Engaging in the conversation, does not mean sending coupons or constantly encouraging consumers to purchase a product. It means opening a dialogue that is beneficially rewarding for BOTH parties: the consumer and the brand.
Frequently, brands expect that a weekly email blast with discounted products will engage consumers for the long term. Each week, marketers send countless emails offering "exclusive" deals that are only available that week. There are only so many products, clothes and computer products that we can purchase at one time. After a few months or even weeks, we eventually become numb to this strategy. Instead of reading the emails, we delete them.
Although constantly offering coupons may create quick sales, it does not develop a brand's value in the long term. Consumers WANT to feel engaged in a brand. They WANT to feel connected. They WANT to be associated with other consumers who share their same passion.
- Instead of having one advertising campaign, Apple has three unique campaigns that simultaneously market the brand. From the Apple v. PC commercials to the strong graphic visuals to the user-friendly product tutorials, Apple's variety allows its marketing to constantly reach consumers without being redundant.
Adding variety allows a company to connect with consumers without appearing redundant.
- Consumer satisfaction surveys (make sure to follow up)
- Tips-of-the week, month or season
- Behind-the-scene videos of the brand
- Monthly contests
- Informative emails about upcoming events (either industry wide or geographically located)
- Sharing exclusive media (photographs, videos or blog posts from industry insiders)
- Responding to social networking updates (Twitter posts, FaceBook/MySpace messages)