Would you rather listen to a speech, or be in a conversation? This is not an idle question.
In the age of mass media, sending one-way messages with the broadest possible appeal was the only way for companies to effectively communicate with the public. But in the age of Instagram and Facebook? Not so much.
As human beings, we desire interaction—we want to experience things, have agency in the moment, and then share what happened with our friends. That’s how we’re wired.
So now companies are faced with all of the complexity inherent in having a conversation with their audience. And naturally, engagement marketing (sometimes called “experiential marketing”) is the new frontier of customer outreach. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, forward-thinking companies are using digital platforms to encourage interactions with their customers.
With more and more companies embracing experiential marketing, now is a good time to pause and a simple question: “What sort of relationship do you want with your customers?”
“The hardest part is letting go,” explains Brella’s V.P. of Marketing. “So many companies are used to controlling every aspect of their messaging—so letting the customer speak up? Having a real conversation? For executives, that can be way outside of their comfort zone.”
However, loosening control can yield real, tangible results. “You’re much more likely to change your thinking in a conversation than listening to a canned message,” Brella’s President explains.
While the new company-customer relationship will continue to evolve, Brella believes that engagement marketing is here to stay. The conversation is going to happen, and the only question is who’s going to participate.