Bob shares its vision on engagement with Agendize

By Daniel Guimond – Interactive & Social Media Director

Excerpt from August 22nd 2013 Agendize's blog post.

What is your strategic positioning in the market?

At Bob, strategic planners, creatives, consultants, developers, and community managers work together towards the same goal. This close collaboration between all of our specialists provides both a macro vision in planning our campaigns and attention to detail when it comes to the finished product. Our digital marketing and social media actions are always supported by our strategy and creation services, assuring maximum impact.

How large are the businesses you serve? What is the average budget for your clients?

We are very conscious of our clients’ financial investment. Whether we are talking to large or small companies, we are always aware of two things : 1 – Budgets are never unlimited. 2 – Meeting our clients’ objectives guarantees their success as much as ours. Our work process is designed to helpour clients build strong, lasting relationships with consumers. Our aim has always been to create a positive and beneficial relationship between client, agency, and consumers. That is why the size of the companies we work with is not a concern to us. The same goes for the budget they have. What matters is our added value in reaching their goals.

How do you position yourself in relation to the demands of your clients?

The sites we develop are usually delivered with our proprietary CMS that we optimize over the course of the projects. For our clients, things can sometimes move very fast and they appreciate having the option of updating their website themselves simply, quickly and whenever they want. On many occasions, we collaborate with the client in creating content. Specifically designed for this, our CMS allows us to centralize our efforts while maintaining dynamic and up to date communication platforms. This way, our client has constant control over the message.

What are the challenges you face when it comes to meeting your clients’ requirements? Is increasing engagement one of those challenges?

Engagement is a concept often associated with digital. Since our foundation, we’ve believed in the importance of relationships, regardless of the medium: branding, online communications, interpersonal, experiential, etc. It is clear to us that engagement gives us important feedback on our communication strategies. One of the challenges is measuring it; which can sometimes comes in the form of online feedback, subscriptions, sales, or distributed samples. The main challenge is always to help create and enhance the relationship between our clients and their customers at every touchpoint.

Have you already implemented engagement tools? If yes, do you have an example? If not, what has held you back?

Currently, social media is probably the best engagement platform. If we have the opportunity to convert our audience into followers or subscribers, we will. For this conversion to be effective, however, it is necessary to identify the best engaging touchpoint in function of our offer. Is it a newsletter dedicated to promotions? A discussion platform dedicated to new offers? A social media presence dedicated to brand experience? From our point of view, one of the biggest mistakes brands make is asking engagement from their customers straightaway,without engaging them first. The classic case is a brand asking “Follow us” without telling their consumers why they should. What will they get in return? When our clients look to us to generate customer engagement, the first thing we do in collaboration with them is to build what we call “The Promise”. This is the testimony of the brand’s commitment to its audience. For example: “we will inform you about x, we will keep you entertained in x way, we will communicate on this subject, etc.”. This way, the relationship between brand and customers starts on good, clear foundations and with mutual quality engagement. Once this promise is formulated and broadcasted, it becomes easier to feed our content platforms and manage the exchanges with our followers and fans.

What are the main types of clients who could benefit from engagement tools?

It is clear that B2C companies can reap many benefits from engagement tools. The communication channels can influence the quality of customer service, help improve and develop new products and services, result in better handling of the needs of current and potential customers and improve the spread of brand messages in the event of a media crisis. Everything depends on the engagement that we are dedicated to initiating and cultivating and the response of our audience. A mass digital approach should never replace the quality of person-to-person exchanges. Especially for B2B companies that may not see the advantages of online communication platforms. Although they can enjoy the same benefits from these platforms as B2C companies, balance is the key.

What are the immediate benefits to your clients, in your opinion, for using interactive tools such as Live Chat, Click-to-Call or online appointment tools?

These tools are very useful for e-commerce clients. Migration to digital commerce platforms does not replace customer service. Customers want to be informed, directed and advised throughout their purchasing process. The content architecture, ergonomics, design and copywriting contributes to the user autonomy, but can never replace human interaction. Even the self-service shops have employees dedicated to the customer experience.