Monday, 13 April 2009

Engagement is What Advertisers Need to Focus on in this Experience Economy

Yesterday I commented on Tara Hunt's blog comments regarding "throwing sheep" -- finding ways to involve websurfers landing on any given site in engaging activities that will make the site stickier, but also will generate goodwill and forge a 'connection' between the sites' brand(s) and the consumer/viewer/surfer.

Today AdAge posted a 3 Minute Video in which Time's Vivek Shah points out that the traditional comparison of 'analog dollars to digital dimes' is false -- it's all about how much time people spend experiencing the medium, and therefore both how much time they spend exposed to the ads and how involved/engaged they are with it.  He pointed out that the reality is that we're talking about "analog hours to digital minutes", and until publishers online begin to get this and figure out ways to change the current ratio, they will not be able to monetize their online offering.

The 'depth' of the experience, the level of engagement, is what is critical and valuable. To Tara's point, Mr. Shah speaks to the need for advertisers online to find better ways to enhance the website experience and encourage engagement -- do this and your ROI improves dramatically. This continues to reinforce the need to marry experiential with social and interactive marketing efforts, not see them as separate entities, nor focus on impressions. 

We're seeing a flurry of activity right now around developing effective metrics for in-store (POPAI's MARI and Neilsen's PRISM) and a shift away from 'click-through' rates to more meaningful measures like conversion and order size.  All of this will finally begin to legitimize the higher cost of XM (experiential marketing) face-to-face 'engagements' and increase the shift of dollars from TV to 'the new ATL'.

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