The attention economy is based upon a marketplace where prospects and customers agree to receive services in exchange for their attention. The best example of this is a newspaper where content is offered in exchange for the attention of the consumer. Consumers are then offered buying opportunities through advertising. The newspaper makes some money from the sales of advertised goods and services, not the original content. The economy is driven by consumer purchases of advertised goods.
Success in the attention economy was based upon the relevancy and importance of the information provided. Relevancy and importance of the information determined the amount of time spent reading information, frequency of visits and ultimately the number of opportunities to sell. Evolution of the attention economy was a must. As more information becomes available across a growing number of competing sources, then a scarcity of attention occurs and the opportunity to sell diminishes. Insightful marketers evolve their planning and activity away from the attention economy towards the engagement economy.
The Engagement Economy is about building personalized, authentic relationships that are supported by every component of the business to meet customer wants and expectations. It offers prospects and customers the opportunity to engage in a communication or meaningful relationship with the company. Contrary to some recent articles, the engagement economy is not a new concept. However, to truly engage prospects, there must be multiple levels of interaction committed to providing a unique customer experience.
Engagement can be driven by offering a prospect the ability to comment on the product, pricing, product life cycle or even offer new product concepts. Engagement can take the form of a user community that shares information or can be a contest related to either the product or the values of the company. Tesla allowing people to reserve the new Model 3 for a $1000 is an example of the Engagement Economy. The car is not available and the wait time is well beyond that of what would be considered normal. But the ability to get in line for such an innovative new product is exciting for many people. How Tesla structures what follows will determine their understanding of the engagement economy and their success with such an audience.
- How often is Tesla communicating with those that reserved vehicles?
- What kind of information is shared?
- What’s being done to keep the expectations and excitement of this group high as they wait the many months for the product to become available?
Engagement is not something that is done once. Marketers that understand the need to develop longer term relationships and interactions will successfully exploit the opportunities presented in 2018.
Participation of prospects and customers in the activities of our marketing programs supports our ability to understand, appreciate, and sell to our target markets. It also makes our customer base stickier and thus more likely to remain members of our business ecosystem. Success in 2018 will depend upon how well we can apply the engagement economy concepts to corporate websites, marketing programs, and social media outlets such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others.
NEXT WEEK: Sales Channel Integration