Engagement Marketing

Engagement marketing – no, it’s not about how to propose to your partner and get that person to say “yes.”  It’s how companies get us to engage and form a relationship with the brand or product they are selling so that we can help them in creating their marketing strategy.

Wait, how do they get us to do that?  Here are a couple examples:

American Idol: The television show American Idol offers a prime example of engagement marketing on a number of different levels.  First, each season’s American Idol winner is awarded a recording contract by a major record label.  For the first eight seasons of the show, that label was Sony Music.  By partnering with American Idol, what Sony Music was effectively doing was having a set of musical performers evaluated by the American public, who – not coincidentally – are also a core group of Sony Music’s record buyers.  By learning what performers the American public favors, Sony Music was offered the opportunity to gauge the interest level of its customers in an artist before committing to that artist financially.

Further, the show’s production company, 19 Entertainment, is offered the opportunity to manage the careers of performers that appear on the show – lending the company the opportunity to, again, use the American public as a sounding board to vet the acts that it chooses to manage.  Coupled with the Coke glasses, a Ford Motor advertising tie-in, and apparel-makers like Old Navy clothing the performers, it becomes clear why some observers view the show as just one enormous, bloated infomercial.

Consumer Reviews: Another, more mundane example of engagement marketing is when companies invite their customers to provide feedback on their own corporate sites – or the sites of third-party retailers like Amazon.com – regarding the product or service purchased.  A visitor to the site is invited to compose and submit a review of the product and perhaps rate it from, for example, one to five stars.

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Hour-long commercial for Coca-Cola, pop-artists promoting their latest release and soon-to-be pop-artists promoting their potential fan power.

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