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True digital engagement

You’ve got the product, the people, and the technology – now you just need to unite all three to engage your customers.

True digital engagement

For companies embarking on the digital transformation of their business, the Holy Grail is engagement. But business strategists who misjudge what constitutes engagement in the digital age may find their investment comes to naught.

The managing director of digital marketing agency Mandoe, David Thorn, describes digital engagement as an “integrated experience” that starts with the right product, staff and approach to customer service.

“Engagement is about keeping a conversation going above and beyond just clicking on the web,” he says. “[It’s] not just searching for stuff, but sharing your experiences, getting feedback, looking for recommendations and affirmation, then telling others what you think.”

Thorn explains that consumers expect to be able to engage with a brand. Successful retailers with an online presence understand this.

“They will have a product catalogue that you can look at online, but it’s beyond that,” he says. “You can look at where a product is made, has it been ethically sourced, how to wear it, how to care for it, who else is wearing it.”

This video touches on the role of strategy in digital transformation. As Thorn explains, embracing digital transformation is not just about deploying technology. “It’s about looking at your business in total and asking how do I interact with my consumers, how do I interact with my staff, how do I interact with my suppliers, and how can I pull all that together in a transformed digital environment?”

Nor should digital transformation be seen simply as a cost, Thorn warns. “You’ve got to look at the cost of potentially not doing it: What’s the cost of failure, of not having a really coherent digital transformation strategy around your business?”

“You’ve got to look at the cost of potentially not doing it: What’s the cost of failure, of not having a really coherent digital transformation strategy around your business.”

– David Thorn, Managing Director, Mandoe

[Transcript]
David Thorn,  Managing Director, Mandoe

I think digital engagement is beyond an online experience. It’s not just searching for stuff, but sharing your experiences – getting feedback, looking for recommendations and affirmation, then telling others what you think. I think that’s true digital engagement.

Most retailers in Australia, certainly the major brands, will have an online presence. They will have a product catalogue that you can look at online, but it’s beyond that. You can look at where a product is made, has it been ethically sourced, how to wear it, how to care for it, who else is wearing it.

Experiential interaction with your brand is true digital engagement.

You’ve got to look at the cost of potentially not doing it: What’s the cost of failure, of not, you know, having a really coherent digital strategy, a digital transformation strategy around your business.

Providing openness and clarity for your customers and point-of-sale integration is huge: inventory, delivery, things like click-and-collect.

Offering the customer the capability to order something online doesn’t actually go a long way to customer service. Offering a customer a choice, multi-channels, you know, the capability to go into a store, try it on, have someone there who says, “well this is how you might want to accessorise it” – technology allows you to make that seamless.

So I think it’s about offering the choice, which is a service-based choice and that’s what I think true omni-channel marketing is.

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