consumer engagement marketing
Everyone is talking about the economy. For those of us in business we’ve seen how it has affected our bottom line. Some definitely more than others… We’ve fared very well, but we’ve had our moments. Adjusting, and quickly, can mean the difference in making it or breaking it. But, how to adjust? For our company it has been about strengthening our core competency as we simultaneously look for more inventive, if not more revenue generating ways, to do what we do.
I’ve mentioned the concept of transaction quite a bit in the past few months, and for a good reason. It’s one thing to let people know your brand is out there, but it’s another thing altogether to encourage them to buy the goods. As a communications agency we must be focused on spreading the good news about a brand, but I see our role evolving to include the actual “pushing” of product. I believe that our clients will increasingly care about how our work is truly impacting sales. And as an industry it will be increasingly important for us to show how we are enhancing the bottom line. One reason why I am in love with our work in the social space, and why our Consumer Engagement Marketing team continues to push the envelop for this initiative, is because when it is all said and done, generating more revenue for the client (and being able to prove it) will definitely impact our bottom line.
As a communications agency that does a whole lot of things that could be called marketing (and always has, even when it wasn’t popular), I started thinking about changing the way we positioned ourselves. Should we be a “marketing” agency? With the advent of WOM and the launch of our Consumer Engagement Marketing division and the various ways in which we help our clients build their brands, not only through awareness but also via business development strategies, it just seemed a natural evolution. Until I started really thinking about it… In the IMC process, the agency lineup generally includes advertising, pr, digital, cp and media buying. Not marketing, so much. To re-position your company as a marketing firm might just make it difficult to pitch yourself. Today, specializing might be the best thing to do. But specializing doesn’t mean you have to only do one thing, not really. If you are a communications agency you can add in business development when needed, or brand alliances, or even online viral marketing and content ideation. If you’re a media-buying agency you can come up with brand building platforms that reach well beyond what is considered your scope of work. Advertising agencies are definitely dipping down into digital in way they haven’t in the past. It’s all a big mix, which makes the case that a “marketing” agency could encompass all of these things and have a great place to live. But, I still think it just might be a case of all things to all people, but still a master of none…
Just a thought. We’re sticking with communications, albeit pr on steroids.
Our agency has moved into Consumer Engagement Marketing in the online space, and it's the coolest thing we've ever done. Why? Because it brings an immediate and reciprocal transaction to a space that often felt one-way. It's a natural place for a pr-based communications agency to go. We're surprised more agencies aren't embracing it, but that's ok, more opportunity for us!
Now, there are various levels of transaction (think ROI). Some can just mean participation and/or clicks. I'm actually interested in the type of transaction that equals dollars (we work with consumer products and their entire purpose is to sell!). So keep an eye on us, we're into this space and it looks promising. Imagine, taking branded pr to a new level, one where the agency is paid based on making sales, not just enhancing perception? It's definitely a crossover scenario, but it's one that I find particularly intriguing. And what makes it so strong of a package is how a good communications agency can put it all together in one place. Stay tuned, more to come!