Saturday, May 5, 2007

From Taditional AIDA to Engagement Marketing




The communication mix and the touch points for the same are identified according to the objectives that marketers aim to achieve at a particular stage in the buyer's purchasing process. Traditionally, the model that has been followed is the AIDA model that stands for four stages in which the consumer might be with respect to the product : Attention, Interest, Desire or Action.

This model suggests that firstly it is important for the marketer to grab the consumer's attention towards the product, secondly generate interst in it, thirdly induce desire in the consumer for the product and finally make him act and purchase the product.

The word that is taking rounds in the marketing world today is that this model has become obsolete. Experts contend that this model treats the consumers or the shoppers as subjects and directs marketers, the subjects, to target the objects through their communication mix and strategies.

The concept that is being endorsed as a replacement to the AIDA model is called Engagement Marketing. The mantra is to engage the consumer or the shopper with the product and the brand rather than directing communication or strategies to him/her. For the increasingly evolved consumers of today, it is essential to make them a part of the product and brand experience, to make them touch and feel the offering at every stage.

Theoretically, there are said to be four types of engagement: Media Engagement, Ad Engagement, Engagement Marketing and Brand Engagement.

Media engagement provides a context that can facilitate this engagement. The relative preference of one media over the other sets a platform, and engages a consumer to a particular set of media. The next step is to connect with the Advertisements, known as Ad Engagement, where the consumer relates to the ad and receives a personalized meaning out of it. Once the connect has been established, a stimulus must be provided to the ad to give it personal relevance. This is done through Engagement Marketing, which reactivates the associations and symbols at a time when the consumer is ready to move from the emotional, subconscious form of engagement to an active form.The last step, Brand Engagement, ensures sustainability and loyalty towards the advertised Brand. This happens when the messages and experiences blend into a combination culminating into a strong association with the brand per se, and not only the communication.


A practical example of Engagement Marketing can be stated as the Shopper Engagement Programmes (SEPs) that many marketing firms organise. A Promoter Girl at a leading hypermarket requests you to spare a few minutes. Then she makes you play a small game about Colgate Maxfresh that involves answering a few multiple-choice questions on whether you like bungy jumping, scooba diving or rafting and the sorts. After the game you are told that you fall in the category of "Lime Fresh" people based on your answers. After this game you are given a free sample of the toothpaste.

In the above example, the shopper is made to engage with the the brand (freshness and adventure) through a game and then made to "Try" the product through a "Trial Sample". This is nothing but an example of Engagement Marketing.

Next time you read Koetler, appreciate the concepts. But at the same time, question them and try to see if there is anything better at hand!

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