captured the interest of managers seeking to better understand and serve their

Captured the interest of managers seeking to better

This preview shows page 4 - 6 out of 24 pages.

captured the interest of managers seeking to better understand and serve their buyers using these technologies and tools. But what exactly is customer engagement seems to be in doubt with considerable variation in interpretations of the concept and several different definitions of customer engagement proposed by practitioners. As a consequence, customer engagement often gets equated with the measures that managers and consultants choose to use. We discuss a few of these definitions which follow. An early attempt to define customer engagement was made by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) in March 2006. ARF in conjunction with the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers undertook a “defining engagement initiative” according to which engagement is “Turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context” (Advertising Research Foundation, 2008). According to ARF, a broad definition was deliberately chosen to be inclusive rather than exclusive and provide a “framework that fostered sharing of perspectives and knowledge, rather than a single, definitive Customer engagement 255 Downloaded by Newcastle University At 15:09 15 March 2015 (PT)
Image of page 4
approach to measuring and applying the Engagement construct” (Advertising Research Foundation, 2008). But a consequence of this approach is that customer engagement can conceivably encompass a wide variety of situations ranging from awareness, interest, and desire to purchase, retention, and loyalty. A series of empirical studies conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit with managers in private and public sector enterprises worldwide (EIU, 2007a, b, c, d) leads them to define customer engagement as “an intimate long-term relationship with the customer” but also note that it is sometimes used to describe marketing, satisfaction, retention, and loyalty (EIU, 2007b). In terms of strategy, “engagement refers to the creation of experiences that allow companies to build deeper, more meaningful and sustainable interactions between the company and its customers or external stakeholders” and proposes that “It is not a fixed point that can be reached but a process that expands and evolves over time” (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2007b). This perspective not only extends the customer engagement concept to all experiences and external stakeholders, but also suggests that customer engagement is a process that evolves over the course of a relationship. On the basis of a survey of 200 business decision makers in companies across the world, Forrester Consulting (2008) defines customer engagement as “creating deep connections with customers that drive purchase decisions, interaction, and participation over time.” Their survey indicates that companies are investing more in online programs and believe the internet is essential for building customer engagement. Measures of customer engagement used by these companies include sales volume, customer satisfaction, and frequency of visits to a web site. Forrester
Image of page 5
Image of page 6

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture