Tapping the Power of Engagement

Finding success by getting personal with your marketing approach

by Dana Kovach

When it comes to building and marketing a brand, there are some tried and true methods that many marketing professionals will tell you are the milestones that must be achieved for best success. Those touch points have rarely been more vital than in today’s ever-changing world of technological advancement, where news and information move at lightning speed with the mere click of a button, and can just as easily be dismissed with the swipe of a fingertip across a screen.

It all begins with listening to your audience, being responsive to their needs, and observing how they absorb information. Tapping into analytics and online research in order to take note of habits and trends helps marketing professionals understand the value they can bring to a product or service. It allows them to ascertain what is meaningful and relevant to the consumer. In doing so, we not only learn how we can best serve our customers, but we build trust within our communities.

Building an authentic relationship with our clients and their customers is an important part of the branding and marketing process because, once we have established a connection that is founded on shared values and beliefs, we can press ahead with the development of an impactful message that stirs the audience to action. That message, no matter how it is delivered, is the key to the power of engagement, allowing professionals to tell a story through words and pictures that resonate in that part of the heart and spirit that decides whether to place to faith in a brand.

While focused on today’s largest share of homebuyers, we noted Adweek.com reported 84 percent of Millennials do not trust traditional advertising. Instead, they prefer content that engages them on a personal level, particularly when advertisers adopt a storytelling approach and narrate the story in a manner and language that audiences understand best.

Storytelling has become the secret weapon behind successful campaigns. This is because, in an apples-to-apples comparison with everything being equal, consumers connect with brands that they believe in or can be a part of and make statements through. They support a brand that reaffirms their personal beliefs and connects with a personal memory or milestone. From the story comes a picture — a visual association — and one of the most important ways we connect with our desired audience.

Forbes Magazine notes, with 3.2 billion photos being shared daily on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, visual content is more likely to be shared and commented on. The visual image is at the heart of successful branding because it connects the audience on an emotional level, improves understanding, and drives engagement.

Savvy marketers use a strategic mix of creativity and artificial intelligence (AI) to generate and deliver stories that create lasting connections with customers. AI and cognitive tech enable marketers to gain valuable insight into customer sentiment and behavior, giving substance to tailor storylines that convey an authentic voice. With this deeper level of knowledge, successful marketing strategies can be tailored to an individual, rather than “one-size-fits-all,” message.

However, in marketing as in life, there is a tipping point in technology where you hope that everyone turns off the computer, disconnects from the web and takes a deep, restorative breath. This is the moment where the power of truth compels us to deliver on a promise of authenticity in our messaging.

And that’s precisely where the marketing professional should live. In that space that is tangible and real, thoughtful and organic. Where you provide an authentic voice in the din of competing opinions, a genuine picture in the mire of a million images and a trustworthy message in a world that is awash with directives.

It’s that kind of marketing — the “personal” kind of marketing — that speaks to current and future generations of consumers, both young and old, giving them a truth that they can trust and believe in for years to come. We should be inspired by our communities and clients and motivated by new thinking and conversations… because that is the fuel of the engagement.

Dana Kovach is a successful business owner and the inspiration behind Kovach Marketing. Her leadership has been instrumental in creating effective communication and corporate identity programs for an impressive roster of clients throughout the U.S. She may be reached at Dana@KovachMarketing.com

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