For the media and entertainment industry, 2020 was the year that marked the golden era of streaming. Almost two years later, non-digital-native businesses have grown antsy to restore the pre-pandemic balance and are looking to cajole customers out of their homes. At the same time, on-demand entertainment service providers are struggling to overcome the viewership plateau and discover a breakthrough point to scale new highs.
Against this background, customer engagement could serve as a catalyst to help businesses consolidate their place in the industry. After all, the media and entertainment industry is no longer obsessed with metrics like subscriber count and seeks something more tangible to indicate longer customer lifetime value.
So, here’s a look at the current state of customer engagement in the industry, along with three failproof, actionable strategies to supercharge customer engagement.
State of Customer Engagement in the Media and Entertainment Industry
As the wave of opportunity in the media and entertainment (M&E) industry continues to roar, here are a few trends that we have noticed when it comes to customer engagement:
Well, Begun is Half Done
Various research say that nearly 55% of M&E businesses have deployed mid- to advanced-level customer engagement programs. While this is a great start, it falls rather short of what the retail and E-commerce, quick service restaurant (QSR), and BFSI industries have achieved at 74%, 72%, and 71%, respectively. The industry is also plagued with lower maturity levels of customer engagement strategies, highlighting the need for a holistic customer engagement platform (CEP).
User Privacy = More Spending
Whether it is the GDPR of the European Union or the CCPA of California, regulatory bodies of different geographical regions are putting customers in charge of their data. Such regulations will set a standard for the M&E industry on storing and using customer data while marketing to them. In anticipation of such trends, 84% of companies have planned to increase their marketing budgets to accommodate such mandates.
Customer Engagement Platform is Key
Speaking of omnichannel, platform-independent customer engagement campaigns, it has come to light that 41% of M&E brands leverage a single, unified CEP to maintain omnipresence. The CEP market, which is currently valued at $19.3 billion, shall expand at a CAGR of 10.8% to hit the $32.2 billion mark in 2027. Such growth highlights the pivotal role a CEP plays in stimulating customer engagement.
Intelligent Personalization is New Trend
As a forerunner of personalization – whether it is through content recommendation or advertising or marketing – M&E brands would remain under stress to offer personalization at every touchpoint. Such an expectation remains true even for customer engagement as it is one of the most critical segments of the larger picture of personalized experiences.
3 Ways to Achieve Peak Customer Engagement
With the above trends in mind, here are some practical and actionable customer engagement strategies for the M&E industry:
It is irrefutable that the M&E industry faces intense competition. They must compete against each other, digital content creators, social media influencers, podcasters – the list goes on And as content customers get into the driver’s seat, an immersive experience is the ultimate pull required to suck them into the rabbit hole of binging.
Customer experiences have undergone drastic changes in the past few years, and you have the advancements in technology to thank for it. There was a time when M&Et giants would simply broadcast a show or attention-grabbing breaking news, and that would be the end of it. However, modern-day M&E content has become a lot more interactive. You have live streamed award shows collecting real-time polls, true crime or unsolved mystery podcasts accepting listener theories, or choose-your-own-adventure style interactive shows.
Selling such USPs form the crux of a successful marketing campaign that heightens customer engagement. And while we may have talked about advanced customer experiences, something as basic as personalizing the customer journey could be the experience factor that enrapt the audiences. After all, M&E giants like Netflix and Spotify are a testament to the success of such a customer engagement strategy!
Engage Customers Across Omnichannel
The average number of devices per person is anticipated to stand at 3.6 by 2023. This means that customers would unabashedly switch through devices at the drop of a hat, implying that M&E businesses must offer a uniform customer experience across all platforms and mediums of accessing content.
Businesses must run all the possible permutations and combinations to discover optimum channels for connecting with customers through their preferred medium. This means that your audience may look out for updates on your social, raise tickets in your mobile app, check out pricing on the website, click on push notifications to view content, follow in-app messages during onboarding, and so on. As such, you must meet them where they are at all touch points without diluting the experience through inconsistencies or inaccuracies.
An omnichannel CEP is invaluable in this regard, as you get a centralized platform to conduct, navigate, and curate customer interactions. Such platforms may also offer insights into customer behaviour and alert you about the best times and channels to push content, close a sale, upsell/cross-sell, re-engage, etc., for peak customer engagement.
Put People First
Content is king in the M&E industry. However, customers are emperors.
So yes, businesses must improve the quality of content but with particular consideration for their audience segment. Here’s where the concept of narrowcasting could come in handy. Narrowcasting relates to supplying customers with relevant content instead of blasting them with whatever information you have at hand. Such a customer engagement strategy is often seen at the onboarding stage, where the platform may prompt customers to select their genres/areas of interest. These inputs allow the platform to recommend personalized content, which addresses the issue of content discoverability, which is so heavily prevalent in the M&E industry. Cutting down the journey to the ‘Aha’ moment front-loads value, thereby laying the foundation for customer retention.
Remember that narrowcasting is just one of the many personalization strategies that boost customer engagement. The trick lies in decrypting user data to form a one-to-one relationship with them for a truly engaging experience – and only 14-18% of businesses are doing that! Such a gap demands Artificial Intelligence powered engines that perform a suite of activities, from recommending content to curating the customer journey to understanding customer intent to segment audiences to offering a memorable experience.
In the words of Mary Kay Ask, “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, but also in life!”
In this tug-of-war between traditional M&E brands and digital-first innovators, customer engagement remains highly important regardless of your side. Against this background, a trusted and reliable CEP appears to be the common thread that puts any M&E brand on the fast track to growth through low-cost customer acquisition and long-term customer loyalty. It also makes businesses a lot more resilient to disruptions and future-ready to accept any changes in customer expectations.
So, choose the right CEP to get, and stay, ahead of your competition!