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Creating Customer Engagement: Marketing Strategies


The need to establish closer relations with clients has forced many companies to adopt new marketing strategies. Many of these organisations lay stress on the importance of customer engagement which is often critical for the sustainability of many firms. Some business consultants such as Richard Sedley define this concept as “repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand” (Sedley as cited in Chaffey 2009, p. 340). To a great extent, this definition can be accepted because it is helpful for describing the activities of many companies that strive to win the loyalty of clients.

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They want to make sure that customers perceive a product a part of their value system. Overall, this strategy can be successfully implemented provided that organisations rely on direct marketing which means that the commercials of a business should be addressed to a separate individual who may have specific values, and attitudes (Bird 2007, p. 17). Furthermore, much attention should be paid to the use of social media because these tools enable clients and businesses to communicate with one another. Additionally, they help customers provide their responses to businesses. More importantly, these technologies are critical for making customers more engaged. These are the main questions that should be discussed more closely.

The key elements of customer engagement

It is possible to say that the term customer engagement may have several interpretations. For instance, this notion can be defined as the degree to which a client is committed to a particular brand. This notion is often applied to evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing strategies adopted by the business (Rutledge 2008). Nevertheless, one should mention that Richard Sedley’s views on customer engagement are particularly relevant if one speaks about the activities of marketing professionals who strive to make sure that clients use the services or products of a company for a long time.

The activities of these people are driven by the premise that clients want to see that they are valued by businesses (Fliess, Nadzeika, & Nesper 2012). This psychological state can be critical for strengthening the commitment of clients who tend to buy the products of a company for many years. This is one of the reasons why many businesses send personalized messages to clients in order to inform them about new offerings.

Moreover, they can congratulate customers on various holidays such as birthdays, if they are allowed to get access to these personal data (Fliess, Nadzeika, & Nesper 2012). These messages are sent on a regular basis because this communication strategy can increase the commitment of clients. The main rationale for such activities is to demonstrate that the company does not forget about buyers. This is one of the objectives that business administrators want to attain.

Furthermore, the marketing messages of various companies may emphasise such emotions as a sense of confidence or excitement. This approach is particularly important when it is necessary to describe the qualities of a product. Provided that a client associates the brand with these experiences, he/she is more likely to remain loyal to the company. The marketing messages of various businesses are supposed to highlight these attributes of a product.

They do not always prompt customers to purchase products. More likely, they are at showing that the company can bring certain experiences to a client. Thus, one can argue that Richard Sedley’s definition can accurately capture the main elements of customer engagement. It can be applied by marketing professionals and business administrators. One can also argue that customer engagement has been vital for many businesses, even leading corporations such as Apple, Dell, Ford, and many others.

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The senior executives of these organisations try to show that their brands can be viewed as the parts of many people’s identity. For instance, it is possible to mention such as company as Apple that facilitates the existence of online customer communities. These are some of the main points that can be made. These examples are important for showing that businesses want to maintain continuous contact with potential buyers who can be regarded as important stakeholders influencing the performance of any company. Thus, Richard Sedley’s definition reflects the relations between businesses and clients.

The role of direct marketing and social media

The process of customer engagement is based on the premise that businesses should not focus only on the purchasing decisions of a client, even though these decisions are critical for the financial performance of a company (Vivek, Beatty, & Morgan 2012). They should also focus on the attitudes and beliefs of clients (Dutot, 2013). One can argue that these goals can be successfully achieved provided that they make use of direct marketing. In particular, they can make use of various tools such as emails, display advertisements, push notifications, or text messages that can provide information about new products or services.

Furthermore, they can notify clients about possible accessories to existing products. Overall, direct marketing is premised on the principle that a certain message should be addressed straight to a potential client. Conventional television or radio commercials cannot always achieve this goal. Moreover, they cannot always be targeted to potential clients. In contrast direct marketing is specifically designed for people who may be interested in using certain products or services. This is one of the advantages that should not be overlooked because it increases the probability of later purchase.

