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Great feedback Gary, especially from someone of your stature who has been engaging with engagement for such a long time.

I have learned a few things here, thank you.

See you in a couple weeks.


Gary, great post!

It captured a lot of what I was thinking about Avinash's post. My own work on measuring engagement, some of which I know you've read, has shown that in the absence of being able to ask everyone "are you engaged?" (impractical, but not entirely so) that quantitative data can be used to calculate a measure of engagement that is useful as another input for the inevitable analysis required.

But I guess I question this statement: "if you are going to call something Engagement it probably shouldn’t be reducible to a single simple metric"

Do you say that because doing so is difficult using most currently available applications (and impossible in systems like Google Analytics and others that aggregate visitors into buckets), because you think it would be too confusing to the reader, or something else?

I guess I've spend enough time helping companies explain some of the basic stuff (page views per visit, etc.) it doesn't feel that much different to explain the nuance of a combined, weighted set of indices rolled up into something called "visitor engagement".

Anyway, I'd thank you for promoting a real discussion on this subject and not just fawning or navel-gazing but I'm becoming a broken record in that regard when it comes to your posts. You rule!

Eric T. Peterson


Very interesting analysis. I tend to agree with many of the points you raised.

I do feel you have interpreted Avinash's fourth point in a way not intended. I completely agree with your statement - no single metric is ever instantly useful.

My reading of that point is slightly different - a metric should be instantly useful (within the context of other relating metrics).

Your argument would hold if Avinash's statement read "One of my personal golden rules is that a metric should be instantly useful IN SILO".

Clearly engagement is a key issue in web analytics.
I often find it hard to define a set of engagement measurements (single or combo) across a single site, let alone compare it across different brands (e.g. engagement on a mortgages section would look completely different to engagement on the credit card section).

I'm pleased to see this issue being debated by the industry thought leaders such as you. I look forward to the continued discussion.

Thank you for your commentary.

Michael Feiner
AEP Convert


I thought your post justifies the tradeoff between a simplification\economy of reporting and a complication of vocabulary very well.

You may want to check out my post on Ron Shevlin's blog as i think it follows your train of thought.

Let me see if I've gotten the implications: If engagement is a measure, what does it measure? Or to put it another way, why does the measure exist? I expect that its purpose is the same as the scoring used in Direct Marketing, it identifies your most profitable audiences. One would validate the accuracy of the scoring based on the resultant profitability. That is, can you show that a score of 2 represents a consistently more profitable customer than one with a score of 1. Correct?

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