Systems of engagement: Step-by-step

Share this post:


A system of engagement is designed to motivate people to take action, get information and share feedback (directly or as evidenced by their online behavior).

Systems of engagement not only automate, deliver and guide marketing actions, but they also accurately measure their results—across channels, geographies and social boundaries. Systems that are individualized and inspiring enough will make people look forward to a company’s future products or services, thereby offering a competitive advantage. By communicating with customers in a personalized way, a well-designed system of engagement enables marketers to make more informed investments that create greater value for clients and greater return on investment for themselves.

1. Identify and investigate customer behaviors to encourage.

What new incentives and beliefs might support this behavior? What drives current behaviors? Build personas (composite archetypes) as a foundational tool to design a system centered on the desired participants.

2. Encourage peer pressure.

Consider turning individual activities into group activities to harness the power of peer influence to encourage new behaviors. Why? In 2010, people in the United States alone generated more than 500 billion online impressions on each other about products and services.3 Harnessing peer influence to drive the actions you want to encourage is a powerful mechanism for change.

3. Create a journey map.

Illustrate the many ways in which the different personas might interact with a particular company, product or service. Navigate through places where someone might lose interest and think about how to strengthen that touchpoint or figure out how to get him or her back on track. Consider where he or she might share the experience with a social network, and figure out how to make that easier at that critical moment.

4. Design the motivation and reward system.

Build in learning as its own motivation and reward. Integrate the motivation system into the overall way people are engaged in conversation—from the device (or devices) they use, to the experience they have when they point, pick, click, look or get notified.

5. Align the client journey map with the design.

Take the personas and the client journey map and design the client interactions with an understanding of exactly how they will be experienced.

6. Take an iterative approach to prove the value as you go.

It won’t do anyone (customers or company) any good to create a system of engagement that isn’t engaging. To test the hypotheses laid out in the client journey map and the motivation and reward system, identify and build the minimum system functionality needed. Release the products or services to a valid sample audience and measure behavioral outcomes. Continue to use short cycles of design, development and testing to make sure you’re creating something that customers will value, something that will build their loyalty and encourage them to participate in getting the word out.

Related Reading

1. AIIM: Systems of Engagement and The Future of Enterprise IT: A Sea Change in Enterprise IT

2. CIO: How CIOs Can Help Facilitate Systems of Engagement

3. Dachis Group: Moving Beyond Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement by Dion Hinchcliffe

4. Forbes: The Move from Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement

5. Harvard Business Review: Moving from Transaction to Engagement

6. IBM: From social media to Social CRM

New vocabulary
Learn the concepts behind the systems of engagement steps

More stories

Agile in Action: Creating a Marketing Transformation

As organizations shift their marketing mix towards digital, they face pressures to be faster, more accountable and collaborative with the lines of business they support. While adjusting to the new environment, marketing leaders are discovering a wealth of best practices from “agile.” But what does agile in the Marketing context really mean? We have heard agile used […]

Continue reading

Keep Your Brand Relevant in a Voice-First World

With recent advances in AI, including natural language processing (NLP), voice will be the next big paradigm in how we interact with digital devices. With the big tech companies racing to establish dominance of their respective voice platform, it’s only a matter of time until spoken dialogue will become the standard for digital interfaces. Whether […]

Continue reading

Should brands on Twitter talk like teenagers?

On May 28, a rogue account masquerading as the official Twitter presence of RC Cola (@OfficialRCCola) was suspended. The account joined Twitter in April of 2017, and had developed a following that surpassed the official RC Cola account. Recently, the account fooled its followers into believing that it was taking potshots at the Trump administration, […]

Continue reading