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Webcast recap: Transforming your digital customers-beyond engagement, with Michael Wu, Ph.D

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

There’s not much that I can contribute to the unfathomable depth of Michael Wu’s ( @MikeW) knowledge of social data, which is why it’s best to allow Michael to speak for himself. So, here's a replay of his recent webcast:

I can highlight a few things that I gleaned from his webcast: Transforming your digital customers-beyond engagement. There’s a lot of detail, but here are some topline takeaways:


Businesses have traditionally operated under the two gears model: 1. Acquire customers. 2. Monetize that customer. This worked well until a new wave of technology disrupted them – social media.

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Companies that try to bring the same two-gear model to social, discover that approach is neither scalable nor sustainable because digital acquisition is different due to short and shifting customer attention– you don’t keep what you acquire and reacquisition is costly.

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This is where the four gears model developed by Geoffrey Moore comes into play because, in order to have a sustainable business model in the social era, we need two more gears – Enlist & Engage.

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Engagement allows you to keep people’s attention longer and sustain monetization. Enlistment is for scaling - leveraging your customers to do things typically done by the your employees. By the way, consumers trust other consumers more than they trust brands.


Enlistment and Engagement are two ends of a spectrum. Engagement isn’t just one thing, it’s many different customer activities – from consuming, to sharing, to curating, to creating and finally to co-creation. Meaning you need to enlist your customers beyond mere engagement.

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When a customer is co-creating with you, they are definitely enlisted. But enlistment really starts when they are sharing your content with their friends. Because when they share they are helping spread your content, which would normally be done by your marketing teams. So sharing is really light enlistment.


You should think of enlistment as the deepest form of engagement and engagement as a very shallow form of enlistment. To enlist a customer means you engage them so deeply that they become willing to do work for you that are normally done by your employees.


When you have all four gears – acquire, engage, enlist & monetize - spinning, you have a positive feedback loop that sustains itself when done right.


To see some great examples of what enlistment can do and to delve deeper into the four gears, have a look at the webcast replay. To learn more about the Science of Social2 dive into Michael’s blog or read his books.

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And, don't forget to join us for our next webcast on November 18th: Gamification Strategies for better customer engagment