Engagement – Marketing’s “New” Key Metric
By Bob Troia
For those of you who might have been following the Forrester Research Marketing Forum 2008 (either via “microblogging” or Twitter), a new set of metrics were put forth to better quantify how consumers engage with products and services.
The engagement model is based on Discovery, Evaluation, Use and Affinity for products and can be used offline and online to measure the interaction that consumers have with brands. It’s based on a study Forrester released back in August:
Executive Summary: The marketing funnel is a broken metaphor that overlooks the complexity social media introduces into the buying process. As consumers’ trust in traditional media diminishes, marketers need a new approach. We propose a new metric, engagement, that includes four components: involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence. Each of these is built from data collected from online and offline data sources. Using engagement, you get a more holistic appreciation of your customers’ actions, recognizing that value comes not just from transactions but also from actions people take to influence others. Once engagement takes hold of marketing, marketing messages will become conversations, and dollars will shift from media buying to customer understanding.
Their framework outlines four “I” concepts:
- Involvement tracks site visitors, time spent, page views and more (old-school stuff)
- Interaction measures the contributions to blogs, photo and video creation and uploads, and purchases
- Intimacy tries to understand consumer attitudes, perception, and feelings about a brand through surveys or monitoring technology as well as applications providing an interactive environment between brand and consumers
- Influence measures the likelihood that consumers will recommend or advocate products or brands
What’s interesting is that we have been using “engagement” as a primary metric used to measure the success our programs since back in 2003 – while our methodologies have evolved, the principles remain the same. Nice to see our friends at Forrester finally pick up on and validate it (just kidding, we love you Forrester folks! )