The Future of Engagement: Content for One


The last year, we’ve been hearing a lot about “engagement” from our clients and partners.  It seems to be the singular focus in the real estate industry.  But what exactly are we talking about when we talk of engagement? The Fourth WaveMASS PRODUCTION

We are on the crest of the next wave in the industrial revolution (labeled “Industry 4.0”) which will fundamentally transform the way consumers interact with every business, brand, and corporation.

As marketers, we now have the opportunity to completely change how we speak to…and with…. consumers.  This week SugarCon keynote speaker Dr. Catriona Wallace discussed this seismic evolution in her talk on the future of the Customer Experience.



We’re still in the early phases of personalization.  According to the latest report from Demand Metric 85% of marketers use personalization today and are seeing positive results (below), but only 18% are satisfied with their efforts.  They site a lack of technology, bandwidth and data as obstacles to optimizing their efforts. So while the trend is noteworthy, we still have a way to go.65% (1)

This type of personal content, whether based on where a consumer is in the buying cycle or a life event, is an exciting evolution.  Ten years ago, we had singular messages (i.e. “just do it”) that were broadcast on mass mediums (i.e. “TV”) and we measured things in reach and frequency.  Today we vary our messages based on search, keyword, device type, referring source, location, day and time, and yes – life event.

But even beyond outbound messaging, consumers now expect personalized experiences in nearly everything – from online purchases to music to automobiles.

Mini released their vision for the future today and it includes a “blank canvas” design.

“Whoever is driving the Mini can customize the interior instantaneously to their liking, choosing different colors, graphics, and content to project onto the interior of the car.”

Sites like Spotify, Facebook, and Amazon vary depending on who is interacting with them.  Netflix allows you to specify the user to guarantee a custom experience even between family members.  ESPN allows users to pick their favorite sport teams and then pushes notifications based on their preferences.  All of this means the end of concepts and ideas us marketing folks used to hold near and dear: segmentation, tagging, flagging….even branding.


What’s Next?

If this is the gold standard of personalization – where do we go from here?

According to Wallace, the next wave will be individualism and she encouraged “disruptive models of customer experience.”  The winners in this new era will not be companies that obsess over planning processes or even those that have the best product or service.  The winners will be those companies that focus on how to use technology to evolve or guide the customer.

Successful businesses will be those that offer the best collaborative experiences for customers.  Ones where customers are not only benefactors of the overall experience, but contributors.  Think of how you participate in the experience of your smart phone.  That level of personal customization will not be the exception – but the standard.

How will this effect real estate technology and online consumer experiences?  We will explore that in the coming weeks and beyond as Onboard looks to embrace and facilitate creating these types of individual experiences.

Content for one.  What could be more engaging than that?

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