Brand strategy is a valuable and necessary component of any business. The problem with conventional strategies is that they stop short of an essential modern component: customer engagement. Customer Engagement Optimization bridges the gap between your brand’s personality and the continuously evolving technology required for a brand voice that is relevant and true to its value.
The marketing landscape has changed dramatically as technology has grabbed a central role. Where not too long ago the options were straightforward, the multitude of players in the game now is mind-numbing. The result is that even with the most well-developed and authentic brand personality, if you don’t have the proper technology behind it, you won’t be able to accurately express your brand voice and value to the audience in an authentic way. In other words, you might be in the right room, but not have seat at the table. You’re effectively standing to the side, shouting into the corner. When that happens, the best-case scenario is no one hears you and your money is wasted. Worst case, they do hear you and have a negative reaction.
What Does Customer Engagement Optimization Mean?
Customer engagement optimization happens when your brand, your voice, and your values are aligned. You can imagine an exaggerated analog example of non-optimization as someone using a bullhorn at a quilting bee. The speaker might dress the part. The actual message could be spot on. But the voice of that message is completely off, so the rest of it doesn’t matter. Through customer engagement optimization, the entire experience is consistent, building and lifting the overall presence and feeling to a higher level that feels organic even though each step was carefully structured.
Business, like every human action, is based on our relationships. These relationships guide our actions and decisions, sometimes subconsciously, more often overtly. For example, friends are loyal because of what you stand for. Personality drives what you stand for. Customers are loyal because of what you stand for. Brand drives what you stand for. Personality is not a piece of your being. Personality is your being. Likewise, a brand is not a piece of your business. The brand is your business. If your brand doesn’t get the voice just right to engage with the customer through every touch point, or the touch points don’t mirror what your brand stands for, the brand personality ceases to exist in the customer’s mind. Because your brand is your business, it will ultimately follow the same route.
Three Steps to Initiate Customer Engagement Optimization
When viewed as a whole, the scope of the issue and speed of change can be overwhelming. It can seem difficult to find a foothold to start your journey. Just like any journey, it starts with one step, then another to overcome the inertia and change your perspective.
1. The first step, of course, is to establish a powerful brand, passing through each step of the Five Gates of Branding.
2. Next is to revisit your audience to get a better understanding of who and where they are, what data you’re currently collecting, and what data you’re missing.
3. Finally, examine the data and your delivery models to identify what is working and where you have gaps (opportunities) to improve. Throughout these steps, communicating with actual customers and experts that have bridged these gaps will prove invaluable and time well spent.