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We talk about digital engagement constantly within the work we do each day. Most of the projects we manage for our clients are to help increase engagement and develop better relationships with customers or supporters. But when does engagement begin? Or to put it a different way when does an organisation propose?

Copper Digital EngagementYou might have a load of names on your email list, thousands of ‘likes’ on Facebook or hundreds of customers buying from your online store but it’s unlikely that they’re all engaged. Maybe some of them just wanted something from you, were after a short term relationship, or perhaps even just a one-night stand?

The fact that we have a customer’s details doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re engaged, because we all know that an engagement requires some degree of commitment from both sides. They ideally need to know a little more than just our company name and what we sell and we also need to know something more about them than their email address. But more than this it requires a level of respect from both sides, are you letting your customers tell you how they would like to be communicated with?

Defining engagement is the start of this process and where things get a little more complicated because we don’t believe there is one definition of engagement. Engagement is something that you need to define based on your own objectives, products and customers. What does an engaged customer look like, is it one who frequently purchases, regularly comments on your facebook page, opens and reads all your emails? We think that to be engaged you also need to get something back from the customer that improves your business, a sale, some feedback, ideas, a donation.

As well as each organisation having a different definition of engagement so will each individual. Their understanding of engagement is going to be based on what they want, their past relationships, future expectations, whether they’re after a long term commitment. Understanding this for each client is what helps us recommend and implement the most suitable strategy.

Historically engagement was a formal contract considered as binding as marriage. Do you enter into an engagement with this in mind? Are you as committed to your customers as they are to you? Perhaps you should think about setting a date then?

Written by Jason Suttie(@i_am_jas)

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