Is it easy to engage the angry? Of course it is. Toss a match. Is it easy to engage Zen-ed out lovers of life? Sure, toss a petal or feather.
Talking sports with a sports guy, Pearl Jam with a Ten Club member, Common Core with a teacher – these are topics about which people can easily engage; even people who don’t know one another. When it comes to selling, however, engagement is not so easy. That’s why the word “engagement” is such a popular topic in marketing. Fred C. Poppe, often wrote about engagement in the 70s and 80 and it did him well, but today engagement is almost a cult-like pursuit.
People are not always consumers. Sometimes, they are just people. When you treat people as consumers you treat them differently. And they can smell you a mile away. Pop marketing suggests we need to give people things of value with our marketing and communication to earn their interest. True this. But everyone’s definition of value may change by time of day, stage of life, and as Robert Scoble will talk about in his upcoming book situational context.
The best marketing is based on a full-duplex model. A two way model. One way marketing is over. The days of things sticking to the wall are over. Today we are talking to people. People who are twitching away from our messages with increasing speed. Planners who search for people value – think Maslow – are the best searchers. Peace.