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Sales Rules of Engagement

by Wayne Ens

Yesterday I heard a radio ad inviting listeners to “Go to our Facebook page and say you like us, and we’ll give you a free ice cream cone.” Do you think anyone believes that everyone who hit the ‘like’ button for that mall truly and sincerely likes them? Or is the credibility of those ‘likes’ jeopardized by the ice cream bribe?

Worse still, what if that mall is ‘testing’ the radio station to see how many new ‘likes’ they add? Will customers really jump through the hoops of going to the mall’s Facebook page, hitting the like button, then take time out of their day and spend $10 on gas to get a $2.00 ice cream cone?

Professional account executives need to help advertisers understand that sheer numbers of website hits, alleged followers on a social media site, or in any data base, do not indicate results or success. Success can not be measured by the number of hits or people on a list, but only at the cash register, or better still at the bottom line, over time.

A recent survey in Ad Age magazine tracked public engagement data for 300 of the top brands on Facebook over a one-year period starting in July 2010. The results show a clear 22% decline in average engagement. Other surveys reveal similar statistics for email marketing open rates. The goal of marketing is to capture and win the hearts and minds of as many customers as possible. Capturing names in a data base or via social media does not mean the marketer has won hearts and minds.

Marshall McLuhan was wrong. The medium is not the message, the message is the message! Account executives who steer their clients towards engaging, relevant messages, on air and online, will help advertisers win the hearts and minds of their customers, and subsequently win the hearts and minds of their clients. Only engaging relevant messaging wins hearts and minds.  The rules of engagement, in all media, are simple. Your message must deliver value, and value is measured by asking yourself these five questions;
· Is my message entertaining or interesting?
· Does my message educate or inform?
· Is my message fun or humorous?
· Did my message deliver rewards or savings?
· Did my message strike an emotional chord?

If your message is not delivering one or more of these values, your campaign is merely attracting names and numbers, not engaged customers. Our SoundADvice radio e-marketing system has an engagement rate more than six times higher than the industry average by simply following these rules of engagement.

Wayne Ens is President of ENS Media Inc and can be reached via e-mail Wayne Ens

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