Thomas Z. Ramsøy

Three Dimensions of Consumer Engagement

Imagine we’re sitting at a quaint café, with a hot cup of coffee in our hands and the murmur of engaging conversations enveloping us.

What if I told you that the seemingly simple choices made by the individuals around us, say, picking up a Frappuccino over an Americano, are orchestrated by a triad of psychological phenomena?

As you look around, you might notice the diverse range of people and the various drinks they hold. Each decision has its backstory – a culmination of experiences, preferences, and circumstances. It’s like an intricate puzzle, and the pieces are not as arbitrary as they might seem at first glance.

So, what if we could make sense of this? What if there was a lens through which we could view these choices, not as random acts, but as calculated responses to an array of factors? Well, marketing aficionados and psychologists have been trying to crack this code for years.

This brings us to a three-dimensional model, a sort of prism through which we can better understand consumer behavior – Knowledge, Preference, and Relevance.

Knowledge is the compass that steers consumers through the sea of brands with familiarity and associations. Preference, on the other hand, is the wind in the sails – the emotional drive that pushes toward a brand. And Relevance, that’s the destination, the practical factor determining if a product aligns with a consumer’s present circumstances.

This triad can offer us invaluable insights into how consumer decisions are made, and how brands can navigate these waters effectively. With that said, let’s chart this journey and discover how brands can sail with the winds of consumer behavior in their favor.

The Charming Maestro of Consumer Engagement: Knowledge

Knowledge is the elegant maestro of this triad. When consumers are well-acquainted with a brand, they respond with a Pavlovian flair. Our brain’s synapses fire up, we pay more attention, and we build an emotional fortress around that brand. Consumer engagement abounds!

Picture Maria, an avid reader. She walks into a bookstore and her eyes dart to the latest release from her favorite author. She knows the author, trusts the writing style, and she’s hooked. That’s knowledge at play!

How to measure Knowledge?

  • Neuro methods: Use EEG (or fMRI, fNIRS) to observe brain responses related to memory and familiarity, and how they drive more attention (eye-tracking), and stronger product responses.
  • Eye-tracking: test whether a higher interest is related to faster product findability and longer fixation times.
  • Implicit methods: Implement an online brand association test.
  • AI tools: Use sentiment analysis to gauge consumer familiarity based on social media. Also, use predictive AI methods to test how salient the branded products are
  • Behavioral methods: Observe and record the dwell time and product inspection time

The Exuberant Composer: Preference

As the maestro’s music swells, preference takes the stage. It’s the bond, the innate yearning for a brand that elevates consumer engagement. This emotional affinity crafts a melody so strong that price tags become whispers in the wind.

Consider John, an eco-warrior. When he shops for groceries, he’s more likely to choose products with a green leaf emblem, as he believes in sustainability. Even if the product costs a little more, his preference dictates his purchase.

How to measure Preference?

  • Neuro methods: Use EEG to measure emotional engagement to key moments and in general, especially Motivation responses
  • Implicit methods: Online Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measure which emotional associations are related to the brand. Also use Fast Response Test to track consumer motivation
  • AI tools: Use predictive AI to understand consumer engagement with the branded assets.
  • Behavioral methods: Surveys and feedback forms asking consumers about their preferences.

The Pragmatic Virtuoso: Relevance

Ah, the virtuoso of relevance, the practical mind that keeps our desires grounded. It’s the silent voice whispering, “Do I really need this?”

Let’s say Emma, an entrepreneur, fancies an opulent timepiece. She knows Rolex and adores it, but at the moment her startup demands her investments. Her pragmatic mind measures the relevance and guides her.

How to measure Relevance?

  • Neuro methods: Monitor brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making. Methods such as EEG have shown that Motivation responses are very good at predicting actual choice — if relevance is low, look for patterns of high subjective preference and lower Motivation.
  • Implicit methods: Use conjoint analysis to determine how product attributes and relevant purchasing situation influence choices. Use the Fast Response Time to measure conscious and unconscious aspects of consumer engagement and choice.
  • AI tools: Using predictive AI, it will soon be possible to predict actual purchasing likelihood.
  • Behavioral methods: Analyze past purchase data to discern patterns of relevance.

A Symphonic Guide for Companies to Consumer Engagement

As we’ve explored the enchanting trinity of Knowledge, Preference, and Relevance, it’s clear that each dimension has its own unique rhythm in the symphony of consumer behavior. However, to truly strike a chord with the audience, marketers must not just understand these dimensions but also master the art of playing to their tunes.

Now that we have a grasp on the three dimensions, let’s take a practical turn. How can businesses harness the insights from these dimensions to orchestrate effective marketing strategies?

In the table below, we unveil a treasure trove of actionable recommendations for companies. These strategies are tailored to whether consumers are high or low on each of the three dimensions. Whether it’s nurturing the seeds of brand knowledge, cultivating the blossoms of preference, or harvesting the fruits of relevance, this guide is your trusty companion through the fields of consumer connectivity.

Grab your conductor’s baton, for it’s time to lead your brand through the captivating symphony of the consumer’s heart and mind.

Consumer DimensionHigh On DimensionLow On Dimension
Knowledge* Cultivate trust by reinforcing the brand’s identity
* Utilize content marketing to continuously educate consumers
* Encourage user-generated content to deepen brand knowledge
* Create awareness through educational campaigns
* Leverage social media influencers to increase brand visibility
* Use interactive content, like quizzes or polls, to engage potential consumers
Preference* Develop loyalty programs to reward affection
* Utilize personalized email marketing to build a connection
* Engage in co-creation with consumers to develop new products or features
* Foster preference through sampling and trials
* Utilize storytelling in advertising to build emotional connections
* Offer first-time purchase discounts to entice experimentation
Relevance* Introduce incentives for immediate purchase like time-limited discounts
* Use retargeting ads to remind consumers of products they showed interest in
* Showcase customer testimonials to build trust and show relevance
* Construct long-term aspiration and saving programs
* Focus on content that builds a sense of aspiration and desire
* Engage in community activities to remain relevant in consumers’ peripheral vision

In conclusion, dear connoisseurs of marketing, the tale of Knowledge, Preference, and Relevance is akin to a symphony composed by the maestro, the composer, and the virtuoso. Understanding and embracing this triad can elevate marketing strategies to a harmonious crescendo.