engagement is the new…err old black

It’s been interesting to sit back and watch the term “engagement” become the new black…the new buzz word in marketing circles — especially online marketing circles.  The reason that I say it is “interesting” is that it has always been about engagement.  So, why all the fuss…and why now? 

I’m sure it has been brewing for much longer than I recall, but it seems to me that the term engagement and using it as a success metric for a campaign or an individual piece of collateral became all the rage about a year ago. 

I remember Peter Blackshaw, the CMO from Nielsen BuzzMetrics (go figure?), writing a great piece in ClickZ about this topic about a year ago.  Gary Stein, formerly of Jupiter and now part of WOM Agency Ammo, has written much about this topic as well…noting its importance, but also the difficulty associated with measuring true consumer engagement.  And, the term engagement has become so popular in today’s marketing circles, that it’s now central theme of an alleged sex crime as noted by George Simpson, in his Online Media Daily commentary coverage of “The Quiznos Guy — Scott Lippitt and his recent arrest.” 

So, engagement is everywhere.  It’s the new black.  But am I missing something?  Hasn’t advertising and media ALWAYS been about engagement?  We’ve moved from static billboards along the highway to dynamic ones.  Why?  To increase engagement.  We’ve migrated from advertising on the packaging of video games to advertising within the animation of the games themselves.  Why?  To increase engagement.  We’ve moved from running :30 ads between programs on network television to product placements within the programming itself?  Why?  Well to beat TiVo…and to increase engagement. 

Engagement is not the new black…but rather the OLD black.  The new black will be  a way to easily and accurately measure consumer engagement.  Better yet, the new black will be transforming behavioral targeting from a medium designed to target people deep in the buying cycle to one that focuses on engaging the consumer across all phases of the buying cycle — even brand awareness/identity. 

If that’s the case, then who knows, maybe mSpoke will become the new black???

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~ by matflec on August 16, 2006.

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