In their classic “The Discipline of Market Leaders”, marketing experts Treacy and Wiersema identify three strategies (value dimensions) that enable companies to create value and compete; customer intimacy, operational excellence and product leadership. Two important additional strategies have been added in recent years: service leadership and customer experience management.
Product, price and quality are becoming less distinctive in the battle over customers. Clients increasingly choose based on ‘softer’ aspects like emotion, experience, involvement and their relationship with the organization. And that’s where the current interest in customer engagement is coming from. Organizations must rapidly move from products and services (functional) to services (value) and experiences (emotional), to retain customers in the future.
Let’s take a look at the concept of engagement, measuring engagement and how you can influence engagement.
What is engagement?
In marketing literature we find all kinds of definitions of engagement. We see a narrow definition that states that engagement mainly takes place on social media. Consumers like, share, follow and are engaged. Behavior on social media is easy to measure, but not on an individual level. And partly because of that, engagement is not easy to influence.
In a broader definition engagement also consists of ‘positive’ customer behavior on one’s own media, such as active participation in a loyalty programme, completing a survey or review, downloading a white paper, reading e-mails, or participating in a competition. These are all signs of enthusiasm and commitment that you can measure on an individual level, after which you can use the scores for a segmented customer approach.
An example: customers who are active on a website, but ignore the loyalty programme, can be approached differently than customers who have just spent their saved loyalty points. Here you can see measuring engagement provides a practical model that helps you manage your marketing activities.