It should be noted that the development of Web 2.0 has provided enterprises with many opportunities for customer engagement and direct marketing. The main advantage of these technologies that they enable users to create content and share ideas with one another. In turn, businesses can derive significant benefits by using such websites as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or MySpace because these tools facilitate their direct communication with clients (Sashi 2012).

The main advantage of these tools is that they enable clients to express their opinions about products or services. In this way, they can provide responses to businesses that may use this information to modify existing products or introduce new ones (Sashi 2012; Rust & Huang 2014). This interaction between buyers and businesses is critical for customer engagement since clients need to know that they can communicate with businesses and shape their strategies. The psychological need is not disregarded by the management of leading companies. As a rule, clients want to see that their opinions are taken into account by manufacturers.

This is why these organisations try to operate in the online environment. For example, a user can easily find the Facebook pages of such companies as Apple or Microsoft. These businesses want to interact with customers, even though this communication does not immediately lead to purchase. In their opinion, this commitment can be critical to the later financial performance of these firms. Apart from that, user-generated content enables these companies to understand the buying preferences or expectations of potential clients (Rutledge 2008, p. 92). Thus, they can create more personalised marketing messages.

Additionally, social media are important for involving clients in the co-creation. In particular, these people are able to make recommendations about the design of new products (Oxley 2013, p. 47). As a rule, these people use various social networking websites in order to share ideas with one another (Blazey 2009). Many businesses do no dismiss these activities of users.

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As a result, many clients feel more empowered because they can influence the decisions of the management. They people can even believe that they exercise some control over the production. These experiences increase the engagement of clients ((Oxley 2013). Thus, one can say that the use of social media can be vital for the success of marketing activities. This issue should be taken into account by people who need to promote various products or services.

Overall, customer engagement can be viewed as a new trend in the marketing activities of various companies that want to benefit from new technologies. Moreover, they strive to meet new expectations of clients who want to communicate with the providers of goods and services. These are some of the main trends that can be distinguished because they will eventually shape the marketing strategies of many businesses that want to collaborate with customers.


On the whole, these examples indicate customer engagement has become one of the main priorities for many businesses that try to interact with clients on a regular basis. The definition provided by Richard Sedley is useful for understanding the way in which marketing professionals try to establish relations with clients. Business administrators lay stress on the need to understand the values and experiences of clients because this approach is important for increasing their engagement.

This strategy has proved beneficial in various cases because many clients regard products as a part of their identity. In order to achieve this goal, companies rely on different techniques which involve direct marketing. In particular, they use various social media that can enable users to generate content or provide their feedback to companies. This cooperation makes customers more committed to a brand. These are the main aspects that can be distinguished.


Bird, D 2007, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, Kogan Page Publishers, New York.

Blazey, M 2009, Insights to Performance Excellence, 2009-2010: An Inside Look at the 2009-2010 Baldrige Award Criteria, ASQ Quality Press, New York.

Chaffey, D 2009, Internet Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice, Pearson Education, New York.

Dutot, V 2013, ‘A New Strategy for Customer Engagement: How Do French Firms Use Social CRM?’, International Business Research, vol. 6, no. 9, pp. 54-67.

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Fliess, S, Nadzeika, A & Nesper, J. 2012, ‘Understanding Patterns of Customer Engagement – How Companies Can Gain a Surplus from a Social Phenomenon’, Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 81-92.

Oxley, A 2013, Security Risks in Social Media Technologies: Safe Practices in Public Service Applications, Elsevier, New York.

Rust R & Huang, M 2014, Handbook of Service Marketing Research, Edward Elgar Publishing, New York.

Rutledge, P 2008, The Truth about Profiting from Social Networking, FT Press, New York.

Sashi, C 2012, “Customer engagement, buyer-seller relationships, and social media”, Management Decision, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 253-272.

Vivek, S, Beatty, S & Morgan, R.M. 2012, “Customer engagement: exploring customer relationships beyond purchase”, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 127-145.

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