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Beyond Engagement: Cultivating Peak Experiences for Your Consumers and You

At a recent company meeting, David challenged the Immersion Active team to think about why we do what we do. Is our strong work ethic entirely driven by client expectations, looming deadlines, KPIs and a paycheck at the end of the day? Or is there something more?

If you’ve had the chance to talk with us or read Dot Boom, you know that meaningful online engagement is at the heart of everything we do. Our meaningful online engagement campaigns are designed to fulfill our consumers’ biologically- and psychologically-driven core human needs.

But what about our needs as marketing professionals? What makes our work meaningfully engaging for us?

When we apply the principles of meaningful online engagement to fulfill core needs, the result can be a peak experience—the ultimate satisfaction for both consumers and marketers.

What does a Peak Experience Look Like?

A peak experience might look different for each person and situation, but I can describe one by way of example.

Immersion Active developed an Alzheimer’s email series for one of our clients as a way to meaningfully engage family caregivers on an emotional level. In response to one of the emails, a subscriber sent us several poignant essays she wrote about her experiences caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease.

With the writer’s permission, I composed an email featuring one of her essays. The email ended with a simple call-to-action asking readers to respond if they could relate to her story.

The day the email went out, our inbox was flooded with messages from readers thanking her for sharing her experience and admitting how close to home her story hit. They felt comforted and inspired to know someone else like them was persevering through similar struggles.

Our team could have stopped there and felt satisfied by our open rate and conversion numbers. But the writer whose story we shared deserved the satisfaction of reading the responses more than we did. So I sent her some of the readers’ comments along with the following message:

“Your story touched a lot of people today. I wanted to share some of the email messages we’ve received so you know how strongly your writing resonated with other caregivers. Your writing is truly a gift. Thank you for letting us share it with the Alzheimer’s community.”

This was her reply:

“They bring me to my knees and they certainly bring tears to my eyes. So many loving, courageous people out there doing the best they can in the name of love sweet love. Wow. They encourage me to keep writing and sharing and listening and learning…They have done me a world of good tonight and I need it.”

To borrow her word: Wow. I’m guessing that exchange was a peak experience for her, and it certainly was for me. It fulfilled purpose needs for both of us in a big way by confirming that what we write matters and can impact others’ lives for the better.

How You Can Cultivate Peak Experiences

In order to fulfill your consumers’ needs in a powerful way, you first need to identify the people, places and things that can generate ideal circumstances for a peak experience. The best conversations to insert your brand into are typically those that have the most emotional connections revolving around them. Strong emotional connections often indicate the deepest unmet core needs.

Once you have identified the ideal circumstances, taking part in the conversation requires an authentic human-touch approach. Develop a personal voice that encourages a response, listens, and then echoes back the response to prove you heard it.

“The ability to elicit powerful, positive emotional responses with your brand is the pinnacle of not only marketing effectiveness, but also influence.” –Chapter 9, Dot Boom.

Inspiring your consumers to respond in a way that influences others not only demonstrates meaningful engagement for the consumer, but can help to ignite your spirit too.

To learn more about how you can cultivate peak experiences and inspiring influence with your brand, download Chapter 9 – “Inspiring Influence” from Dot Boom: Marketing to Baby Boomers through Meaningful Online Engagement.