Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Coca-Cola And Engagement

Wendy Davis at MediaPost captures some of Coca-Cola’s questions about “engagement”:

John Stichweh, director of global interactive marketing for The Coca-Cola Company, this morning cast doubt on whether the company thinks engagement is a goal worth pursuing. The measurement that really matters, he said, is sales. “How many more cases of Coke am I selling? I don’t know,” he said at the Ad:Tech conference in New York.

In fact, Stichweh proposed that the concept of “engagement,” as well as other metrics like “brand awareness” that serve as proxies for sales, fall far short of what marketers require. “What am I getting for the shareholder?” he asked, rhetorically. “I don’t know.”

At the end of the day, sales are what are important for a marketer. But short of sales, can’t engagement also be hugely important if it ties to a pre-defined business outcome, like a changed attitude, preference or behavior?


Anonymous Rob Fields said...

I wasn't at Ad:Tech, but in his comments, I sense the concern that the focus on engagement can take marketers' eyes off the ball. Engagement is an interesting concept. I throw it around, too, because it’s useful short hand. However, I think the term tends to be misused by advertising people who are struggling to protect budgets by suggesting that advertising can be really effective at changing behavior. There’s a lot of thin ice if you subscribe to this path. Probably the safest course to chart is to make sure that the brand is clear about the objective for each campaign element. Why are we advertising? Why are we doing PR? Why do we have viral elements? So, while its unfair to judge every element on payback (how much do you get from PR, for example?), the ultimate objective is sales.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Frank Maina said...

interesting , every communication effort must lead to some action -sales ,when we evaluate branding or engagement for anything less we probably forget the overall objective in the very first place.The short term and the long term must lead to only one thing-sales.

8:53 AM  

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