One of the most important words in Marketing is “Engagement.” This has nothing to do with getting married. It’s closer to Jean Luc Picard on the Starship Enterprise saying “Engage.”
Engagement is connection. If you don’t connect with your prospective customer, what are you doing?
You might as well be talking to the air.
How do you engage your prospects?
It starts with really understanding what engagement is all about.
Let’s find out.
Let’s get the proper sense of this. It really isn’t you connecting to them. It is THEM connecting with YOU.
Music that really talks to you, moves you emotionally, engages you. Like you’re channel surfing and hear even a small snippet of a favorite tune. Chances are you’ll brighten up, stop and listen to the whole thing.
THAT is what you want with your prospective viewers, listeners or readers. THAT is the gold standard for marketing.
If you can accomplish it, you have put your starship in gear and can go to Warp Speed 14.
If you can’t you’ll remain in parking orbit, lonely and cold.
A key point: Engagement isn’t an all or nothing matter. Your prospects can be more or less engaged.
Your goal as a marketer is first to connect at all. That’s the biggest hardest step. Then you can get them more and more engaged to a point where they take action.
If it were a song, they’d be tapping their toe and singing along.
In marketing, they communicate an interest in your products or services, or click the “buy now” button.
Well great, you say. All well and good. Thanks for the educational lesson.
What do I do?
WHAT YOU DO
Let’s pound this point home. Better understanding of this is totally key to better market your products or services. Oh yes, and it is also very much a key to your sales effort.
I hate it when people say “it goes without saying.” Usually it doesn’t, or you wouldn’t be saying it.
So, it doesn’t go without saying. Engagement is on THEIR TERMS, not yours.
You don’t matter. All that matters is what is important to them.
Put yourself in their shoes. When it comes to purchases, how you spend your time, attention or money, the only thing that matters is what is important to you.
The same is true for every living person out there.
What they want and consider important is not what you think SHOULD matter to them.
If you can find out what really IS important to people, you can engage them. If you can’t, you won’t.
Finding out what is important to them is a huge subject. We are only going to scratch the surface of it today. Still, it will help.
If you have a going concern, you have spoken to many existing customers, clients or patients. That is an advantage you have over a startup with a new idea. Even if you are just now trying to get marketing going. Having relied on referrals for business, you know a lot about them. And it is a great advantage.
You will have an idea how they think, what matters to them. So put your thinking cap on and work this out.
If not, or you need or want to know more, the subject is surveys. Probably the most neglected and abused part of marketing. Neglected because many companies don’t survey, they assume or guess what their prospects are thinking.
Does that sound smart?
Almost as bad, are the ridiculous things people do and call it surveying. My pet peeve is Focus Groups. Get a small group together to discuss something or other. For one thing, do you really think you’ll get honest answers out of them? In social settings, people more often than not say what they think they should rather than what they believe. I could go on.
My number two peeve is completely unscientific surveys. Survey Monkey is fun but it is far from a reliable way to survey. Also people survey the wrong public all the time. You are interested in what your target market – your actual prospective customers – are thinking. If you’re opening an online store to sell $400 shoes, you aren’t going to survey homeless people. Yet people do less extreme versions of this all the time.
Say you have reliable accurate data. You know what is going on inside the head of your perfect prospect.
Now you have to communicate about it:
- On a communication channel where it will be received by the people you are trying to reach,
- In a way that is believable to the prospect,
- And give them more information that engages them further. Make them more interested,
- And give them an easy, stress-free way to take action.
People often think engagement is about things that move on the site, or getting people to fill out forms or answer questions.
These things have little to nothing to do with what is important to them. They may be interesting in themselves. Like cute cat videos, they aren’t going to move mountains.
Spend your waking hours thinking about what is important to your prospective customers, clients, and patients. Think on how to get a dialogue going with them. NOT about what gimmick will make them want to play with your website.
They aren’t cats, ready to be distracted by wind-up mouse toys and laser pointers.
They are humans, with needs, hopes, dreams, desires and fears.
If you can connect with them on that basis, you can market successfully.