[SLED] Fwd: OnlineSpin: Are Engagement Believers In Denial?

Ed Lamoureux ell at bumail.bradley.edu
Fri Oct 6 09:03:00 PDT 2006

here's an interesting spin on the engagement thread from last week.
Note the discussion from the Marketer/advertiser perspective.
Also, very important is the message that these guys sometimes try to  
look at a concept like engagement from a static point of view...  
somehow controlling for the very dynamic variables whose dynamism  
changes the territory they are trying to map.

Though this is only an analogy to engagement in learning . . . I  
think that it bears sharing.

Please forgive the ads and commercial nature of the mail... I do not  
intend to spam the list, but was afraid that if I start stripping out  
stuff, I might also compromise the ability of some to read the thing.

Let me know if you don't get the message (if it doesn't open for you)  
and I"ll copy out and paste just the text.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: MediaPost Publications <onlinespin at mediapost.com>
> Date: October 6, 2006 10:27:53 AM CDT
> To: ell at bradley.edu
> Subject: OnlineSpin: Are Engagement Believers In Denial?
> Last week Max transcribed his discussion, "Dr. Joe Plummer On  
> Consumer Engagement."
> Eric Kennedy wrote in response, "Great comments! Insightful and  
> right to the heart of the issue. Max is right about trying to use  
> 'tonnage'--it just does not work anymore!"
> Manuel Morales wrote, "I agree--ENGAGEMENT is the key.
> As a consumer, a sports fan, and parent, I found that commercials  
> during sports programs were at best an unwelcome nuisance. So I did  
> something about it.
> I invented a game, called Tempt Destiny, that you play while you  
> watch your favorite sport--that's the fan part. The game also  
> enables you to play the commercials--that's the consumer part. The  
> game also is easy to play and makes watching the sport a family  
> event/party--that's the parent part.
> So while the marketing gurus are busy scratching their heads on how  
> to sell to the consumers, I found that if you make a game of it and  
> engage the audience instead of alienating it, the rest will follow.
> Friday, October 6, 2006
> Are Engagement Believers In Denial?
> By Max Kalehoff
>  Engagement is "turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by  
> the surrounding context." That's the Advertising Research  
> Foundation's definition of the hotly debated buzzword, as well as  
> the focus of last week's Consumer Engagement conference, led by the  
> ARF and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. The  
> impressive gathering of senior media, marketing and research execs  
> fostered smart discussion about incorporating engagement measures  
> into our advertising models. But I believe progress is tempered in  
> part by denial and avoidance of some tough and fundamental questions.
> Why? If last week's conference was an indication, the discussion  
> too often gravitates toward packaged, controlled contexts, with as  
> much attention directed to paid media and television brand  
> advertising as ever before. There's nothing wrong with these  
> traditional tactics in the marketing communications mix, but their  
> failure to perform in a more cluttered, complex, consumer- 
> empowered, Google-juiced world is precisely why we're having this  
> engagement discussion to begin with--isn't it?
> If we presume marketing communications' ultimate aspiration is to  
> drive and sustain sales--whether directly or indirectly through  
> brand loyalty, awareness, involvement or direct response--then we  
> need to thrust this engagement discussion further. It needs to go  
> way beyond the margins of the traditional paid-for and interruptive  
> attention models that we all seem to agree are broken or eroding.
> Where do we start? I'd like to propose six new dimensions that  
> advertisers need to inject into this engagement discussion right away:
> 1. Uncontrolled context. How should marketers approach turning on a  
> mind when the context is uncontrollable and unpredictable, like  
> social networks where word of mouth propagates? Ignoring context in  
> these circumstances won't cancel out reality. What happens when  
> context is not orchestrated, but stumbled upon? Consider a brand  
> being discussed in a gathering of friends, an increasingly  
> important channel in a wasteland of clutter. Who's in control then?  
> The brand now exists not on the marketer's terms, but the  
> consumer's terms.
> 2. Unfavorable context. How does context change when conditions  
> become unfavorable for a brand? Similarly, what happens to brands  
> when consumers become so annoyed by advertising context that they  
> truly go out their way to avoid you? Why is it that TiVo users tend  
> to skip you and record what we call programming? Why can't you  
> improve your context and messages so TiVo users actually record and  
> time-shift your advertising as relevant content?
> 3. Product as context. What is the role of the product itself in  
> creating context? Surprisingly, advertising still serves as life  
> support for products that are mediocre, undifferentiated or simply  
> don't work (, i.e., the gel that takes scratches out of eyeglasses;  
> trust me, it never worked!). In a Google world--where search  
> engines connect passionate information seekers with passionate  
> information speakers, truth and relevance--that crutch tumbles.  
> Conversely, good products frequently sell themselves. Perhaps,  
> sometimes, the problem of engagement has nothing to do with media  
> and messaging and everything to do with product.
> 4. Customer service manifesting in media. What about customer  
> service? With consumers in control--and empowered to self-publish  
> and spit back--customer service and experience is increasingly  
> manifesting in the most prolific kind of media: consumer-generated  
> media. As people express themselves through democratized  
> publishing, positive and negative experiences with your brand  
> equate to positive and negative GRPs, or brand credits and debits.  
> CGM ultimately competes against the traditional cadre of media that  
> advertisers think they control. But the world just works more  
> holistically than that. Customer service, in essence, is becoming a  
> media department.
> 5. Consumer Control. What about control? Are we looking at consumer  
> empowerment as an opportunity, or something to stubbornly fight?  
> One major publisher at the Consumer Engagement conference talked to  
> me about the importance of keeping users engaged within his walled  
> garden. As a consumer, I consider that an attempt to hold me  
> hostage, not empower me. If this publisher really wanted to be a  
> relevant, useful entity to me, it should seek to empower me--not  
> try to monetize me by keeping me inside of its cell. That's not  
> engagement!
> 6. Respect of consumer's attention metadata. Finally, media are  
> going digital, and consumer attention and behavioral metadata will  
> become the lifeblood of advertising research, profiling and  
> relationship management--arguably the new core building blocks of  
> engagement. This is especially true considering massive audience  
> fragmentation and serious declines in traditional research panel  
> response rates. As we move more to a direct model, any discussion  
> of engagement must embrace a newfound respect for the fact that: 1)  
> consumers' attention is a valuable commodity to them, 2) consumers  
> own their attention data, and 3) consumers are becoming more aware  
> of how precious it really is.
> Now can we talk about engagement?
> Max Kalehoff is vice president of marketing for Nielsen  
> BuzzMetrics, a global measurement service for consumer-generated  
> media.
> To post your response to the public Online SPIN blog, enter your  
> comments below and click "POST TO BLOG."
>   Online Spin for Friday, October 6, 2006:
>   http://publications.mediapost.com/? 
> fuseaction=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=49253
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Edward Lee Lamoureux, Ph. D.
Associate Professor, Multimedia Program
and Department of Communication
Co-Director, New Media Center
1501 W. Bradley
Bradley University
Peoria IL  61625
AIM/IM & skype: dredleelam
Second Life: Professor Beliveau

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