Thursday, October 05, 2006

Engagement A "Flexible" Term

Rob Passikoff, who offered some nice commentary in the Video Engagement series, writes:
I spent a lot of time at engagement discussions during Advertising Week 2007, and one of the key come-aways was that the definition of “engagement” remains a relatively, shall we say, “flexible” term.

To a large degree the difficulty arises from the fact that very few marketers have the courage to demand ROI metrics from their agencies and media providers. “Attention paid” – while eschewed when framed as “awareness” – seems perfectly acceptable if you can point and say, “well, the consumers seemed to have been paying attention.” Take for example, Katie Couric’s move to the top new spot for CBS.

Katie Couric's initial appearance on the evening news resulted in a big jump in viewership. But between opening night and last Friday, the newscast has lost nearly half its audience. Preliminary Nielsen ratings show The CBS Evening News with 7.5 million viewers, behind NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams (8.2 million) and ABC's World News With Charles Gibson (7.6 million).

Historically, incoming network anchors have delivered a ratings boost in their first week, but who among you would be surprised to hear that? But after one month. . . wait for it. . . their average ratings declined, the technical term when things like that transpire being, “Well, duh!”

Perhaps someone should point out to anyone who will listen that there is a big difference between consumer curiosity and profitable engagement and that both can be measured!
Consumer curiosity and profitable engagement? What shocks me is how much passive, forgettable television viewing still dominates this Engagement discussion.


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