Achieving consumer engagement and building a brand relationship through interactivity

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A 2005 article at “gapingvoid” on The Porous Membrane-why corporate blogging works talks about the internal and external environment of a company being seperated by a porous membrane. The more porous the membrane separating the internal organisational environment and the external ‘customer’ environment, the greater the level of alignment between the two entities. He further goes on to say that blogs punch holes in the membranes to make them porous and help bring the two conversations in sync.

Seeing this from another perspective,while emphasis is on interaction between the 2 levels and the corporate blog acting as facilitator, what is it that makes a corporate blog a usable tool.Infact, what is it that makes a corporate blog itself, more porous?

To my mind, it is the level of interactivity of a Corporate Blog.

What is interactivity? Views range from it being a psychological user orientation viz. a customer’s choice to interact, thus making it a characteristic of the people involved,(Schumann, Artis, and Rivera)to it being the characteristic of the medium being used to communicate, to stimulate interpersonal communication between involved entities. Still another view understands interactivity as a multidimensional concept, which is a combination of user perception,features of the medium and an evaluation of the process to understand ease of usage and speed of responsiveness through the medium(Merisavo).

In this context, i shall consider interactivity as a function of the structure of the online tool and define it as “the ability of an online tool to provide a 2 way interaction between the organization and the customer, while helping him locate desired information and lead to engagement of the customer, making him spend more time with the brand.”

It now depends on the organization to find out ways to manage this level of interactivity for developing a brand relationship or consumer engagement.

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