An innovative new piece of online engagement research and media planning tool from the Guardian.
Engagement matters. It is the topic that won't go away and is only increasing in significance for advertisers as consumer attention is spread across an ever expanding array of digital platforms. It is vital for advertisers to understand where they can reach their target audience in the media in which they are most engaged, and crucially how this engagement translates into ad effectiveness, and ultimately higher levels of brand engagement.
Guardian News and Media has produced a piece of research that not only contributes to an understanding of how online advertising works by assessing which behavioural and attitudinal media engagement factors are most strongly associated with ad effectiveness, but furthermore has created an online engagement planning currency and accompanying planning tool to help media planners assess the quality of their intended target audience (as defined by engagement and therefore ad response) across the Guardian network.
In early 2012, a survey ran across the entire guardian website. Questionnaire content related to attitudinal media engagement factors, while respondents' web analytics data was recorded to measure how they were using and interacting with the website.
Although a complex subject, there is broad consensus that there are three types of engagement that work together to create, maintain or improve overall engagement between a consumer and a particular brand. Media engagement: The extent to which someone is involved with the media they consume. Advertising engagement: The extent to which someone is involved with the content of a specific advert or marketing communication. Brand engagement: This is a way of classifying a person's disposition towards and relationship with a given brand.
Analysis of the results was conducted, revealing that twelve key media engagement factors were primarily linked to ad effectiveness. These ranged from attitudes towards the Guardian, measures of interaction with the site and content, along with simple behavioural measures relating to frequency of site usage. These factors fed in to a single engagement index, weighted by their importance. This was then calculated for every respondent within the survey. Ultimately, as the score increases, so too does an individual's engagement with advertising on the Guardian website.