Adland Has No Idea What Engagement Really Means! And Why We Need To Correct That

Adland Has No Idea What Engagement Really Means! And Why We Need To Correct That
SHARE
THIS



‘Engagement’ has been a buzzword in Adland for almost as long as the industry itself. However often the term is used without a full comprehension as to what it really entails. In this opinion piece, Bryan Melmed, vice president of insights at Exponential, examines what the term means today.

For decades, the ad industry has used the term “engagement” without understanding what it truly means or why it truly matters. It is a concept that everyone agrees is important, but without a clear definition, no one can explain why. At one point or another, brands, agencies and vendors have all been guilty of this crime. But engagement matters, so a course correction is necessary.

To do that, marketers should focus less on the word itself, and more on the active consumer engagement that powers this buzz-worthy ad metric. The goal of brand advertising campaigns is to raise awareness, which is prompted on a subconscious level. The pathway to a consumer’s unconscious – indeed the best way for them to learn and retain something new – is established through conscious active attention. If engagement is truly important, marketers should not think of brands as entities or messages, but as learned behaviours, or expectations of outcomes based upon active experiences that eventually become second nature.

That’s a lofty goal, and one that’s hard to achieve by spraying ads across the web. Our recent focus has been on ensuring an ad is visible, but just seeing an ad is not enough when we know that only 0.06 percent of banner ads are clicked on in Australia. Capturing conscious active attention demands a strategy, not a series of long-shot gambles. Marketers must understand the focus of a consumer when that ad falls into view. As Stephanie Fried, VP of research at Vevo, recently put it in a whitepaper on the subject, “The amount of things consumed is less useful than time.”

Optimising campaigns to engagement drives interaction

The ball starts rolling when consumers spend time with an ad; this is intuitive. They think about it, interact with it, and retain its message. Numerous studies have shown that once engaged, the average consumer is willing to spend 60 seconds actively exploring a brand message. Even armed with this knowledge, advertisers still find themselves relying on outdated metrics – fuelling low-involvement, click-bait content that does not increase brand equity. In contrast, when campaigns are optimised to engagement, interaction rates can climb by double digit percentage points.

Engagement metrics: embracing its multiple dimensions

If brand awareness is an unconscious phenomenon, then easily quantifiable clicks are at best a terrible shortcut to what you really want to quantify, and certainly should not be the sole measure of success. Measuring engagement requires the marketer to understand its many multiple dimensions by closely examining several metrics.

When measuring brand impact, advertisers should consider cognitive, emotional and physical engagement. Brand awareness metrics include purchase intent, sentiment and seeking further information. Physical metrics are still valuable, but should go deeper than counting clicks; average time spent, conversion rate, dwell time and interaction rates are great starting points for engagement-minded marketers.

Embracing these metrics isn’t easy, especially if current brand expectations for agencies and campaign parameters hinder what lead tomore interactive campaigns. However, the demand for engagement is only increasing – and hence, we see budgets shift swiftly to media that drives true user interaction.

Cue the growth of video advertising.

How video advertising powers engagement and vice versa

Video advertising has grown massively – both driven by the demand for engagement and because it’s the most powerful vehicle for engagement. Last month the IAB Australia released a study The Changing TV Experience: Attitudes and Usage across Multiple Screens which outlined the dramatic shift in consumers’ television viewing habits and offered marketers insights into reaching audiences as connected TV ownership and multi-screening becomes more prevalent. The video advertising opportunity is set to boom in Australia. We know that video significantly increases the average dwell time for an ad in Australia to over a minute and makes a consumer three times more likely to go to a brand’s website. Consequently video ads are a sweet-spot combination of sight, sound and emotion – arguably making them the most reliable way to truly engage with consumers.

The familiar 15- or 30-second video is a blank canvas brands can use to amplify their brand message and capture the consumers’ attention and imagination. The challenge for marketers is crafting a brilliant teaser, balancing ad integration and creative messaging for the optimal result – all while respecting the consumer journey by not intruding on their online experience. We need to make video the primary focus without the extra frills that can disturb, and distract, from the video experience.

Today, video also possesses the power to drive engagement across multiple devices. Repetition and consistency ensures memory retention – therefore, the most powerful tactic to increasing brand equity across various mediums is ensuring a consistent look and feel that is adaptive across computer, mobile and tablet.

