Sunday, December 15, 2013

Etsy Sellers Inject Humanity Into Online Commerce | AttentionMax

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Engagement Not Dead, But In Remission

Obviously, I haven’t updated this blog in nearly six months. This blog is not dead, but it’s in extended remission. Perhaps I’ll rejuvenate it sometime, when there’s much more to report. I’m sure another wave of discussion and advancement around advertising engagement is inevitable, though I feel we’re in an in-between period. I’d love your thoughts and suggestions about how we might rekindle coverage in the future.

In the meantime, I’m still very active over at AttentionMax.

Friday, January 05, 2007

At The End Of The Day, Is Engagement A Buzzword?

Philip Tiongson at Organized Chaos says "engagement" should be added to the list of most overused words in the creative profession:
"Engagement" - Engagement, engagement, engagement - the holy grail of media planners. What exactly is it? What does it mean? Erwin Ephron has given us some thoughts about - but what do we do with it? Is it measurable? Is it observable? Is it real? Is it like Schrodinger's cat - half alive, half dead?
Can anyone anwser Philip?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Consumer Empowerment Turns Your Message & Reputation Into the True Vehicle of Your Brand

A lot of the industry discussion around Engagement has been a reaction to consumer empowerment. Even the Advertising Research Foundation’s news release – first paragraph, mind you – announcing its working definition of engagement signaled to it:
As the advertising industry grapples with the profound changes in media, marketing and the emerging empowerment of consumers, the concept of engagement has emerged as 'more of a demand creation' paradigm than the 'reach or awareness focused' paradigm of the past twenty five years.
But in all the hype of consumer empowerment, I think it’s very important not to fall into the trap of “consumer control,” a false paradigm which marketers too often embrace when rationalizing this period of great change.

The truth is that consumers now have a voice, they have more choice and can hold marketers accountable as never before. Consumers can quickly organize, mobilize, reward and punish. Their gestures and votes are far more impacting. The ANA is right in suggesting that “truly interactive dialogue” is imperative, and those who don’t “abandon their historic ‘command and control’ model of brand building” will suffer.

So are consumers in control? No. They are more empowered, but there are two sides to this relationship. One side is the marketer and the other the consumer. It takes two to tango, and the balance of power is equalizing, to be sure. Contrary to hype and alarm, marketers have tremendous control over the variables and customer touch points that matter most. The result is that marketers must revisit the fundamentals.

The fundamentals – which you can control – include customer respect, your own innovation and product, your storefronts and your customer service among others. In a world increasingly driven by word of mouth–where reach, awareness trial and loyalty must be earned, not paid for–these factors become the building blocks of your message and your reputation. Your message and your reputation then become the true vehicle of your brand–much more so than any traditional notion of media.

And this is the core issue the ARF seems to be alluding to in its aforementioned statement that engagement is becoming 'more of a demand creation' paradigm than the 'reach or awareness focused' paradigm.

What do you think?

(These were key themes in my recent MediaPost op-ed here.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Yahoo Explains What’s Wrong With The Page-View Metric

Peter Daboll, chief of insights at Yahoo, and former president of comScore Media Metrix, just dished up a very good articulation of why page-view Web metrics are so irrelevant. (Btw, I used to work with Peter when I was a marketing and analytics guy at comScore Media Metrix.) He says:

Page view counting has been a key measure for a decade but just because it was once the obvious solution, doesn’t mean it’s the best one now. A couple of reasons why:

  • PVs aren’t a good reflection of web activity in 2006 and beyond. It’s a broadband world and page views are irrelevant to some of the most frequently used Internet services like instant messenger, VoIP, or video, in addition to technologies such as Flash and Ajax. More page views might actually reward sites for poor site design in light of these new technologies.
  • PVs have never been consistently measured by third parties or by sites themselves. Everyone has a different definition of when and how a page is counted.
  • PVs don’t represent ad inventory. In the early days of the Internet, page views were used to represent available ad impressions, but the reality is that page views and ad impressions are actually counted in different ways and don’t correlate. PVs also have little to do with available inventory with the different types of ad units available today using text, audio, video, etc.

The bottom line is that the page view has outgrown its usefulness. The industry needs to embrace change and develop new metrics that measure this new world more accurately. We all need to help to wean the industry off the crutch of familiar metrics in favor of more accurate and representative ones. We all need to be smart about these new metrics — the measurement companies, major publishers, and advertisers.

