Engaging Customers
through Content

Author: Dhrub Bandhopadhya

Designation:

Head, Digital Marketing & Transformation Practices

A very common question asked to any marketing professional and the answer to it is in three forms – yes, no, maybe. There is an absolute ambiguity in perceiving the certainty of engagement with a content. The million-dollar question – where is the problem? is it with the content quality, content representation, or it is about not selecting the right channel or it’s something else, yet to be determined. Most of us are clueless and so are most of the marketing managers going bald, pulling their hairs off, thinking what went wrong in the last campaign, looking at their post-campaign results. However, the question still remains! What’s Missing?

The Smart Age

We live in a Smart Age! Always connected to everyone – family, friends, colleagues, associates and the list goes on. We use various channels to communicate and each of these channels has their own devices and platforms to create the larger ecosystem of people – The Smart People.

Speaking of ‘The Smart People’ – we refer to the digital age users of smart devices, Omni-connected to various channels at the same time engaging and contributing heavily with relative content. Gradually, this community of smart people continue to increase and thanks to the social networks, community and crowdsourcing apps, they are the virtual jury to the court of the success of brands of tomorrow. Content in form of sharing images, videos, audios, text-based comments, feedbacks, likes and supports and a wide range of user-generated content today has given rise to a transcending philosophy of Social Listening. This has left behind the entire race of concepts like polling and surveys as primitive tools to understand the sentiments of the community of users as customers or consumers. Today the prime source of sentiment analysis becomes social and community platforms, where people will share their concerns, appreciations, happiness, grievances, and all kinds of emotions that express their sentiments for anything. It can be a product or a service or just a subject of discussion.

The Impact of the Value

Brands are meant to connect to the consumers and customers generating the value it proposes for the commodity it stands for. It’s more a psychological impact on people that generates a feeling of trust, comfort, coolness that draws the mass to a brand. Content plays a vital role here in doing that job for the brand. We are speaking of communication to the right people, in the right time with the right content, that can make the desired impact of that brand. Given we are in the smart age, brand communication needs to evolve and to be able to communicate to the right people in the right time using the right content, the theory of JIT – Just in Time – A production management theory devised in the early 70s in Japan. The theory eliminated the need for each stage in the production process to hold buffer stocks, which resulted in huge savings for a manufacturing company. It involves the workforce much more directly in controlling their own inventory needs, and it allows a variety of models to be produced on the same assembly line simultaneously. If we look at this theory from a content management perspective, we are talking about generating intelligent content that is produced in a time when the audience is ready for its consumption. Easier said than done, we speak of an intelligence platform, that draws its intelligence from social listening from social and community platforms and drives the content production to deploy on the channels where people are available for ready consumption. While it may sound like a fable, it is very much possible if implemented tactically under an evolution cycle.

Content is like the energy it transforms, purposed to create perceptions meant to communicate information to someone specific, for a special cause. It can be a part of a story or the entire story in itself or is the beginning of a new one. For a customer, it is a journey they go through and for a content marketer, it is his job to manage that journey in the best way possible for a better conversion. A Conversion that is meant either to connect, engage or retain the customer.

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