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Customer Engagement Marketing
By Jeff Butcher on June 10, 2013

Connecting with customers moves your brand ahead. Engaging with customers requires a creative, sustained and dedicated effort. Earning customers produces growth. Retaining customers is high priority. A retained customer spreads the word relating to your quality, innovation and proven history.

Customer retention returns customers that have experienced the efforts of your successful group. Superior treatment allows retained customers to return year after year to purchase your products and services. A retained customer becomes an extension of your brand and becomes an evangelist that helps your team to identify and win new customers.

Introducing new customers to your brand takes time, focus and investment. Investing in new customers is a wise choice. Like all expenditures, success is benefited by a marketing aim that hits the center of your audience. While retained customers make up the core of your business, new customers are the springboard toward growth. A diligent effort to acquire new customers is a must, yet at all times the service provided to retain customers should remain in balance. Pouring the company glass half full with opportunity does little good if retained customers spill out. Your competition is more than happy to clean up the puddle of customers left on the table.

Understanding your customers is the component that breeds interaction. Engaging customers is vital. Retained and new customers that are engaged with your brand sustain growth. If your customers are successful then your company is more likely to be successful. Successful companies attract the right customers, and mutual benefits expand to transform new customers into retained customers. Success is contagious.

For many companies, marketing takes on a narrow focus. Products are made and ads are placed. Too often companies believe that customers sit around thinking only about your brand. The reality is that customers are faced with myriad choices. Dreaming nightly about the products and services of only one company most likely occurs when a customer feels slighted. Your customers have much on their plates, and the goal of standing out must consider all of the distractions customers face daily. Budget, family responsibilities, and competition from all of the companies in your niche market vie for customer attention. How can your company possibly be remembered 24/7?

Customer Engagement is the answer. A cycle that engages your customers in a repeated fashion creates excitement. Accepting that you must reach out to your customers on a continuous basis is paramount to growth. Once you truly accept that customers have much to think about, you can create engagement by understanding the challenge. The nuances of your obstacles may vary, but the goal is simply to accept that if you want your products to be remembered, then a continuous stream of reminders should be delivered to the doorstep of your base. Customers come to you due to need. Solid marketing draws them in through brand visibility. Giving them a reason to come back is obvious—creating specific retention strategies is the golden ticket.

Engagement depends on how well your team aims at the target presented by your customers. The truth is that customers are really unable to stand around all day thinking of your company. Often, companies make a critical error in judgment by thinking that giant groups place your brand in the center of their world.

Reality dictates that your customers are extremely busy. It takes all of their energy to maintain “their” company. Your products and services are nearly an afterthought as compared to the demands faced by people you covet the most. While we all would like our brand to be at the center of the competitive circle, the moments that a broad base of customers are really staring at your brand occur more often when your group plans an event or promotion.

Creating a promotional ticker tape parade every day is difficult and costly. Even if you can pull off historic events daily, then the brand exposure created becomes the expected norm from your customers. In other words, customers simply are unable to place your brand on a pedestal on a daily basis—they are busy. For your customers to be successful they are required to participate in a well-rounded life. Your customers need family and friends. They need a variety of products to establish the customer support that allows them to flourish.

While there are an unlimited number of ways to place your brand in the Center Circle of marketing, planning tilts the odds in your favor. Trade Shows allow you to place your brand in front of large groups by targeting customers you want most. When customers make the effort to travel to your booth, a “full attention” opportunity commences.

Your potential new customer, or your retained customer, is facing in at your trade show booth. Astute companies arm their booth with new products, tools and services. Companies that succeed realize that relationship building is a high priority. Successful companies are prepped for the arrival of trade show customers. The full arsenal is presented fully in your booth by your people that can cement relationships in a face to face meeting. Companies that truly grasp how rare it is to have customers singularly focused on your brand prevail. Seize the moment, as your competition is probably one aisle away.

Special events bring “face in” customers to you. If you know the needs of your customers, then planning a monthly or yearly event creates real engagement. Special events put on by your organization are energized by your customers. Open houses or educational seminars designed to share knowledge and build relationships are proven. Timing your event to coincide with another local target market event will help increase the number of customers that attend.

Accessing customers at their place of business ensures engagement. While travel comes with expense, the cost may convert a potential new customer into a retained customer.

Sharing specific knowledge with your customers is a Center Circle activity. Creating original content and placing it on your company website gives your customers a reason to visit your site often on a regular basis. A steady stream of original ideas identifies your company as a trusted advisor. Knowledge sharing promotes “Centered” sales while providing a meaningful service. Content with real impact whets the appetite, prompting your customers to come back for the full meal deal of education. Customers are starved for real information that provides deep understanding.

Daily, your customers are pulled in many directions. The wallet share you gain is directly proportional to how well you engage customers by blasting impressions from multiple directions. Customers wander away from your brand in their effort to keep up with the demands of their day. Our goal is to provide direction that turns them toward us.

Companies increase brand visibility with a continuous stream of promotion and new products. Effort Marketing is ongoing, and initiative takes brands out of headquarters and makes them a visible sign on the road of discovery.

Taking advantage of social media interaction by providing sustained original content helps your customers to place your brand on the front burner, helping them to focus through the sea of competitive distraction.

Support from print ads, product catalogs and a dynamic website expands the horizon, allowing your team to reach in to address customer needs. Products are enhanced when the distribution of information is heard by the customers you rely upon. Branding that is coupled with relationship building catapults your company to the middle of the circle.

Understanding that your customers actually think about things other than your company is an opportunity. Groups that clear the path of customer distractions become partners and trusted advisors. Inverting the Marketing Circle focuses your company in a “Face Out” direction, attracting new and retained customers to your Center Circle. Ongoing effort will complete your circle with the combined energy of customers that power your brand.

Go Forward – Move Ahead

Jeff Butcher

About the Author
Jeff Butcher's picture
Jeff Butcher is a veteran of the racing industry based in the Pacific Northwest.
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