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Audience Engagement versus Shouting

If you want to get more awareness of your brand and your offering, stop shouting about your company and your product and start engaging by offering helpful, useful, and relevant information to the people in your target audience.

As humans living in the modern age, we are being shouted at during nearly all of our waking hours. I am equating shouting to interruption advertising. TV commercials, Internet ads, billboards, magazine ads, telemarketing calls, unsolicited email, et al. These methods of marketing or advertising interrupt whatever it is you are doing when the ad shows up. We have all become experts at filtering and tuning out these messages. Shouting or interruption marketing can work if you are able to shout the loudest. The loudest shouter must also spend the most money.

This is how Oracle became the powerhouse in ERP software, by shouting over and over again that they wereaudience engagement strategy the best. In the old days, when broadcast television was only one of a few advertising channels available, manufacturing companies like Maytag and GE shouted their messages over and over, year after year as they interrupted our enjoyment of a favorite TV show.

Maytag got us all to believe that it was the most reliable brand for washers and dryers by showing us the lonely and bored Maytag repairman. GE shouted their message, “GE brings good things to life.” Many of us who grew up in the ʼ60s, ʼ70s, and ʼ80s are still influenced by these types of interruptions, shouting messages that still live in our minds.

If your manufacturing firm has a huge marketing budget, shouting or interruption marketing might be a viable option. For the rest of us, we must get the attention of our target audience by offering value in a normal voice or even a whisper. To illustrate the difference, consider your daily battle with your email inbox. Picture a useful email you look forward to receiving each day, week, or month. You opted in because you liked the email. When you receive the email, you gladly click on it and peruse the offer or the helpful information. It is relevant, so you do not mind receiving that particular email. This is engagement marketing. Another example of engagement marketing would be a podcast that you listen to it regularly because you find it entertaining, useful or both. A webinar you registered to view and attend is another form of engagement. Any type of subscription is a reaction to engagement marketing.

The biggest difference between shouting and engagement is in the offer. Shouting talks about the company or its product. The vast majority of people on the receiving end of shouting or interruption marketing just do not care. In many cases, we form a negative perception of brands that use this type of marketing. Engagement marketing offers something of value to the people in the target audience. The value helps people in the target audience relieve a pain point or fan a passion. This value builds credibility and top-of-mind awareness. As humans, we are willing to engage with a brand, an advertisement, or a person who offers us a gift such as the value of relieving pain. We feel a strong urge to reciprocate, and in the case of business, reciprocity manifests in a purchase.

Here are a few examples:

  • Shouting is sending an email to your entire database (sometimes knows as batch and blast) about your company news or a product.
  • Engaging is sending an email to a list of people who chose to opt in that is about some useful information centered around a problem the people are likely to be facing.
  • Shouting is a full page ad in a trade journal featuring your company logo and a big picture of a product that nobody recognizes.
  • Engaging is an invitation to attend an educational webinar that is all about the people in the target audience.

MMG Challenge:
1. Assess your current marketing activity. Are you shouting and interrupting the people in your target audience with product ads? Are your emails relevant to your audience or are they about your company and your product?
2. Take a look at your last email or your home webpage. Count up all the first-person pronouns. If you count many words such as we, our, us, etc., you are probably shouting and not engaging.

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