As a digital marketer, once in a while it's wise to just take a break, sit back, and listen in on the advice of the top digital marketing leaders for a refreshing perspective. That's exactly what I did last week (October 21, 2014) when I attended the Marketing Nation's event at the Westin Times Square, which highlighted the importance of engagement marketing in today's digital landscape. After enjoying snacks from Starbucks, we sat down to hear from Robin Bordoli, GM of Consumer Marketing at Marketo, an engagement marketing software company. Bordoli began the presentation by outlining the best ways for marketers to engage with their audience, and highlighted Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food", where Pollan dissects the food industry and summarizes it into 7 simple words: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. He then applied this genius concept of simplistic thinking to the digital marketing world, and translated our world of fast-paced innovation into the following: Build long-term personalized relationships with your customers.

Robin Bordoli


It is often difficult to think of relationships when working on such a large scale, but when looking at the relationships in your own life, you may realize the intensity and power associated with a relationship. So, how can we translate and incorporate the strength of a relationship into our digital marketing efforts? Bordoli moved on to mention the famous quote from Albert Einstein who said, "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results", and then asked the crowd what they needed to do differently to elicit a change in their marketing efforts. This stress on growing a relationship with each individual user is the key to winning with engagement marketing. The 7 principles of engagement marketing, according to Bordoli, were highlighted and extrapolated upon in the next portion of his presentation. They are as follows: 1. As individuals: The frequency, time frame, devices used, and other factors may change in importance for each individual user. It is the responsibility of us as marketers to reach each user as an individual. 2. Based on what they do: Find the relevance between what you want to say and what a user is interested in, also known as behavior-based marketing. Market to them based on what they do rather than who they are. 3. Continuously over time: Compare a relationship with a current or potential customer to the strong relationships in your own life, and realize that you are not marketing a single campaign, but a long-term relationship. 4. Wherever they are: Learn and understand the concept of omni-channel marketing. Customers are now engaging on 3 or more channels, and it is your job to engage with them whenever they are, and understand the importance of each individual channel in the process. 5. Always directed towards a goal: Measurability and accountability are key. Whatever the goal may be, whether to buy, advocate, renew, or any other conversion goal, make sure that you are explicit about your goal and the journey you are taking your audience through. 6. With measurable impact: Demonstrate if you have met your goal. If you are unable to measure your marketing efforts, you are unsure if they are successful or not. 7. At the speed of digital: How do you as a marketing team move at the speed of digital and keep up with the innovations to give your customer or audience what they want? The Marketing Nation Roadshow event incorporated the experience of various industry professionals, including Tara-Nicholle Nelson, VP of Marketing at MyFitnessPal, and Julie Cottineau, Founder & CEO of BrandTwist and Brand School Online. Each speaker stressed the importance of engagement marketing in the industry today, and shared ways that a strong engagement marketing strategy will help you meet the demands of the dynamic marketplace. Do you have any questions or comments about this year's Marketing Nation Roadshow? Let us know in the comments section below or by tweeting us @BFMweb.