I read an article not so long ago on micro engagement and apologies for not being able to reference it here, but I literally have no clue where it is. It was late, I was roaming Twitter reading bits and bobs and it was one of the many things my eyes digested. Anyway, the gist was that mobile micro engagement is going to be all the rage this year. People have less patience, they’re short for time and they’re completely blanking the marketing communications we’re spending so much money on. So, the article claimed, if brands can find a way of providing little snippets of content to entertain, engage or inform people throughout those brief periods in the day; when they’re on a break at work, waiting for the train, standing in line at Costa or whatever it may be, then this could present a decent opportunity.
I took it on board (I think I probably tweeted it) and it was one of those things that just stuck with me. I quite like the idea of this ‘micro engagement’ thing. Then I caught myself one day when I was in consumer mode partaking in some of this mobile micro engagement. I was walking past what I later discovered is Box Park in Shoreditch when I seen a QR code on the side of a big metal slab. Like a child distracted by something shiny, I ran over and scanned it, then carried on walking to the tube station…
The page opened and my thought process was: “mobile optimised… Nice. Well designed… Smooth. Ah ha! A video… Content… Laughin’.”
I watched the video and it explained the concept behind Box Park – a pop up mall where shipping containers turned into retail units house top brands like Nike and Lacoste, as well as independents like Abuze and Monkey Genes. It can be picked up and dropped off wherever you want it and retailers can come and go like cows. It’s the coolest retail space I’ve ever seen. I felt like turning round and going back to have a closer look. But I didn’t.
Micro Engagement – Intentional or Accidental?
So, did Roger Wade, founder and CEO of Box Park, and his team intend for this QR Code to provide a snippet of micro engagement long enough to raise brand awareness and shape a positive brand perception, but short enough to fill the gap inbetween shopping and walking to the tube? I doubt that was the objective, but that’s what happened. It took just a few of minutes of my time, entertained me during a period where I wasn’t doing anything else in particular and gave the brand an opportunity to transfer its message and tell me what it’s all about. I was engaging for the best part of two minutes, far longer than any TV ad, for example, and the cost to Box Park will have been a fraction of that of a traditional ad. Plus, it reached me in a place where a traditional ad couldn’t. I’ve been back since and told countless people about Box Park, and it can all be traced back to that one QR code and that few mintues of micro engagement.
Do you think micro engagement is worth intentional investment? Should we be dangling carrots with short snippets of content? Or should we be focusing efforts and budgets on more ‘substantial’ areas?
At the time of writing and, I imagine, for the rest of my life, I don’t have, nor do I plan to have, any affiliation with Box Park.
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