I’ve been married a very long time (33 years and counting, thank you) but I still remember getting engaged. I have no clue what it’s like today, but it used to be a big deal and there was a ritual to be followed (I still thank my lucky stars that her father was way easier on me than he should have been…). I spend a fair amount of time these days talking about getting engaged except it’s not with my daughters (statement of fact, not a complaint!). Instead, clients and I talk about “getting engaged” with their consumers. The thought struck me that it’s not all that dissimilar.
An engagement is a commitment in either sense of the word (marriage or otherwise). The only way one partner can figure out if the other is worth spending a lot of time with is to engage one another in dialog. You know – appropriate questions, thoughtful, honest answers – a dialog. Obviously, you can’t spend your time telling your prospective partner how great you are. Things go a lot more smoothly if you spend a fair amount of time telling them how great THEY are. While it’s important to keep your own goals in mind, you can’t be a crazed egomaniac if an engagement is your objective.
The hard part is listening. As marketers and content producers, we tend to put out a lot about ourselves and don’t take in enough about our potential customers. As an aside, we do the same as managers in a lot of cases – “jobs” are often known as “engagements” after all.
We need to woo our customers, our users, our clients – whatever you want to call those who pay the bills – as we would a potential spouse. That’s the only way to get engaged. Hey – who says romance is dead!