Valentine’s Day: Why brands should be truly engaged with their audience

As the famous Beyonce song goes, “if you like it then you should have put a ring on it”. Director Rachel Cullis Dorsett discusses why brands should be truly engaged with their audience, just in time for Valentine’s Day

The term ‘engagement’ is a strong one. It evokes a sense of emotional commitment, usually reserved for matters of the heart.

However, more often than not these days it is more commonly used as a marketing buzzword – especially associated with digital campaigns.

Buzzword or not, in an age where customer satisfaction is king, I am of the opinion that the term is spot on for today’s business to business and consumer communications strategies and is a question that any business should be asking itself, in order to assess its success in the market.

What does the term engagement mean?

According to marketing specialist Ian Buckingham, to be engaged implies a state which goes beyond mere commitment.

True engagement is an act of free-will in response to seduction, attraction or charm and importantly cannot be driven, forced, coerced or aligned. True engagement with audiences, once we achieve it, has a longevity all of its own. The question is how do we achieve it?

How can I engage with my audience?

The modern era of digital communication has brought about a gargantuan opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers, in real and measurable ways.

The benefits of social media and digital marketing – as well as solid PR, marketing and media coverage – mean the opportunity to create customer ‘touch points’ are omnipresent in today’s online society.

But digital or traditional, the old school PR methods I cut my teeth on are still at the heart of any successful engagement campaign – crucially:

• Who are we talking to?
• What are the core values of the organisation?
• What are the needs of its customers, employees and stakeholders?
• What promises do we want to communicate?

Should I align digital and traditional?

The temptation to separate out digital, social and traditional PR communications with individual strategies is an all too common misnomer, which should be avoided.

Whether electronic or traditional – one voice and one strategy bring one result – engaged customers and loyal brand ambassadors, which ultimately brings about better bottom line performance.

Think of a brand you are engaged to and ask yourself why you put a ring on it?

If you are looking for one joined up communications strategy, which engages with your customers, get in touch. We’d love to help.

Rachel has over 20 years' B2B and B2C PR experience within the entertainment and food industries. Rachel devises effective communications and engagement strategies which deliver the right message to the right audiences, and she has significant experience in brand management, stakeholder relations, and crisis communications. Call Rachel on 0115 853 2110 or send her an email.