Driving Interactive Customer Engagement Through Digital Experiences

Marketers must build custom experiences populated with brand or user-generated content with engagement mechanics to make the experience interactive and shareable.

That was one of the resonant themes from Tuesday’s Loyalty360 webinar, “How to Drive Loyalty Through Interactive Experiences,” which was presented by Wayin.

Brands need to find new and unique ways to deliver interactive experiences that people want to engage with, according to Wayin CEO Richard Jones, but too many marketers have failed to evolve and still rely on shouty, clickbait heavy, intrusive forms of digital advertising.

In a world of digital tribes, 20 percent of consumers have ad blockers, Jones noted.

“We help companies focus on real engagement versus being ‘seen-zoned,’’’ Jones said.

What is “seen-zoned”? It is when you send someone a message and it says “seen”, but there is no reply.
“Real engagement involves people taking actions, not just being served an ad,” Jones explained. “Advertising has perpetuated the lack of real interaction a brand has with consumers because the pace of innovation in the ad unit has been glacial. Interactive ads and marketing experiences are the future.”

User-generated content must be at the heart of engagement, Jones added.

For example, Jones said, Red Bull doesn’t just create content, it makes it interactive.

“Today, great digital marketing experiences are created for a campaign, then thrown away,” Jones said. “Yet, marketing is triggered by a cyclical cultural calendar (i.e. Christmas, Super Bowl, The Oscars, March Madness, the start of summer, The World Cup, Easter, Back-to-School, Halloween, Black Friday).

Jones said that brands can publish great digital marketing experiences anywhere (landing pages, websites, social networks, broadcast and streaming, onsite, in-store, digital, out of home, chatbots, mobile apps).

“Deliver your embeddable interactive experiences to whatever channels are relevant to your target audience,” Jones said. “Great digital marketing experiences are happening, but they’re being built and then they’re thrown away.”

Brands need to deliver interactive marketing experiences across every digital touch point, Jones noted.

“Display ads filling mobile screens, or buried below the fold on desktops, are no longer fit for purpose,” he explained. “New digital campaigns need to be customer-first and delivered on every channel, from websites, social media, ad-units, in-venue, mobile and messenger apps, to name a few.

For too long, marketers have remained shackled to boring traditional ad formats, scared to try new techniques because of shrinking budgets and scalability fears, Jones explained.

“But digital advertising isn’t working anymore,” he said. “The average click-through rate of a digital display ad is less than 0.1 percent. Less than one in a thousand people engage with a campaign. That’s a failure. Consumers are bored with video, images, and text ads they can’t interact with. It’s clear marketing experiences need to become innovative again and deliver content consumers actually want to engage with. Marketers need to be able to broadcast live-in-the-moment content in-stream to drive customer engagement once more.”

If marketers want to engender customer loyalty, then they need to get back to basics and focus on delivering content-rich interactive experiences.

“Encouraging engagement through surreptitious tactics might work in the short-term, but it’s not a long-term strategy for customer loyalty,” Jones said. “It merely throws up worthless metrics at the expense of their customers’ trust and brand’s reputation. It’ time to move away from the clickbait, intrusive ads, and pop-ups on mobile that make you click by mistake. Give consumers something worth interacting with, worth liking, and worth sharing. It’s a give-and-take relationship so give customers a nudge into being your biggest advocates by providing sweepstakes, meme generators, UGC contests, and much more.”

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