Marketing strategies seem to be some sort of monologue because there is only one party talking. Most marketing strategists have the notion that all they have to do is to sell the product or service. Their campaign is focused on 'Buy me. I am good for you.' Poster printing, TV ads, radio spiels - they all talk to consumers. For the longest time, this has been how businesses sell their products or services.
The only way customers get involved in the conversation is if they actually bought the product. This exchange is the only form of 'conversation' that could be heard in the traditional way of marketing products. The only measure of customer engagement then is if customers will take their wallet and buy whatever it is you're promoting in your ads, whether its poster printing or online poster printing. If they don't then the strategy didn't work at all.
This paradigm began to evolve however, when businesses started asking people what they thought of their products. Businesses started to talk to customers through interviews, focus group discussions or surveys. And boy, these companies learned so much! Now, businesses are finding out preferences, spending patterns, which ultimately led to the development of stimulus packages in their marketing campaigns such as online poster printing.
Another way for business to know customer feedback is through the way customers use or display promotional items. I was in the Philippines a couple of months ago and I noticed that souvenir shops are carrying San Miguel (a popular brand of beer) t-shirts and people are in fact buying them. McDonald's Happy Meals also serves as indicator for the fast food giant because it tells them how customers value their collectibles.
These strategies are still evolving from simple conversations into genuine exchanges. The consumer takes the brand message and feeds back to the brand. There are three ways to measure a customer's feedback: they continue to patronize your brand; they will switch to another brand; and they will not try your product at all.
So when the means of production are actually in the hands of the consumer, the monologue turns into an actual conversation. Think of how online poster printing customers for example are so actively engaged in designing the layout of their poster printing and then choosing the colors, etc. From start to end, you can hear the voice of the customer all through out. This is what most business should aspire for: a genuine conversation between the brand and the customers. If they don't do these, they will find out eventually that they are all alone, devoid of clients and they will have no one to talk to except themselves.