GUEST EDITORIAL: Life After Engagement

From the fertile mind of Erik Hauser, CD and founder of Swivel Media and the IXMA:

The word engagement is one that experiential marketers have relied on since around the time the earth was cooling. It is definitely the latest and the greatest buzzword for the industry as a whole. “We engage our audiences,” is the trumpet call from executive suites. Of course, it helps to be part of one of your= own programs to see if this is really true.


Guess what – time to look past engagement.

Congratulations! You have created a breathtaking experience that has engaged your audience. While there are massive amounts of people hanging around a funny feeling begins to trickle over the audience. Whispers become audible and then those whispers become full volume conversations. What is so darn interesting? I am so glad that you asked.

It takes more than an initial engagement to properly do the job. There is one more word that begins with an E that needs to take place. Follow me on this one, cause it’s crucial. You need to Execute! Execute! Execute! There, I think that saying it three times drills home the point. The whispers that you heard were people initially engaged by your tactics, but they were waiting for something to happen. Eventually, if there is no pay-off then you have accomplished absolutely the exact opposite of what you were trying to do. What’s that you ask? You were trying to create a positive, memorable, meaningful and relevant brand experience.

Engagement without execution is like being forced to watch every bad movie that you’ve ever seen. You keep waiting and waiting. Surely they didn’t dump 200 MM dollars into a Kevin Costner film to not have a great conclusion – or did they? They certainly did! People have been so hyper-focused on getting people’s attention that they forgot that they had to actually do something with it. Seems like a no brainer, but watch how many people walk away from some of these giant entertainment based promotions scratching their head saying things like, “Umm.. what was that about? I’ll never get that 10 minutes of my life back.”


So, if we do the math it looks like this : engagement + execution = marketing bliss

Do the math – deliver on your brand promise at every touch point and once you’ve engaged them, provide an experience that is meaningful and relevant to their lives and one on which they can act, and they will be yours for life.

One comment

  1. Huh. Interesting.

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