The concept of engagement has evolved quite a bit throughout history. Early advertisers used the idea of engagement to literally engage people, often employing someone to stand on a street corner and howl out deals to passersby. Engagement evolved further to encompass market reach, and referred to publications that were widely read.
Today, the definition is very different thanks to the wealth of metrics available to advertisers. Advertisers who utilize Analytics with display advertising can track a user’s behavior on the page. This helps develop campaigns that are targeted to a specific type of person, leading to higher conversion rates and better click-thrus.
Dialogue with Consumers
Businesses can have a dialogue of sorts with consumers, based on data acquired in real-time. Testing an ad for even a few hours can tell you so much about how users react to changes in your copy or form. This level of interaction essentially means that consumers and businesses shape the brand moment-by-moment.
You can tell, based on bounce rates and clicks, what your consumers respond to. Applying this logic to your banner advertising will tell you which changes have the greatest impact. That is far more effective than simply waiting around for users on Facebook to tell you what they think about your products.
What these trends have revealed is that consumer behavior is erratic, and not simple to define. We can categorize consumers by types, but individuals prove very difficult to target as we are each driven by our own desires. The future of engagement will be somewhat predictive, and we can already see this at work with ads around the Web.
Based on our search terms, or our interests, ad exchanges are able to serve us ads that increasingly target specific interests. Engagement won’t just be a measure of a brand’s reach. It will encompass a consumer’s interaction with that brand, and the image will shape in real-time before the public eye.
The Power of Data
Data will only become more prevalent in this emerging world of marketing, especially as more users adopt mobile for shopping. Mobile marketers are already targeting consumers on the hyper local level. As the level of data grows, so will the complexity of dealing with it. Companies will need to learn how to identify important data sets and take actions accordingly. The major players in the future will be those who are able to process data into actionable items.
Bio: Ted Dhanik is the CEO of engage:BDR, a direct marketing company based out of Los Angeles. Ted Dhanik is a banner advertising guru who sold ad space for MySpace.com and LowerMyBills.com. Ted Dhanik co-founded engage:BDR with the goal of increasing leads for business through direct advertising.