The Engagement Movement Set to Dominate in 2007

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 with surfers 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.

3 Comments. Leave new

“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.”

I love the above quote. For too long, marketing has been something conducted from afar.

My belief is that engagement – at its best – occurs when a company can demonstrate that its passions and values align with that of their customers.

I think that’s something a small or medium business should be able to do better than a large one. Truly, I think the next five years will be interesting indeed…

The problem, in the UK at least, with small businesses is that they cant yet see the ROI. But blogging and engaging with their marketplace is a strategy they should all consider adopting. Hopefully, now that IE7 is out more of the mass market will start utilising RSS. Then businesses should realise that having a static, brochure website is no longer adequate for an increasingly web savvy audience, hungry for info.

I think the inability to measure ROI is something of an excuse. Most small and medium businesses don’t measure the ROI of print advertising, PR, or even their Web site.

I think blogs are new, and most businesses don’t do “change” very well.

I’ve encountered resistance to biz blogs more from the standpoint that they’re not yet seen as serious tool – and that businesses are averse to the long-term content commitment.

Leave a Reply