But the problems with the page view reflect a more inherent problem that ties into the advertising Engagement discussion: what's the value for advertisers across higher- or lower-involvement media experiences, interactions and different contexts? The publisher business wheels and deals in the buying and selling of consumer attention captured by intrusion and disruption. Whatever the new metric becomes of that, you must also pursue the higher calling of determining actual outcome when marketers and publishers hold hands, and juxtapose commercial messaging with content. Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 points out a likely evolution of this conundrum: a fuzzy middle ground between direct response and brand advertising.

Monday, December 18, 2006

ANA's Top 2007 Transformation: 'Consumer in Control'

Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), dishes up his top-ten list of the most important marketing transformations for 2007:
  1. Consumer in Control: Marketers will abandon their historic ‘command and control’ model of brand building in favor of a truly interactive dialogue with consumers. Recognizing that consumers now have the power to control how, when and where they interact with advertisers, brand marketers will radically reinvent their approaches, putting the consumer in the driver’s seat and unleashing a tsunami of interactive campaigns across all media forms.

  2. New Agenda for Agencies: Agencies will be turned on their heads, with their efforts increasingly tied to client brand performance. Marketers will expect them to integrate strategic brand management, creativity and innovative media management – and to deliver big, game-changing ideas.

  3. Hail to the Chief: The chief marketing officer will rise in stature as a C-suite player, not only serving as chief brand architect and marketing discipline integrator, but also as the enterprise’s business system innovator, organizational teacher/ motivator and, most importantly, chief revenue builder.

  4. Unconventional Outreach: Marketing will become increasingly unconventional – tapping into social networking, word-of-mouth, local events and more – to break through media clutter, consumer multi-tasking and the growing cacophony of marketplace noise. With the use of the internet, mobile and other new media forms, combined with the innovative use of traditional media, marketers will find ways to reach and engage reluctant consumers and customers.

  5. Media Buying Metamorphosis: Media buying and selling will be transformed. The old, antiquated ways of doing business will give way to new, automated, highly transparent processes, as demonstrated by the growth of online media buying exchanges.

  6. Let the Fighting End: Government policymakers, consumer advocacy groups and brand marketers will begin to find common ground, aligning business goals with public policy needs. Marketers will increasingly embrace their role in helping to advance national priorities in such areas as diversity, education and health – proactively addressing such societal ills as illegal drug usage, obesity, underage smoking, alcohol abuse and others.

  7. Organizational Overhaul: The marketing organization will undergo a top-to-bottom reinvention, providing better professional education and skill-building, with a focus on enhancing creativity, strategic alignment and, ultimately, brand stewardship.

  8. Research Renewal: Research will become the next frontier in the accountability equation. Marketers will insist that macro measurements (Nielsen, Arbitron, ABC), marketing mix modeling and brand performance research become far more relevant to and aligned with critical brand accountability goals. Marketers will be especially vocal in their desire for granular, brand-specific commercial ratings.

  9. Blow up the Back Room: Archaic business systems and back office operations will be overhauled to lower costs, increase efficiencies and redeploy non-working dollars to hard-working, productive investments.

  10. Continuous Marketing Reinvention: Continuous marketing reinvention will become the mantra of marketing executives and the cornerstone philosophy for successful brand building, integrated marketing communications, marketing accountability and the marketing organization.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Brands for the Chattering Masses

Keith Schneider penned a nice story today in the Sunday NYTimes business section on Nielsen BuzzMetrics (the company I work for) and the overall emerging industry we call consumer-generated media (CGM) measurement. He asks a key question:

As consumers eagerly post word-of-mouth commentary in online communities, message boards and Web logs, a straightforward question confronts brandmeisters: Who wins and who loses as time-tested practices of mass production and mass marketing are undermined by the informed and often cranky voices of the knowledge age?

That very question should be applied to evolving definitions and models of engagement. Why? Because CGM offers massive clues into engagement, including the media context, the brand, the commercial message and the resulting magic that happens (or doesn’t) when the aforementioned pieces come together. CGM represents not predetermined transactions, nor potential units of media consumption. Rather, CGM is an untainted, rich reflection of the passion and significance of human experiences, conditions and intentions. CGM is not intelligence structured according to the agenda of brands or mass marketers; rather, CGM represents perpetual digital residue which offers an unbiased, ongoing and open-source record of how brands exist in people’s lives. It’s such a simple and powerful idea -- a moment of truth -- yet so contrary to so many approaches which place focus on other ancillary responses.

Read the entire NYTimes story here.