Industry insights from Luke Gibson, director of VAX VacationAccess

Marketing is Dead. How to Build an Engagement Plan that Works, Part 1

Part 1, The Importance of Customer Engagement

Are you worried about the right way to market your business? Don’t be. Frankly, marketing is dead. It’s outdated. It’s forced. It’s a tactic that fails to establish relationships with customers—and relationships are exactly what your business needs, because that’s what many customers demand today.

Lucrative, lasting customer relationships are not the result of force-feeding your customers what you think they need and want. They are created by leaning in, listening and asking your customer what they need and want. When you do that, you’re not marketing to your customers; you’re engaging your customers. And when you engage with your customers, you’ll find that they come back to you — that you’ve opened the door to a two-way street.

An easy way to think about the difference between traditional marketing and modern-day engagement is to consider the results. Traditional marketing can achieve one-and-done sales. In this realm, whether you like it or not, former customers probably aren’t interested in you. They are interested in the numbers, and that’s a race with online travel agencies that we don’t believe travel agents should run.

Engagement, on the other hand, will create the possibility of a lifetime relationship with your customer, and a customer’s lifetime value far exceeds that of a shallow one-and-done sale. Succeed where it’s intrinsically difficult for an online agency to — in your customer relationships. But to do that, your customers need to be interested in you, and you need to be interested in them.

Engagement is not about blasting out a message that you hope resonates with an unspecified audience. Engagement comes down to personal relationships, and those rely on personal messaging. You can engage with the actual human being on the other end of the transaction. To do that genuinely, you need to examine why you do what you do. When you answer that, you can build a brand identity that reflects those core values.

In the next article in this series, we’ll share eight steps to building an engagement plan that works.

About the Author

Luke Gibson Headshot

With more than 18 years of business experience in brand marketing, media and sales development, Luke has tackled issues across multiple categories of business including travel, automotive, technology, luxury retail, media, e-Commerce and manufacturing. His breadth of experience across consumer direct, wholesale and e-Commerce distribution channels makes him an effective omni-channel thinker.  Luke currently serves as Managing Director of VAX VacationAccess.

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