ADOTAS – Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a say in just how gummy the next generation of gummy bears candy should be? Or how about helping shape a new sports car that’s being polished for the production line or tailor-make a fresh range of garments alongside your favorite fashion designer?
Would any of the above motivate you to indulge in some retail therapy and unleash your credit card?
Engagement or “participation marketing,” is a strategy that directly involves consumers and encourages them to add their 2 pennies’ worth in the co-creation and development of brands, rather than being treated as passive receivers of messages.
GraphicMail has looked 50 years into the past to see why the ability for consumers to customize products and services through engagement marketing provides a huge incentive for brand introduction and entrenchment.
A 1966 article in the Harvard Business Review gave some insight into effective engagement by reporting on a large study of word of mouth persuasion by Ernest Dichter (the father of motivation research) that revealed the hidden chemistry of how to use email, mobile and social media to build brands.
Very relevant today, Dichter identified four motivations behind why consumers communicate about brands:
1. In about 33% of cases, it is purely because of novel product-involvement efforts. The experience is so pleasurable that it simply must be shared by those who participated.
2. About 24% were motivated by self-involvement, such as sharing knowledge and opinions as a way to gain attention or demonstrate that an individual has inside- information or to assert their superiority.
3. The next 20% of engagement sharing is generated when the speaker wants to reach out and help others, to forge new friendships and utilize their expertise for compassionate purposes.
4. And lastly, around 20% is made up of message-involvement; when the message itself is so humorous or informative that it deserves sharing, regardless of the brand or topic.
These four motivations explain why some brands have been successful in using email and mobile marketing, as well as social media to stir engagement. It suggests that brands need to deliver entertaining communications as well as functional and social benefits and works best when the brand is associated with an offering that is innovative and differentiated in a way that truly resonates with customers. Business are more frequently shuffling product development consumer engagement into their marketing strategies, which has the potential to tap into the full 100% petri dish of viral customer brand communication.
The old pattern of prescription retail is changing, however, thanks to a more reciprocal web culture and better tools to facilitate online voting, purchasing and even customization of products. E-commerce is morphing into a two-way dialog. The result is both a more engaged shopper and much less waste as manufacturers and retailers are better able to estimate demand before products are supplied.
Recommendations are said to have a huge average impact on global purchases, running to 80% for some items. Therefore a company promoting its own brand, whether utilizing email, mobile or social channels, needs represent the right culture and values and be aware of its status in the community by engaging in fact-based dialog where consumers’ say carries some clout.
What the modern shopper wants is a complete reversal of the age-old commercial model; they want the power to have their lifestyle define the products that they use as opposed to having their lifestyle defined by them.
This post originally appeared on the GraphicMail Blog. Reprinted with permission, and without a moment’s hesitation.