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Measuring brand engagement and emotional connection

For every brand there are some customers whom they engaged with. For a brand to thrive it is necessary to have customers with high emotional engagement, and converting them to brand promoters.

So, who are these brand promoters? Brand promoters are loyal customers who spend 81% more than normal customers, 70% of who, spend twice as much for the particular brand.

With rigorous experimentation marketing world came out with some insights in measuring emotional connection of customers with the brand.

Among them the most interesting aspect of engagement and emotional connection is Amanda Slavin’s 7 levels of engagement.


Amanda Slavin 7 level of Engagement Funnel Chart.

The goal is to identify people at each level and, take an action to move them down level by level.

In align with that we should have goals and metrics to analyze measuring progress.

Let’s have a look at each level.

1)Disengagement

In this type of engagement your audience is consuming your content passively, avoiding the task you had setup. But you can’t ignore those in this section of the funnel.

a)Measuring tools:
Clicks and Cost per lead on ad campaigns, Email (Open rate+ Click through Rate) and of course customer feedback.

b) Solution:
If you have a market target, first test those market, Test messaging, Test Graphic design, iterate and re iterate until you convert. As per HubSpot report 25% email are left unread. So, tailor each email in such a way that it resonates with your audience.

2) Unsystematic Engagement

Here audience is confused by your message and so, it doesn’t impact them in a positive way and they avoid engagement. Jargon is a main issue here, using complex words or terms often will not work with some of your customers.

a) Measuring tools:
Result of A/B tests on your website or social ad campaigns, you can look out for bounce rates also. Bounce rates can be calculated from analytic tools, surveys held inside a focus group etc

b) Solution:
Find out what they are confused about whether it is terminology or language. Find out what language and message resonates with them. This result can be leveraged from SEO(Search Engine Optimization) results.

3) Frustrated engagement

Here audience have a frustrating brand experience. For example in case of a web app if it takes too long to load it induces a bad user experience. According to Marketing Profs 3 secs to load loses nearly half of your visitors. So, the ideal page load time is <= 1.5 sec.

a) Measuring tools:
Page Load Time, Click through Rate (CTR) on pop ups and ads.

b) Solution:
Offer relevant and valuable content to the customers through pop ups. Make them appear when it makes sense for the users. Use language that is specific, actionable and human. Exclude pop ups forms on the mobile/desktop that doesn’t take up the entire screen.

4) Structure Dependent Engagement

The audience is taking structured, instructional action but aren’t engaging with your brand organically.

Here, Let me take you through some examples;

>Comment on this post if you want a free ticket, give aways.

>Tag your friend if you are interested in attending this program.

>Share your email if you want to download this article/podcast.

Whether it happens organically or by asking make KPI(Key Performance Indicators) specific to the campaign and call to action specific for KPI.

a) Measuring tools:
Number of shares and comments on social media platforms, email and blogs.

b) Solution:
Here Email Marketing plays a vital role to move audience level up. We split the customers into groups based on their interactions and experiences. There’s something called First touch point. First touch point itself makes them to give us their mail id, it’s up to us what actions are to be taken now about them. Now we ask them their interests, passion, what inspires them etc.

Two ways to look at the email

1)As proposed, separate your audience based on different criteria, for example location, and ensure you are providing the right message to them.

2) Be sure you are finding right information from them so that you can speak like a human to them.

5) Self-Regulated Interest

In this level of engagement, your audience are showing interest in your brand because of self-interest, as the brand was promoted by their favorite celebrities/influencers to drive awareness and engagement. When you promote your brand using celebrities/influencers to drive awareness and engagement, It gives them a personal excitement. You have to keep in mind that audience may be emotionally connected to the campaign and not necessarily to the brand.

Factors that increase brand value.

a) Measuring tools:
Retention (Signups, subscribers, followers or buyers) that too 30 days after campaign. Also check the drop off of customers from the campaign.

b) Solutions:
Make partnership with those celebrities/influencers who can actually take your brand to a broader audience by checking out their social media engagement and impressions. My favorite is StoryHeap where you can measure Instagram and Snapchat engagement. 

Content is key, Create and leverage content that’s easily communicable by the brand to their customers through these partnerships. Recognize this customers who are at this level as loyal to the brand

6)Critical Engagement

In this type of engagement you actively make audience an active brand advocates. Critical engagement goes beyond the product and allows brand loyalty.

Example of REI, an American retail and outdoor recreation services corporation. They changed the culture of Black Friday with their #OptOutside campaign.

REI #OptOutside case study

Here you are going to sit with your marketing team and discuss these questions in brief.
? What are the goals we are setting as an internal organization that are transformational?
? How are we actually asking our audience to think differently about themselves and about the world?
? How are we using language that can transform individuals lives and not just selling the product?
Bridging the brand loyality, there’s still room to help them feel inspired, empowered and cared for as individual

a) Measuring tools:
Online reviews and testimonials.
In general, email conversion rate is 3%. When rewards are offered it can go as high as 25%.

b) Solution:
In this level ‘Listening’ has major part to play So keep yourself updated with those tools, the patience and also a dedicated team to listen to your customers.
Inspire your customers to set their own values. This should be the ultimate aim at this part of funnel.

7) Literate Thinking

Audience engaged with you on an emotional level and feel like you as a brand are identifying their personal values, beliefs and stories and are creating a brand experience that inspires and empowers them as an individual. The brands who have more of this kind of customers in their marketing funnel do not just survive but are thrive.

There’s something called Soul Cycle, if we get to the customer’s soul cycle it is easy to connect with them in a way that makes them love your brand so much that they’ll willingly act as a brand ambassador and give back to your brand.

a) Measuring tools:

1)Net Promoter Score(NPS)
A customer satisfaction benchmark that measures how likely your customers will recommend your brand to a friend or colleague.
On a scale of 1-10 the measure is as follows-
0-6 Detractors 7-8 passives 9-10 promoters

2)Customer retention:
Your company’s ability to retain customers over a period of time. To calculate customer retention you can apply following formula-
Customer retention rate= (Customer at the end period- Customers acquired during period of time)/(customers at start of the period)x100

3)The performance of your customer loyalty program

A customers journey is always
Customers>>Promoters>>Content Creators.

Building a brand is mandatory if you want to remain relevant and capture the heart of customers in today’s customer empowered world. They choose if you get to participate in their lives, and “64% of those customers make that decision largely based on whether they have shared values with a company.”

64% people. Sixty-four freaking percent.

And as Kevin Kelly quotes “Happy customers are a marketer’s secret weapon for growth.”

So Make sure to

ATTRACT, ENGAGE, DELIGHT.