Engagement – Is it an Objective or tactic?

In this world of marketing buzz word bingo, words like ‘integration’ and ‘engagement’ are sadly in danger of becoming marketing clichés. Whether it’s our trade press, seminars or even just industry get togethers, everyone is talking about engagement. At TDA we position ourselves as an ‘engagement agency’.

So what does it actually mean? As marketers or fundraisers, it’s clear why we want an audience to ‘be engaged’ when we communicate. But the first question has to be, ‘is engagement a process or an event?’ I have worked on many projects where one of the lead objectives has been cited as engagement (especially around loyalty and membership programs). However, more often than not, when we study the metrics that accompany the objective, invariably these are primarily transactional.

So the tactic of engaging, in order to get the best environment/set up for an ask or call to action, is clearly not engagement.

As a tactic, it is phenomenally powerful. But as a strategy, it’s a whole different world. As a strategy it has to be long term, multi-channel, truly integrated, with clear metrics that are long term and not transactional or immediate ROI.

  • Answer – Both.
    The short-term – tactical – objectives are the ‘pennies that make up the £pounds’, and are themselves sets of composite quant and qual metrics, reporting on things like blog comments, crowd-sourced npd quality, viral reach and impact, etc.
    This comment is evidence of an instance of engagement.
    The number and quality of comments that all of your blogs receive over the next year, plus the pass-ons, tweets, etc will provide you with a strategic view.