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  ENGAGEMENT MARKETING  
   
 
Go Deeper. Get Closer. Be Braver: Ideas For Helping Research Thrive In The Era of Engagement Marketing

The world is brand new and we are experiencing extraordinary change. We live in a constant flow of new technology, new thinking and new ideas which have changed the world of brands and communications, rapidly and dramatically.

At WOW-O-WOW - we recognise these rapid changes.

Whilst it's undeniable that strong and successful industries have been built - the truth is, by & large we are conservative by habit, over protective of our legacy models and are embracing the changes described above less rapidly or less enthusiastically than we should.

The over reliance on linear funnels as a way to describe a consumer journey is a typical example (we know the world is much messier, but we seem reluctant to find a new "shape").

Researching the most important of these key changes... can be both a spanner in its own chances of success and also its own worst enemy in responding to the new demands and challenges of the times.

Rapid innovation is the cure for the ills we face, but because innovation is difficult and susceptible to failure, we might need to rethink the way we approach innovation and how we drive it through our companies.

We will conclude with a few mantras, or a new code of innovation rules that will hopefully inspire all... from all walks of life to play their part in reasserting and making it thrive... and not just survive in the new age.

"IT'S NEW DAY, IT'S A NEW DAWN, IT'S A NEW LIFE AND I'M FEELING GOOD"

Digital has given rise to a whole new world of brand and communication engagement; campaigns are interactive and experiential. They invite continuous, participatory conversations between brands and their consumers.

Today's communication challenge is how to engage through bigger, bolder entertainment ideas and by getting more up close and personal.

The digital revolution has also given people a way to take control of their brand choices and so now the playing field is level.
  That's not to say brands still don't drive the relationship through the things they can control like email, couponing, packaging and their website, but consumers own some of this now with the ability to create their own things...

And there are plenty more avenues for sharing the relationship as brands put their messages out on various digital enablers, but people decide what to do with it once it's out there.

The result of this is that today's brand relationships are based on dialogue, rather than monologue, with brands being expected to be open and transparent and invite participation and active involvement. We live in a world of almost unlimited choice, and brands need to work for consumers' attention.

To make the most of this new balance, the more successful brands seek more intimate and engaging conversations with the people they wish to talk to by forging a deeper brand relationship, one that reflects the new understanding on how brands and communications work.

New thinking explain the very nature of human behaviour and our desire to live and communicate in herds or tribes; that the biggest impact on our behaviour is the behaviour of others.

This means that campaigns should create copy-able behaviours and promote sharing. There is a growing emphasis on campaigns to generate people-to-people sharing of brand content.

This is transmedia planning, wherein new ideas are not transmitted via old school big broadcast events alone, but rather seeded with people who then spread the ideas between each other until they become established.

Underpinning all of this are advancements in brain and social science that tell us that much of people's response to brands is unconscious, emotional and post-rational. And, of course, now clients have access to data of all kinds, most of it free, much of it in real time.

Taken as a whole, this new collective understanding of how the world of brands and communications really works gives us a clear set of new rules that directly affect the market research industry:

1. There is a new speed of doing business, where change is     not a point-in-time event, but a constant state of being.

2. There is a new way of conversing with people that is not     about a monologue, but a dialogue involving collaboration     and co-creation.
 
 
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