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The Case for On-Domain Engagement
Dave Evans / ClickZ / August 28, 2013
As a universal motivator and measure of success, an increase in sales with all other things remaining equal is hard to beat. And if there is a basic model that describes the fundamental challenge facing marketers in building sales, it’s the purchase funnel. From awareness to consideration to purchase, nearly any customer journey can be mapped onto this classic model.
Start with awareness – the “entry” to the purchase funnel – and the methods for driving awareness. Advertising is certainly key, as are visibility (think “location, location, location”), availability (actually open when the shopping urge strikes), and affordability (being perceived as “in the realistic set of options” just at the transition where awareness gives way to consideration). Of these, advertising is the clear focus of most marketers, with much about the other factors referenced being the domain of product management or operations.
Advertising in a social context is straightforward: fish where the fish are. As social networks have increasingly: a) built larger or otherwise important membership bases while simultaneously, b) moving toward a “traditional” advertising model as the basis for revenue (selling interruptive content at prices determined largely by viewer attributes), the use of social networks as important reach and acquisition channels has become obvious. A clear best practice, the use of social networks to gain mindshare (or perhaps more soberly, eye-share), is now a standard component of cross-channel campaign management.
But step back and consider that last point: if social networks are shifting toward advertising, where does that leave engagement? According to Adweek, only about 2 percent of fans who visit a Facebook business page ever return. Even more to the point, Ad Age notes that of those fans who “like” a brand’s business page, only 0.5 percent ever actually mention that brand in one of their own Facebook posts! Ask yourself: “If I like your Facebook page, but fail to tell my friends about why I like your product or service, how have I helped you?” The answer is in exactly the same way as when I walk into your physical store, look around, and think “Hmm, nice” and then fail to post a photo or fail to tweet about why I liked what I experienced. Simply put, in the social sense I have not helped you.