Internet Marketing – E is for Engage (M.A.R.K.E.T.)

December 30, 2009 at 1:07 PM 3 comments

Here is my second post in a series of articles on Internet Marketing. Each post focuses on a letter in the acronym M.A.R.K.E.T. which I “coined” to help people better understand some of the factors for success when considering an Internet marketing strategy for their business. In my last post M was for Merchandise and now E is for Engage.  I know that I am not doing them in order BUT the A is for Advertise is taking longer than I had hoped in an effort to make it easy to understand but still effective… hopefully A will be my next post.

Okay, so now on to “E is for Engage”. When I think of the word “engage” I tend to think of a marriage engagement. Which is the ultimate “marketing” job that some of us are ever going to do.

When I asked the lady who has been my wife for over 16 years (Tania) to marry me I was hell-bent determined to get a YES!  She had often referred to me as her “Batman”. She thought I looked like the actor Michael Keaton.  So, I decided to propose to her as “the Caped Crusader”. Here’s a story she wrote in her words from a February 1995 article in the Abbotsford Times ( ). In my words, it went like this… I rented a spandex Batman costume and cape … albeit one much too tight for my liking (I was a little heavier back then)… I climbed to her balcony; several stories up … managed to get her to open the sliding doors … and proposed to her right then and there (with an audience of onlookers and emergency vehicles below). And, after the shock wore off you can guess what she said.

Okay, so we’re not all hopeless romantics. Some of you are probably repulsed by the thought of going to such great lengths to “win someone over”. But, even though you’re not a hopeless romantic, many of your customers surely are. 

The engagement and subsequent courtship of that special someone in our lives continues until she finally says “I do” (or “I don’t”). Isn’t the act of engaging a customer similar in many respects? We want a relationship with them … we need them in our lives … why do we not act with the same fervor?

Some of the best salespeople I know (although they are few and far between) are “married” to their customers for life.  They sell to them again and again (not to mention their children, their neighbors and their friends). They’re able to do this because they show value to the relationship and like all great relationships each one is two-sided.  If you show value then they will show it back in the form of their continued business, referrals and most importantly … their friendship.  It all starts with ENGAGING them first!

I think you can now understand the first part of my perspective on “engaging” a customer. It’s about continuing to build the relationship and earn their trust.  It’s about creating a WOW experience for them and not introducing “WHOAs” into the picture.

For this reason we (ASL Internet) created the Real-e-Live People (ReLP) software for businesses to “plug-in” to their websites.  It helps to put the “human approach” back into Internet marketing and to start building those relationships one person at a time.

The second part is how to keep them engaged once you have their attention…  Some of the best methods for this that I have ever seen come from the “Dale Carnegie Course”. If you can’t take the Dale Carnegie course because of finances or time constraints then you should at least purchase Dale Carnegie’s two books “How to win friends and influence people” and “How to stop worrying and start living”.

The bottom line, however, is that you can’t replace the need for dealing with human beings with anything else, especially not with technology.  Technology doesn’t sell … people do.  Technology doesn’t build relationships… people do. You can use technology to help BUT whether you like it or not, it’s time to put the human back into the equation.  Make it human! Make it real!

The only way to keep people engaged is through a relationship.  It’s a relationship where we must listen more.  Treat others in the way we wish to be treated.

All too often we look at the symptoms of the problem and not the cause of the problem.  The problem is that people want to feel like they matter but too many people feel taken advantage of and worse yet they feel completely abused.  Many of your customers (and potential customers) feel this way. It’s up to you to make it different for them.

We need to learn how to shut up and listen for what people truly want.

According to Dale Carnegie the average person has a two minute attention span.  Have you ever wondered why they keep changing the camera angle on a television show… it’s to keep your attention.  If you keep talking and filling their time with trivial nonsense (in their minds) you’ve wasted your opportunity to build a lasting and meaningful relationship.

We all know someone we can point a finger at and say he or she just goes on and on and on and never gets to the point (maybe like me).

Perhaps this is why I like Twitter and other micro blogging sites. They force us to think in 140 characters or less (including spaces and punctuation).  Try sticking to that format in a conversation and see how amazing it can be.  Ask a lot of one sentence questions and listen for the answers.  Think before you speak, think before you write anything, and keep your words VERY short. Let them do most of the talking.

Engage your customers… make them feel important… become genuinely interested in them… don’t criticize, condemn or complain, be sincere… and they will say, “I Do”.  Do these things and you will reap the rewards of a satisfied customer and perhaps, if you are lucky enough, a friend for life.



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