Want to hear something sobering? Some marketers spend upwards of $100,000 a day on paid customer acquisition. Meanwhile, new research shows that if 70% of brands were to disappear consumers wouldn’t care. The truth is, it’s not about how much money you spend, it’s about how magnetic you are—how well you can capture and hold your audience’s interest.  

We sat down with Charles Orlando, head of brand at CleverTap, to talk about what it means to be magnetic and why some of the old marketing standards just aren’t enough anymore. 

Defining magnetic brands 

“Magnetism is by definition something that puts two disperate things together,” says Charles, but he’s hesitant to get too deep into these new ideas before looking back at older ones. “If you look at marketing professionals today who specialize in bringing brands to market and creating that type of connection with consumers, it’s usually driven in one of two ways,” he says.  

  • EngagementEngagement is what a brand does to introduce itself to a potential customer, and to try to build a connection and some level of relationship. But it’s a one-way interaction between the brand and the potential customer. 
  • RetentionRetention is exactly the opposite, where you have a customer who has either mentally, physically, psychologically, or financially already disconnected from that relationship and the brand says, “Wait, wait, before you go, now that you’re already finished with us, please come back. I’ve got 20% off.”  

Charles says neither of these one-way situations are conducive to building a solid, connected, mutual relationship.  

“What I’m suggesting, and what research has shown us, is that a magnetic relationship is based on mutual attraction. A brand sets up an environment that is based on not only what they think the customer wants, but what the customer is actually showing them they want on a daily basis.”  

The power of paying attention 

When it comes to being magnetic the key is to pay attention. Charles says your customers are constantly showing you what they want.  

“Whether that’s online, offline, something in a physical brick and mortar store, or just through a community interaction. Maybe it’s on social, maybe it’s on their website,” says Charles. “Wherever that interaction takes place it’s a genuine, authentic relationship built on a brand creating that environment and a customer saying, ‘You know what? Thank you for paying attention to me, you know exactly what I’m looking for, let me join you in this discussion.’”  

All of this information allows brands to build a personalized experience that customers can’t resist, and a relationship that keeps them loyal and coming back for more. But it is possible to overestimate the control you have over this relationship. 

“Ultimately, the brand relationship is really out of that brand’s control,” Charles says. “It’s all built on a combination of emotional engagement and perception on the part of the entire market. So, as a brand, you can only go so far to create a situation where someone wants to engage you.” 

To learn more about how to create a magnetic brand, read the full transcript below.