The engagement marketing movement is gathering pace all the time, with new converts joining every week. We now have an official motto (definition), a conference in its honour and blogs taking root all over the web. A leading market research firm has now heralded that 2007 will be the year that we begin our full scale assault. Big brands are joining our cause all the time – soon there won’t be a traditional marketer left to stop us!
I was made aware of the news, that engagement is set to dominate marketing, by the ‘Engagement Principles‘ blog of Tom Chandler, a fellow copywriter also tracing the evolution of our trade. It now seems inevitable that businesses will start turning to professional writers to fuel their websites. Web surfers are getting hungrier for content all the time. Being able to apply time proven copywriting techniques should come in handy as well.
Engagement marketing was hailed by Dr Robert Passikoff as one of the biggest marketing trends for 2007. His company, ‘Brand Keys’, is a leading research consultancy specialising in consumer loyalty and predicting the ROI of any marketing initiative.
Brand Keys’ business revolves around understanding what consumers want through a complex algorithm of polls, statistics and trends. He should be ably qualified to predict how people will be responding to brands in the years to come.
His other future trends follow along the same engagement philosophy: consumer generated content, touch point focused media, better usage of technology and using innovation to inspire loyalty.
Dr Robert’s assessment fits in with what every engagement marketer has been preaching. Consumers are now smarter, have greater access to information and are more cynical than ever before. They are in control of how they receive the message and that message had better be of value otherwise they’re not going to listen.
The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) have even set-up a specific blog featuring videos of leading figures discussing the evolution of their industry.
One of the videos features Dr Robert. He evokes how some advertisers are starting to panic because they can’t simply bombard consumers with messages like they used to and expect an ROI. The solution, he suggests, is to start thinking of marketing as a multi faceted campaign designed to subtly change how prospects respond to a brand. It is no longer a one way conversation.
The gospel of engagement is now spreading beyond the realms of the internet and into the mainstream. Earlier this week it was announced that Kevin Adler has left his Vice Presidency at Relay Worldwide to start his own new integrated marketing agency. The agencies name? Why, ‘Engage Marketing’ of course.
Relay are an event marketing company and specialise in creating associations between brands and sports events. The ‘Cola Copa’ for example: a football (soccer for my US readers) tournament for young teens worldwide.
Adler defined his business’ philosophy, “Engagement Marketing represents a fundamental paradigm shift in how brands enter into dialogues with their consumers, by putting the needs, desires and interests of the consumers before the needs of the brand. ” In other words, to stop carpet bombing audiences with marketing messages, but instead to sit down and find out what it is they actually want.
As advertising and marketing evolves into the engagement philosophy copywriters are going to have to develop some new tricks of our own. It looks as though the old AIDA principle is going to need a few more letters in the years to come.
Matt Ambrose is a freelance writer from the UK. Please visit thewritewords.me.uk for more information about Matt and his web copywriting services.