Living in a digital ecosystem, where 80% of the population is on mobile, has given rise to a new market for apps. Almost 12 hours is spent on Facebook daily, inconsecutively of course, and 2.5 hours on different apps daily. This shift of attention from mass traditional media to smaller screens in the palm of your hands is dramatic, and account almost 40% of marketing budgets going to digital campaigns.
From billboards to mobile display banners, and from television to mobile video, branded online content, click-on ads on YouTube, and mobile apps are shifting customer attention and changing the advertising industry radically, as now brands are required to engage with customers on mobile every minute. But now, customers want this to be done every second!
Advertising is now dead, and content is growing strong. The time has come where brands must turn from the powerful copywriter David Ogilvy, and look instead toward the powerful scriptwriter Quentin Tarantino to create storytelling content. The brands’ attention must also shift from using traditional advertising to developing entertainment/content, as customers’ attention has shifted dramatically.
This is where what I call brand entergagement comes into play.
Entergagement = entertainment + engagement.
Entergagement (that’s the noun; entergage is the verb) is the name I give for this new integrated marketing mechanism or digital brand activation for marketers to reach an audience in the new era of mobile, in an uncalculated entertaining and engaging manner on one platform.
Brands must now entergage, rather than engage with customers through mobile vision (instead of television) by speaking with the customers, and not speaking to the customers as 3000 or so advertising messages do on a daily basis.
Entergagement consists of the following below brand activation or marketing tools, which must run simultaneously with user engagement features such as real-time chatting, call-to-action, voting, collecting, redeeming, following, liking, sharing and other engaging elements, all in one platform. The entertainment tools necessary for brand entergagement are as follows:
- Branded content
- Product placement
- Program sponsorship
- Script development
Content is king when it comes to entertainment to connect with customers’ minds and win their hearts. Ask Hollywood! They will tell you how content has helped create movie franchises and loyal fans globally, as Hollywood films reach more than 300 million viewers across their distribution channel globally. Movies have become a huge brand licensing industry. So what can we learn from Hollywood? Product placement has become an original marketing tool to nurture brands and connect with customers as well as branded content where stories in various genres such as drama or comedy has been found favorable for global brands such as Starbucks in The Devil Wears Prada, Sony in the James Bond movies, or Mini Coopers in The Italian Job. Who can forget that branded fueled content? Emirates has been sponsoring major football leagues on a global scale, connecting with a wider audience and athletes.
Now, that you have your relevant entertainment strategy planned, marketers must start thinking of ways to not just entertain the customer, but also engage with them simultaneously, increasing feedbacks, customer retention, and conversion rates from mobile to sales. Brands must now start speaking with customers by engaging with them the same way they already engage on mobile through various known features- for instance, one of the most popular app features is the act of collecting coins. Users love to collect and redeem vouchers or special discount coupons. If brands can entertain users through original content and not advertising, as well as interacting by chatting or sharing some mobile app elements, then brands can quickly climb the advertising ladder from brand awareness, brand liking, brand preference, brand conviction to brand purchase, all at the same time. Now that is what I call creative-efficiency and cost-efficiency!
Marketers must now develop platforms rather than creative briefs. The way for marketers to entergage is on mobile apps or website by partnering with entergagement platforms such as Entergage by Mazri Pictures, the world’s first entergaging platform, where brands, users and celebrities come together. A less sophisticated and easier way for marketers can adopt the brand entergagement in their strategy is by creating storytelling content with engagement features to connect with an audience hosted on your website, powered by user engagement features to keep your customers intrigued and interacting with your brand.
Marketers must comprehend the user behavior, user trends, app market, and why users use what they use on mobile, in order for brands to reach the users efficiently without disrupting their customer experience, but rather entertaining them and enhancing their journey. If you don’t, they will simply skip your ads! Also, with the rise of ad blocking, users have become much more sophisticated with technology, more than digital agencies. We don’t have to outsmart them; we must join them by speaking their language through not advertising, but entergagement.