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Maximise Customer Engagement: Digital

One of the things we’re absolutely passionate about at BURN is engagement. In our view, both client-side and agency-side marketeers dedicate too little time to ensuring that communication materials really resonate with their target audience. And that leads to a lot of wasted work by a lot of people.

Dave Trott, who knows a thing or two about how to provoke interest, explains this better than I ever could in his blog post ‘Academic Advertising’:


“Bill Bernbach said, “If no-one notices your advertising, everything else is academic”.

…We know that £18.3 billion is spent on all forms of advertising and marketing every year.

We know that 4% is remembered positively, 7% is remembered negatively, and 89% isn’t noticed or remembered.

So that’s roughly £17 billion of advertising that fits Bill Bernbach’s definition of ‘academic’.”


Trott’s point is simple. As marketeers, we need to strive to get into the 4% – but failing that being in the 7% is better than being in the 89%!

If you have engaged with a customer or prospect, by definition, you have been noticed and that means, have made it into the magic 11%.

It’s the reason we developed BURN’s Engagement Framework. The framework helps ensure our creative teams are challenged constantly to deliver communications that really resonate. It works by asking 6 challenging questions about the core creative:

  1. Is it compelling? Will it provoke action?
  2. Is it relevant and personal?
  3. Is it rewarding both emotionally and rationally?
  4. Is it innovative, exciting and different?
  5. Is the creative execution arresting?
  6. Is the communication shareable?

If the answer ‘no’ is returned, it provides a suite of tools, techniques and approaches to overcome those issues. It makes the creative process a marriage of art and science. And it really works…

Digital is a particularly effective channel for building engagement. It’s easy to see why when you look back at the questions above.


Digital channels such as web and mobile provide the ability to present sales messages in a simple, clear and often layered way. And the ability to provide real-time two way dialogue (including the use of highly efficient AI chatbots) makes the consideration and purchase process so much slicker than off-line channels.


If you want to increase relevance through personalisation and you happen to be communicating through digital channels, not only do you have the ability to tailor experiences based on historical customer data very easily, but you can also tailor the experiences of both customers and prospects in real-time based on click-stream data.


Content is a great way, not just to engage, but also to reward and incentivize users. In digital channels your content can be richer and delivered more efficiently than in any other channel.


Innovation is synonymous with the digital world. Whole new sub-channels open up (such as social), new services disrupt the traditional (such as Uber), new technology is developed (such as Amazon Dash or VR) and viral media opportunities appear from nowhere (such as Pokemon Go).

Creative Execution

If you’re keen to be irreverent and push the boundaries, then there is no better place than the Web. Dollar Shave Club, Old Spice, Squatty Potty all have millions of views on YouTube – exposure that wouldn’t have been achieved if their creative had been watered down for use in traditional channels.


The silver bullet of digital in many ways… If you like something, it just takes a click of a mouse or a tap of a finger to distribute it to the rest of the world. That friction-free sharing ability is gold-dust to the marketeer looking to engage with a particular target audience.

So, if you want to put your brand into the 11% think engagement, think BURN and think DIGITAL. It’s a virtual guarantee of success.


The pains and the gains 18 months on


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