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« Planning for eMetrics | Main | Engagement as a Term of Art in Web Analytics »



Great post! I certainly look forward to our continuing discussion about engagement and our presentation together at Emetrics. Having spent a little time myself thinking about these same concepts I would propose that your three measures already have names.

The first measure of engagement, your proxy for conversion combined with other site measures, is more or less what I have referred to as "Visitor Engagement." Visitor engagement is measured directly from the web site using (typically) a census-based system and does attempt to fill the gap you describe --- a measure of desired behavior when more common metrics like conversion rate aren't as easily applied.

Your comment that "no standard cross-site measure of this type was possible" is, in my opinion, partially right. If you look back through my posts, and consider some of what Joseph and I have written lately at the Future of blog, there may not be a ** single or standard ** measure but I do believe there is a framework that can be universally applied.

Each site and sub-site will likely have different thresholds, which makes sense because Visitor Engagement is at its core just another type of key performance indicator. Just like you'd have different goals and thresholds at two different retailers, so will your Visitor Engagement calculation. This is key because it gives large sites the opportunity to have multiple levels of Visitor Engagement measures inside the Enterprise --- each of which have different thresholds but all working to describe the depth and degree of visitor interaction compared to a set of engagement goals.

The second measure of engagement, within the realm of media measurement, is something I have started referring to as "Audience Engagement." Audience Engagement has to be measured ** not ** using a census-based system as it requires cross-site visibility. This measure of engagement almost certainly includes some of the measures of engagement you'd include in visitor engagement (time, click-depth, recency) but would likely ** not ** include more site specific actions.

Audience Engagement gives media planners and buyers a different ruler against which to judge the audience visiting competing properties. It is still not completely clear to me how media planners will use a measure of Audience Engagement; it is only clear that they are actively looking for such a measure.

The third measure of engagement, focusing on the brand impact of site visits, is probably something called "Brand Engagement" and I agree, likely best left to those people having a slightly different background and point-of-view. Ironically this is why I invited Joseph to work with me on my measure of visitor and site engagement, and to present on our panel in San Francisco. I will let him comment but I suspect the NextStage technology would fit the bill to measure Brand Engagement.

Three different measures of engagement, each taken using a slightly different system, each informing a slightly different audience and having a slightly (or completely) different use. But all measures of engagement, at least in my opinion.

I look forward to your follow-up posts on the subject as I have little doubt your insights will advance all our thinking.

(From Helsinki!)

Eric T. Peterson
Web Analytics Demystififed, Inc.

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