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Elusive Brand Engagement

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In today’s barrage of media, researchers cite numbers of impressions in a single day for a consumer to be between 600 and 850.  All of them probably have the goal of engaging you with their brand.  The question is do you want a relationship with a brand, do you care if a brand has aspirational value, or do you want what you want when you want it.

In the article below you’ll see that consumers don’t want to engage with your brand. This dovetails with our experience over the past couple of years.  The key to maximum ROI continues to be making the right offer, at the right time, through the right channel.  Too many brands are depending on impressions—whether it’s through digital, mobile, social or old-fashioned direct channels.  What customers want is to receive a relevant offer when they are ready to buy.  The best way to accomplish this is through a comprehensive customer intelligence strategy…

Consumers Don’t Want to Engage with Brands

By Tom Ryan

June 11, 2012

According to a study involving more than 7,000 consumers from Corporate Executive Board (CEB), only 23 percent of consumers indicated they have a relationship with a brand. The researchers also found that for most consumers, increased interactions don’t drive relationships and often work against purchases.

In a posting on Harvard Business Review, the CEB researchers — Karen Freeman, managing director; Patrick Spenner, another managing director, and Anna Bird, a senior researcher — wrote that, in the minds of consumers, relationships are reserved for friends, family and colleagues. A typical explanation given for not having a relationship was, “It’s just a brand, not a member of my family.”

At the same time, for those having a relationship with a brand, only 13 percent cited ‘frequent interactions’ as the primary reason for having that relationship. By far the largest reason given was ‘shared values,’ cited by 64 percent.

Moreover, while helpful interactions can quickly drive highly-favorable relationships, there’s no correlation between a higher level of interactions with a customer and the likelihood the relationship with turn “sticky.” Wrote the researchers, “Without realizing it, many marketers are only adding to the information bombardment consumers feel as they shop a category, reducing stickiness rather than enhancing it.”

While touting the value of brand messaging around “philosophy or higher purpose,” the overarching message was to “stop bombarding” consumers who don’t want relationships “through endless emails or complex loyalty programs,” since these efforts equate to low ROI. For those indicating a willingness to communicate, the quality of those conversations should be high and relevant.

“Instead of relentlessly demanding more consumer attention, treat the attention you do win as precious,” the researchers concluded. “Then ask yourself a simple question of any new marketing efforts: Is this campaign/email/microsite/print ad/etc. going to reduce the cognitive overload consumers feel as they shop my category? If the answer is “no” or “not sure,” go back to the drawing board. When it comes to interacting with your customers, more isn’t better.”

The research comes after a recent article in The Wall Street Journal noted that retailers are trying the cut down on spam e-mail. The article cited research from Responsys Inc. that showed in 2011 the nation’s top 100 retailers by e-commerce revenue sent recipients an average of 177 emails apiece, up 87 percent from 2007.

(Click here for link to entire article on www.retailwire.com)

By: David Hadaway

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