Get with it: staying relevant in the era of engagement

Timeless brands that create lasting, memorable campaigns have embraced engagement in a way that most of the industry has not truly understood – yet. Engagement is no longer a buzzword. We’re moving (perhaps uncomfortably) fast, but it’s time to get with it. Your next campaign depends on it.

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop
  • Marketing

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop

Sadly, M&C Saatchi's 1440 is no more. And chances of it being reborn as 1550 not looking much chop either.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract

Out-of-home media business APN Outdoor has won the tender for New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport. As part of the new agreement, APN Outdoor has flagged extensive development plans for Queenstown Airport’s advertising assets. The new contract adds Queenstown Airport to APN Outdoor’s existing portfolio of Auckland and Christchurch Airports. The media company will hire a South […]

Havas Secures Exclusive ‘Fight Of Champions’ Broadcast Rights With Foxtel For Australia & NZ
  • Media

Havas Secures Exclusive ‘Fight Of Champions’ Broadcast Rights With Foxtel For Australia & NZ

Havas Sports & Entertainment ANZ, a division of the broader global full-service agency Havas, has confirmed an exclusive deal with Foxtel to showcase the World Boxing Association (WBA) Welterweight Championship across the trans-Tasman. Billed as the ‘Fight of Champions’, Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse will square off for the WBA Welterweight belt this Sunday. Havas […]

The Question On Everybody’s Lips At Cannes: How Did Tesco Win The Grand Prix Media Lion?
  • Media
  • Opinion

The Question On Everybody’s Lips At Cannes: How Did Tesco Win The Grand Prix Media Lion?

In this guest post, PHD’s Chloe Hooper (pictured below) analyses the campaign that claimed top honours in the Media category at Cannes this year. I sat in the auditorium as the Cannes Media Lion winners for 2018 were awarded. One thing became instantly clear to me: it is all about taking home Gold or the Grand Prix. […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
MINI Australia Showcases New ‘Connected’ Vehicles Via Vizeum & Posterscope
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

MINI Australia Showcases New ‘Connected’ Vehicles Via Vizeum & Posterscope

An integrated campaign by Vizeum Melbourne for MINI Australia’s new ‘Connected’ vehicles will see digital out-of-home (DOOH) served via Posterscope’s Liveposter platform. Delivered centrally, the campaign will showcase the flexible qualities DOOH provides via multiple creatives targeted with specific data overlays such as location, traffic, time of day, and weather triggers such as rain. The […]

Women In Media Profile: Lisa Sheehan
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Lisa Sheehan

The delightful Lisa Sheehan straps into B&T's "cage of truth" we actually prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp, Storyful & Fox Sports Join Forces To Support AIME Hoodie Day
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Media

News Corp, Storyful & Fox Sports Join Forces To Support AIME Hoodie Day

News Corp Australia, Storyful and Fox Sports have joined forces in support of 2018 AIME Hoodie Day with a creative advertising, PR, social media and editorial campaign across print, digital, and broadcast media. Fox League presenter Hannah Hollis (pictured above) fronts the AIME Hoodie Day campaign, conceptualised, designed and created by News Corp’s trade marketing […]

Storyation Finalist For Global Content Marketing Agency Of The Year
  • Marketing

Storyation Finalist For Global Content Marketing Agency Of The Year

Sydney content marketing agency Storyation has been named a finalist for global Content Marketing Agency of the Year in the Content Marketing Association Awards in the US.  The only Australian agency on the short-list, Storyation was founded by two former Fairfax Media executives Lauren Quaintance (right in photo) and Mimi Cullen (left) and its clients include Tourism […]

Jaden Social Claims Integrated Marketing Tender For NSW Schools Spectacular
  • Marketing

Jaden Social Claims Integrated Marketing Tender For NSW Schools Spectacular

Jaden Social has been awarded the tender to handle integrated marketing for the NSW Schools Spectacular. The agreement will see Jaden Social manage marketing, media, digital and social across the 2018 to 2020 productions of Schools Spectacular, held at Qudos Bank Arena in November. Jaden Social underwent a competitive pitch to secure the account, in […]

APD Australia Appoints New Head Of Digital Product & Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Technology

APD Australia Appoints New Head Of Digital Product & Strategy

Digital transformation business APD has announced the appointment of Chris Butterworth as its Australian head of digital product and strategy. Based in Melbourne, Butterworth (pictured above) will be responsible for building on APD’s owned media team, growing its range of services and developing cross-channel products. Butterworth joins APD from Reprise Digital, where he was most […]