely to feel the brand goes above and beyond their expectations, and knows “who I am” and “what I want.” Highly engaged customers are also more than 35% more likely than just loyal customers to believe the brand delivers relevant, worthwhile and useful marketing communications.
- Stretch customer’s relationship with the brand: loyal customers tend to buy what they know but when they become fully engaged they are six times more likely to try a new product or service from the brand when available and three times more likely to use multiple channels.
While these results demonstrate the value of engagement, you still may be asking yourself, “Well, doesn’t loyalty lead to engagement?
The answer is: sometimes. Loyalty may lead to engagement, but it is more likely that engagement will foster loyalty. The survey found that while 30% of those that consider themselves loyal to their preferred brand are highly engaged with it, a whopping 94% of highly engaged customers consider themselves loyal. Moreover, over 80% of highly engaged customers report being very likely to sign up for a brand’s loyalty program.
Highly engaged customers are seven times more likely to “always respond to this brand’s promotional offers,” They are your most valuable customers and they deserve to be counted.
Customer Engagement is not just a one-off experience – it’s an ongoing dialogue, it’s a choice consumers make.
For more facts and figures on the value of Customer Engagement, download the Rosetta Consulting white papers: