PR and marketing has fallen into a trap. This trap is something we call the ‘spinning wheel of engagement’. PR and marketing teams have become very good at engaging their target audiences online and within social media. Like good little hamsters attracted by some food, the target audience are being drawn in and clicking their ‘follow’ and ‘like’ buttons. And then…nothing. The engagement wheel goes round and round but the hamsters never move forward. Or to be more accurate, if they do move forward to eventually buy something, the PR and marketing teams will not be aware that they have and it will not be because of an intentional journey that they devised.
The end result is that the quest for engagement has seen engagement become the goal. Companies have to wake up to the hugely wasted opportunity this represents. Engagement is not just worthwhile, it is essential for a customer-centric organisation. Engagement is, however, just the beginning.
Once engaged, businesses must consider what will happen to the audience next. More specifically, they must put in place an audience engagement strategy that will see the audience progress along a structured journey. Marketers must, as a matter of urgency, wake up to this requirement.