Google's Project Engagement Report: Connecting With Your Consumer
If you have anything at all to do with consumer marketing you could do a lot worse than read, and stay connected with, Google's Project Engagement.

I sure am!

In the first paper published in May this year, Tara Walpert Levy looks at how you can connect with your consumer in the "Participation Age".

According to Levy, the brands that will win will prioritise engagement over exposure, "super-serving their most important customers first and using insights and advocacy to broaden their reach". This in turn will make the entire marketing and media plans work harder.

Google has called today's consumer Gen C, those who thrive on Creation, Curation, Connection and Community. It's more of a mindset rather than to do with any particular age.

In looking at Gen C with cultural anthropologists, psychologists and digital creators, Google uncovered a number of reasons why Gen C does what it does:
  • They're all artists
  • They live curate their experiences
  • They get a kick out of sharing
  • Authenticity is a must
  • Marketing needs to have a meaning
  • If you engage, they will give you exposure
This gives rise to rethinking the traditional mass media funnel into an "engagement pyramid" (like Amazon, Starbucks, Warby Parker and GoPro).

While to traditional marketers this may seem too theoretical and flimsy there are a number of thought starters Levy believes are resonating with brands and marketing teams:
  • Letting the audience come to you - you need to be "always on"
  • Prioritise content beyond TVCs - this will help to give you the authenticity.
  • Drive participation to steer the conversation - The Cluetrain Manifesto (1999) had this as its fundamental tenet ("1. Markets are conversations"), Seth Godin, amongst others, evangelised it, now it's becoming the new normal.
  • Incorporate better signals - amongst others, look at the comments or sharing of the content you create or support.
We found this paper to be extremely useful in focusing us on the "why" in our content strategies. We trust you will too. 

If you'd like to read the entire Levy paper click here

Over the next weeks we will provide you with summaries on the other Project Engagement reports. If you want to read the entire collection of articles click here 
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