Defining Strategic Engagement?


ira-gostinBy Ira Gostin, CMO,  120 West Strategic Communications

In our business, we look at our practice as engagement. It’s not only public relations or marketing or communications. We see strategic engagement as the combination of all of the marketing disciplines under one umbrella, with the objective of creating a dialogue with all stakeholders of an enterprise specifically directed towards accomplishing a goal.

Let’s face it, the lines in marketing are blurred. Where traditional marketing ends and public relations overlaps, corporate communications intersects and has an overlay of advertising, plus the addition of social media and digital marketing, can be confusing and unproductive without measurable results. Marketing 2.0 is within the transition to Marketing 3.0.

The approach is simply to combine all stakeholders with any other targeted and identifiable group and combine them into a category of audience. These are individuals that have either a vested interest in the enterprise or are a potential customer or client.

Once that audience is established, we need to investigate the various means with which to communicate, or “engage,” with that audience, and plug those tactics into the strategy.

We don’t just execute tactics without having a clear strategy, measurement vehicles scheduled and part of the implementation, and a clear definition of what SUCCESS looks like.

That’s where the fun comes in! Don’t be tied to some traditional definition of marketing. For some clients, it’s strict investor relations work—corporate presentations, facts sheets and quarterly filings. For another, the work might closely resemble public relations, with a strategic partnership, some direct marketing and heavy SEO.

I get asked a lot, “Do you do PR?” And the answer is yes, but it’s not the big picture. It’s all about the strategy and how to get a win for your clients.

It’s an exciting time in the marketing and communications industry. So many tools are continuing to surface and digital marketing is defining the future of marketing. Between automation and social and SEO and interactive, it’s an electrifying time for the business. And of course, the consumer is getting to choose how they want to be engaged and have the information come to them in their preferred method.

For the marketer, it means having to cut through the abundance of messaging and be relevant, specific and wanted, while delivering the “what’s in it for me” factor.

How engaging!

About the Author: As an accomplished strategist driven by measurable results, Gostin builds business development campaigns that straddle the continuum between creativity and analytics. During his career, he has revitalized several companies’ brands and, more recently, was a founding executive for Tahoe Resources, a $4 billion public company in the mining sector

1 Comment

  1. Ford Kanzler on at 10:02 AM

    Effective market engagement is certainly an ever more complex mix of activities. But Marketing is a lot more than promotional communications to a customer base or community. Marketing has been/is being used as a synonym for promotion, which is only one facet of the marketing mix. Whether you subscribe to the four P’s (Product, Promotion, Price, Place) or some other description, don’t make the mistake of simplifying what Marketing entails. The communications part is only one of the pieces, not the whole of it. Ideally it sets strategy, helping create success for the various and hopefully well integrated, communications programs.

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