Cultivating user engagement

Courtesy of Seth Godin

Courtesy of Seth Godin

On one of his recent posts, Seth Godin presented an interesting perspective about the balance between delivering a little to a lot of customers vs. delivering a lot to just a few of them. He pointed out at the end of his blog that the solve for delivering good customer service is to set the right expectations with your customers. How true that is: don’t market what you can’t deliver, surprise your customers by delivering something unique, thoughtful and beyond-expectations. (Sounds familiar? Take a look at my previous blog post on 24/7 customer service.)    

Mass Marketing (serving a lot of people with a big promise) is no longer a sexy concept these days, but it was a popular one fifteen, twenty years ago, when marketing was about eye-balls, impressions and reach. Don’t get me wrong, those are still very important metrics today, but the advent of social media has changed the marketing landscape. 

Consumers are getting smarter, and to win them, you need to cultivate niche, engagement, user ratings, retweets and everything user-generated. Cultivation is the key – you’re cultivating customers, not luring, enticing or wowing them. User reviews and interactivity hold the key to any successful brand, product and service, and companies need to work extra hard today on generating good will, good reviews, ratings and referrals, which can then lead to more business orders. 

Customers’ expectations have also morphed, consumers are still looking for value, but they’re also looking for novelty, exclusivity, trust and emotional connection with the brand. For many brands, the stakes are getting higher in successfully delivering those values and staying ahead of their competition. More brands will be created, but more will also fall away.
courtesy of N Social Media on Flickr
Remember the phone queue I was on with the utility company mentioned in my last blog post, well, I did eventually get through after about 55 minutes but the customer representative somehow managed to drop our phone connection when she had to look up my account. I thought, “Oh great, now I can start all over again.” But no, I decided not to call back – I wrote a letter to their corporate headquarters office and mailed it out the next morning. They’ve lost my trust and earned my lowest possible user rating.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Totally agree. I have been developing over the last 5 years and emotional engagement methodology that uses emotional drivers to help define messaging, proposition and creative development for both internal and external communication programmes. Its success proves that gaining strong emotional engagement is the route to both sales and advocacy amongst consumers. And one last thing, it is so important to work with clients to convince them that less is more. A good quality relationship with a relatively small group of consumers, provided it is strong, will blossom into a wide relationship with their friends and pier group. Its about harnessing the power of strong relationships to do your recommendation and selling for you, not trying to communicate with everybody all the time.


    • Posted by tweetiesblog on September 4, 2009 at 9:33 am

      And I totally agree with you, too. Yesterday I was reviewing an abstract graphical presentation for a client’s marketing piece, and we talked about the usage of emotions and the power of an abstract presentation in the eyes of our customers and viewers. The toughest part is aligning engagement and emotional presentation across media – and we’re working hard to achieve that.


  2. […] the more likely others will begin to engage with you (if they find your brand interesting and engagement-worthy). Be proactive and progressive in having dialogues with your customers on how you can add value […]


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