Consumers have come to expect brands to interact with them—not simply talk at them. However, November 2013 polling by Google Think Insights and Advertising Age found that marketers were struggling to actually manage online engagement.
According to the study, 86.2% of US agency and marketing executives said that engagement was a priority for their company, yet around half that number—45.8%—reported actually managing this. About four in 10 believed engagement was a priority but did not manage it, and just 13.8% didn’t believe engagement was important at all.
Poor measurement systems were a big reason for lack of online engagement. Fewer than 42% said their company was able to quantify engagement. Whether they were actively managing engagement, thought it was important but weren’t handling it, or did not believe it was a priority, the majority of respondents agreed that better metrics and measurement would help drive online engagement efforts.
Among those who were measuring engagement, interaction rates were the most important metric used, cited by 85.7% of US agency and marketing executives. Reaching influencers was a close second (82.9%), followed by driving traffic to retail locations/websites and generating sales/return on investment, each cited by 80.0%.
In a November 2013 study by ExactTarget, engagement rates as a whole were the second most successful marketing metric used by marketing professionals worldwide, cited by 64% and trailing first-place conversion rates by just 3 percentage points.