Defining and Measuring Engagement

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Digital advertising, marketing, and publishing executives today deliberated over what “engagement” means for their business and clients. And no one agreed on one way to define, measure, and extract value from online engagement.

“Engagement is a concept we’re still defining,” said Jean-Philippe Maheu, CDO of Oglivy North America. It includes, he said, creation and distribution of great stories and determining how to best get brand influencers and advocates to work with a brand.

Nada Stirratt, MTV Networks’s EVP, digital advertising, said engagement represents developing the right programming that consumers will invest in. “Whether that’s someone watching [TV] on the air, going online, creating an avatar, playing a game, creating a community, or texting in on a cell phone,” she said.

These executives were among 18 who spoke during a three-hour “Engagement Debate” at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York Times Square. VideoEgg presented the event, which coincided with the company’s launch of its new “per engagement” pricing model on its video advertising network.

Ian Schafer, Deep Focus chief executive, likened engagement to initatives to build brand loyalty, rather than to promote a direct response, such as an online purchase.

During a discussion on how to measure engagement, Erin Matts, group director, strategy, at OMD, said metrics vary depending on a brand’s objective. In order to establish some standardization and faciltate future planning, Matts tries to work, when possible, from comScore metrics such minutes per day on a media property.

Benjamin Ezrick,Ogilvy Interactive’s senior strategist, digital innovation, argued that Google has already defined and measured engagement: the click. “Right now, that’s the best monetization of engagement,” he said. “That’s the standard.”

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