Entanglement Marketing

Today, August 20th,  I am in Zermatt, Switzerland. Hoping to do some summerskiing. It is summer in the village, but winter is still present up in the mountains here, 3883 meters high there is lot's of snow. However today is cloudy and windy and lifts are closed. So I grabbed a book and started reading about “Entangled Marketing” and watching the people go by in their electric mini cars, with the Matterhorn at the background. Tomorrow I will go to enjoy summerskiing, tomorrow the weather will be great! This post is a combination of items from the book, some personal opinions and some examples I found at the web. Enjoy reading!

I gave the book a view at the Matterhorn,
during my stay here..(but the Matterhorn is
sometimes "entangled" with clouds as today :).
I bought this book since I believe, that the way of marketing brands or building brands, is changing rapidly. It’s no more just some display advertisements or an always on PPC strategy, there are many other possibilities. In fact more sustainable possibilities as well.
I never could find a word for it, but now I have read this book, I know what it is called: “Entangled Marketing”, moving beyond engagement. Engagement is no longer enough. As a brand you have to go beyond engagement. And that you do with "Entangled Marketing"!.

The authors describe the word entanglement as "the quintessential quantum effect". In the sub atomic world, a pair of entangled particles never let go of one another.
It’s a perfect metaphor for what business management would like to see happen in our digital environment. What if the brand entity and the customer entity could be entangled in an enduring, supportive relationship? One to one is yesterday’s news, it is time to take the “to” out of one to one. 

The book describes a few examples, for example about John Hancock insurances, who entangles the insured person by giving the customer a fitbit and rewarding him for his healthy lifestyle, or the company“Chick-fil-A” who organises special entanglement for the animal toy’s children often take with them to a restaurant. They even let those toys of the children sleep over in the restaurant and share all kind of pictures of the adventures the child’s animal toy had during its sleepover! Great for the kids, and thus great for parents, who keep on returning to the restaurant. I found a video about this sleepover and experience:

Back in the old days, in the analog era, the direct marketing business model, selling directly to the consumer or a business consumer, represented about 10% of the economy. The vast majority of the companies did not know much about the behaviour of people buying their product or getting their service.
Now in the online era, marketers have so much data, they know what the customer wants before the customer knows he or she needs it.
Think about Spotify, Netflix or Dollar shave club and all those subscription services from nowadays. This is the way forward. The still rapidly growing world of connecting services and products (IoT), will only speed things up. It makes sure you can entangle consumers with your brand.

Take a look at kickstarter, Kickstarter is filled with new connected products that can entangle customers with your brand. Imagine you have a garden related company and every and your customers have this device:

You would be able to get so much more information from your customers, that you would be able to give them much more tailor made advice, to help them growing their plants in the best way.  Know what the customer needs, before he or she knows it! Use the big data you can gather with these kind of devices, because future consumers will find you because of the service you provide based at these data.

Another example is the "smart tootbrush" from Philips. Also a great way to entangle users with your brand and devices.

Relationships Outranks the brand! The number of ways a marketer can build an entangled relationships with customers expands in step with the doubling of computing power every 24 months.

I think it is true and with all those digital trends, business-consumer relationsships go into a whole new era.

Back to the book. The book describes a 5 pathways to entanglement. I shortly mention them below:

1) The problem solving method:

Solve problems for your customers! In my opinion still many chances in this pathway. So many problems can be solved by digital tooling. With the right digital tooling and communication services, you can even prevent problems from occurring to your customers and thus improve the relationship with your customers. Of course you can also start thinking about crowdsource to innovate new problem solving products or work together with a university to do so.

2) The reinvention method:

The book gives an example of a French sporting company who reinvented a tennis racket with sensors, that delivers a learning experience everytime you swing at the court. Nowadays there are more smart rackets and add ons, read for example more about this here.

3) The mobile gaming method;
A lot has been written about gamification, and it surely helps to entangle customers. I mean take a look at the pokemon go hype from recently. The book describes an example of the game "robots love icecream".  Arby’s fast food chain created a popular mobile video game “Robots Love Ice Cream”. Mobile gaming paid off for Arby’s. Download goals were exceeded with 250% and more than 130.000 customers made an incremental visit to Arby’s and 65.000 of them bought an orange cream shake!
The game was not setup as sponsored game, but as a fun game. Read more about the game's details here.

4) The emotional method:

When entanglement along an emotional pathway is carried out in the right way,there is nothing that can break the long term tie to devoted brand enthusiasm. The book describes an example of the brand Always who uses the emotional method in their #likeagirl campaign.

5) The paid in advance method:

Well, that’s an easy one, just look at Amazon and the Amazon prime functionality.

Amazon is very good in "entangling" consumers. Amazon went from  a pleasing book buyers shop (by using data to know what the individual book buyers like) in the beginning, to a one stop shop for everything. They use entanglement marketing in many of their services for example:

  • The kindle project by entangling customers to the Amazon brand via a hardware device.
  • Amazon prime with subscriptions and free shipping for Amazon Prime members. 
  • Amazon video, the Amazon Netflix version, free for Amazon prime members.
  • Amazon Dash which makes it very easy to order with Amazon by just pressing a button, 
  • Amazon Echo, the smart speaker and smart asisstant.

Amazon is really moving into this entanglement marketing! And each of these services really add value for customers, they solve problems or frustrations as well.  If you look closely you see Amazon uses multiple pathways to entanglement.

Despite the book is very complete, a few pathways I missing, in my opinion.
For example geolocation and the VR/AI method.
Providing a great mobile (VR/AI) service, combined with geo location can really entangle people with an app or service.
See here an article about VR/AI from a marketing magazine in Asia (on click for large version):

In my opinion is it also possible to "entangle"people by creating a community, by creating a (digital) service where people write about your brand, about your services, and your products. Content Marketing is not anymore about publishing from the brand to the readers, but about interaction and providing a platform where others can write about you (on click for large version):

Content is no longer king

Entangled marketing, I think a very interesting way to think about branding and marketing in (cross border) ecommerce in general, besides or in place of the traditional branding and marketing possibilities. 
With the increase of digital advertising competition, this really could pay off for everybody. For consumers and companies a like. The future looks nice !!

I close off with a picture of the book about the 5 W's a framework of moving ahead with entanglement marketing (on click for large).

The official "entanglement marketing" book website can be found here.


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