What’s the secret to success for today’s new business owners? Engagement.

When it comes to marketing, the old approach of general advertising and pitching to customers just won’t work. Customers want to be engaged with, shown that they matter and know that you’re listening. Brands are learning that they must shift from mass marketing and advertising to a new way of marketing – total engagement on a personal and long-lasting level.

It isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Not only will engaging with the public grow your business, it may give you more satisfaction as a business owner. A recent survey conducted by Economist Intelligence Unit has had some interesting results when it comes to engagement. The survey was conducted with 500 marketers, and covered a wide variety of topics, such as the future of marketing, organizational change, and technology advancement.

Engagement, regardless of your definition, is a key factor in how your business performs, and what kinds of revenues you see.

Most marketers have already begun to make the shift to digital marketing and engagement – Engagement Marketing. Businesses are taking the time to build relationships with their customers. They are paying attention to their customers’ needs and wants, their habits and also their complaints. Smart businesses use this data to build a solid foundation with their customer base, using engagement to generate brand loyalty.

One company that is doing this successfully is Amazon. They collect data on what their customers are buying, what they are browsing, what they’ve put on a wish list. And they send emails that cater to that data, letting the customer know when an item they like is on sale, or when an Author they’ve purchased books from before has a new novel out. Amazon offers discounts and incentives, and gives customers the opportunity to leave feedback. All of this has propelled Amazon into one of the most successful online companies ever.

Is engagement all about how your customer connects with your business, what they feel about you, loyalty and emotion? Or is it more action-driven, all about retention, what services they use, renewals and repeat purchases? Maybe it’s a mixture of both. Take the time to learn your customers, collect the information relevant to them, and put it to mutually beneficial use is now.

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