New Research On Engagement

We've just published a new report titled Marketing's New Key Metric: Engagement.

The link is here. [UPDATE 8/13, 2pm (Eastern): This link redirects to a page on the Forrester Web site which includes the executive summary. The full report is accessible to Forrester clients.]

The premise behind the report is that the center of the marketing funnel (consideration and preference) is more complex than many like to believe. This complexity is largely influenced by people's changing behaviors online, fueled by social computing.

As a result, marketers need to focus on engagement. In the report, we define engagement as:

Engagement is the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence an individual has with a brand over time.

The four components of engagement are:

Involvement—Includes web analytics like site traffic, page views, time spent, etc. This essentially is the component that measures if a person is present.

Interaction—This component addresses the more robust actions people take, such as buying a product, requesting a catalog, signing up for an email, posting a comment on a blog, uploading a photo or video, etc. These metrics come from e-commerce or social media platforms.

Intimacy—The sentiment or affinity that a person exhibits in the things they say or the actions they take, such as the meaning behind a blog post or comment, a product review, etc. Services such as brand monitoring help track these types of conversations.

Influence—Addresses the likelihood that a person will recommend your product or service to someone else. It can manifest itself through brand loyalty or through recommendations to friends, family, or acquaintances. These metrics mostly come from surveys (both qualitative and quantitative).

Our argument is that companies need to start tying these metrics together to make sense of how engaged their customers actually are—and then make product and marketing decisions based on that knowledge.

Now, there's no clean and beautiful equation like e = mc2. But as we continue this research on the topic and gather feedback (we've already seen some extremely polarizing reviews of the report), we'd love to get your take on the matter.

What is engagement to you? How do you measure it? What obstacles do your typically encounter? If you're a vendor of analytics services or technology, how do you help clients measure this complexity? And what should the next Engagement report be about?

Comments

re: New Research On Engagement

Hi Brian - any chance of a copy of the report so I can review it propoerly on Brand Republic?

re: New Research On Engagement

Robin--Ping press@forrester.com and they can handle your request. Thanks.

re: New Research On Engagement

Engagement is pretty much the way you said it is, the four I's are quite how you could describe it. As a vendor helping a client measure a complexity like analytics it is a rather difficult job. As I see it putting your trust in him and doing a good or maybe better job is what is needed to be done.

re: New Research On Engagement

I am a representive of a marketing firm called HypeDrive.com. I have posted an article below about our firm. This maybe useful to some but I just wanted to get some feedback about what you think about this approach. Thanks.The world of marketing online is changing everyday. The ideas have sort of stalled after SEO , adwords, and spam where discovered. To no suprise marketers have devloped new ways to reach thier target markets. The newest approach comes from a company that opened for business 7 months ago, HypeDrive. They offer clients a new way to get consumers with an old school approach, word of mouth marketing. They will for a fee take your business, website, or idea and relay the message to thier vast network of contract employees that begin conversations throughout the internet . They can infiltrate all of the major scoial networks, message boards, and even bloggers to find your exact target market. They claim to generate ” genuine conversation”. A person inside the compamy explains that the way the work is , they just find the consumers you want and strike up conversations with them. The company will not disclose thier clients , because they offer full disclosure. The company says they can take a product know one has ever heard of and in a month people can’t quit talking about it. The company is rumored to behind many of the new internet crazes, but specifics can not be verfied. The approach is critized by some saying it is stealth, but it does defietley offer a new breath to online businesses who are alwasy on the lookout for new ways to reach thier markets.

re: New Research On Engagement

I think it's a solid definition, but it seems to be entirely focused on what's happening on a brand site. One thing I'm not seeing much awareness of is the importance of tracking what's happening elsewhere. Measuring engagement should also track how many people are talking about a product/brand/company on other sites like MySpace, Facebook, TripAdvisor, or anywhere else that people can express their opinions. That is a huge measure of engagement.I think it needs to be beyond surveys that measure "likelihood that a person will recommend your product or service to someone else." We can see first hand a great deal of what people have really done online, and not just what they say they will do when asked in a survey.

re: New Research On Engagement

There is a very interesting debate to be had here.I and my colleagues at Cogapp have just started publishing a series of articles about the theory of engagement written from our point of view as builders of online properties and brands in a Media 2.0 world.In that view, which is more about organisational change than marketing metrics, we propose four rules of engagement garnered from many decades of industry experience: be engaging; be engaged; be authentic; and be agile.There is a strong overlap between Forrester's four Is and our first rule. And perhaps a less strong connection with part of our second rule. But the other principles, all of which also seem to be important, look like they may escape the metrics.http://blog.cogapp.com/taxonomy/tags/engagement/engagement-theory/We'd be very up for a more in-depth debate if the Forrester community were interested.

re: New Research On Engagement

By the way check this company MDFI. Their stock is set to increase because of their association with Apple iphone and Complete Care Medical. Find more about this company and stock http://www.growurmoney.com/medefile/

re: New Research On Engagement

As doctors and physicians are extremely concerned with engagement due to ethical and licensing issues, among others, our efforts to make their websites fulfill all of your engagement criteria might be scrutinized for instruction on just how to do it properly.Let us go through your points from a medical marketing point-of-view and see how your assumption is truly correct:Involvement: a medical site has to be relevant to the needs felt by the potential patient. Thus, a rich website in terms of detailed coverage and simple navigation is the key to involving a patient.Interaction: we strive to make each page a "committer" page. By this, I mean that we allow on each page for the patient to give up something and, thus, become part of our doctor's network. Newsletters, appointment settings, comments, etc. fulfill this need.Intimacy: the intimacy issue is difficult for doctors due to HIPAA laws, but still a blog with comments, a private sign-in area allowing more in-depth knowledge, and the such can be helpful.Influence: each doctor should strive to add as much meaningful content on the web as possible and get that content linking back to her, or his, site. Additionally, publication of the same material on the doctor's site is meaningful. Google PageRank can be instructive on this issue though, sadly, few people outside the internet seo business know how to use it to gauge a site's value in Google's eyes.

re: New Research On Engagement

dear siri have gone though ur explanation of 4i approach thats right. i am in process and is working on the concept of customer engagement to make this concept understand to students. sir i want to know the way of take the customer to web 2. like, blog, communities and forums are one of the way. please tell me the other way so that i can give the answer to the question of my students.