We’re getting engaged! The move to more hands-on marketing

People spend roughly 5.4 hours a day using phones, so why shouldn’t companies adjust their marketing practice to better engage audiences?

Nohar Zmora, VP Brand Marketing at Kaltura offers four key tips to get the most out of mobile marketing for 2023…

In all areas of our lives, the shift to digital had been gradual for years, and Covid slammed on the accelerator. A glance at a train platform is all it takes to see that people are glued to screens. In 2011 the average mobile user spent 43 minutes each day browsing the internet. In 2021 that figure was 160 minutes.  

It’s not only cute cats gripping our attention. Our screens are extensions of our lives; video calling in place of meetings and email in place of calls. Attending events online is normal, with the technology and the experience constantly improving.

For businesses, screen time means more opportunities for customer interaction. Thanks to the slick interfaces, clever algorithms, and companies like Netflix and Amazon, we expect a lot from digital experiences. The days of the dull video conference are or should be, over. 

Constantly upping your game is tough, but it’s worth it. Creating a long-term personal relationship with customers is the holy grail of marketing. Engagement marketing now is central to the success of many globe-straddling brands.

Whether at the new business or relationship management stage, engagement marketing means developing great experiences that allow customers to get closer to your brand,  stand apart from rivals, win customers, and get the most value through upselling and word-of-mouth referrals.

Salesforce’s Trailblazer Community is a great example. The online hub attracts new business by publishing case studies and testimonials. Once a prospect becomes a customer, the Trailblazer Community helps them use Salesforce effectively while creating opportunities for upselling. The thriving platform keeps 11 million people closely engaged with the brand.

Let’s get close, closer than close

What works for one company won’t necessarily work for another, but for a more impactful engagement marketing strategy, here are four important areas to consider.

1. Look at the data

Engagement marketing starts with a deep understanding of your prospects and customers, and that’s a two-part assignment.

Firstly, quantitative data. Analyse web traffic, emails, and transaction histories to reveal what works, what doesn’t and what you should do more of. Secondly, qualitative data. Extracted from customer interviews and surveys, this shows how people feel about your products and services.

This data allows you to build ideal customer profiles (ICPs) detailing the attributes of the people who will become your most valuable customers. You can then create experiences and interactions based on the ICPs.

2. Personalize your marketing

Customers have come to expect digital experiences tailored to their preferences, with research from  GBH Insights showing that they make customers 80% more likely to make repeat purchases.

Clever marketers involve their customers closely in the buying journey. They don’t just create offers that are relevant to a group of people, instead, they create offers that are unique to that individual.

The world of e-commerce is the frontline of personalization, but we expect it in other markets too. To help manage our time better, we want to be served with relevant content wherever we click.

Spotify, the music streaming service, has made strides in this area, with an annual marketing campaign based on each user’s listening history and an invitation to share your compilation on social media. This campaign has led to a bonanza of free advertising for the company with millions of people promoting Spotify. 

3. Enhance the customer experience

Customer service is part of the customer experience and an increasingly important facet of an engagement marketing strategy, for example, the helpful site chatbot. These tools are an effective way to connect with and convert customers. By 2024, Insider Intelligence predicts that consumer retail spend via chatbots worldwide will reach $142 billion—up from just $2.8 billion in 2019.

The travel industry has adopted AI chatbots widely. Amtrak’s chatbot, Julie, lets customers check train times and plan journeys with simple conversations, taking away some of the hassle of travel.

These interactions should come when customers need quick answers or something specific. Finding ways to make their experience smoother increases the goodwill they feel towards your company, paving the way to a long-term relationship.

4. Connect with live experiences

You can combine the power of data analysis, personalization, and customer experience with events and opportunities for people to interact with your brand and each other. In exchange for creating a useful and memorable experience, you get to strengthen your relationships with your most important customers and prospects. 

Networking, learning, spending time with like-minded people; these desires are the same in the flesh or online, but virtual events are cheaper to run, more scalable, and easier to measure. 

There are three aspects of virtual events that can help you maximise your experience ROI: reach, data, and reusing content. 

Logging on is less of a commitment than travelling, so people are more likely to attend a virtual event, and they can join from anywhere in the world, so your audience reach is global.

Because people attend virtual events via their computers, their personal information is stored. This data helps you learn more about your customers, a critical part of engagement marketing. It also provides leads and informs your marketing strategy, so your next move is based on real needs rather than the opinion of your boss.

Finally, content creation and management. Everything that takes place during your virtual event can become interesting content such as blog posts, podcasts, and video guides. The content lives online, accessible any time, helping to engage and convert customers for weeks and months after the event.

Amazon Web Service (AWS) hosted the 2020 re:Invent conference completely virtually for the first time. With more than 500 sessions held over three weeks, the event resulted in a lot of content that was put to use long after the event ended. 

The battle for eyeballs 

There’s huge potential in engagement marketing, but it’s not a quick fix. Meeting sky-high expectations, understanding what types of engagement are valuable, and creating great content regularly are only some of the challenges .

With the tools at your disposal—data analysis, personalised marketing, revamped customer experience, and in-person or virtual events—it’s achievable. Get it right and the next time you pass that train platform, it’ll be your content those commuters are staring at.

By Nohar Zmora

VP Brand Marketing