NEWS2 January 2013

IAB research council seeks to pin down ‘engagement’

Features North America

US — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is setting up a new research council to challenge the ambiguity of the term “engagement” and to get the industry to agree upon more tangible, descriptive forms of audience interaction.

The move comes following the publication of a whitepaper report, titled “Digital Ad Engagement: An Industry Overview and Reconceptualisation”, published in collaboration with Radar Research, which found that it was necessary to establish frameworks for defining and rethinking ad engagement metrics due to the many different ways they are perceived.

The report explains: “Publishers, advertisers and agencies all cite engagement as a crucial variable in the success of ad campaigns, yet there is no industry consensus on exactly how to define engagement. Definitions tend to be ambiguous, and too often engagement is used as a catch-all for multiple behaviours… The industry needs to move beyond the ambiguous terminology of engagement, and agree upon more concrete, descriptive forms of interaction. Engagement is dead. Long live engagement.”

The IAB ad engagement whitepaper analysed more than 30 interviews with publishers, agencies and research and analytics vendors, including ComScore, Facebook, Forbes, Google, Mediacom, Microsoft, Nielsen, Optimedia, Sapient, Say Media, Starcom, Vibrant Media and Yahoo!.

Membership of the new research council will open this month and it is being steered by Sherrill Mane, SVP, research, analytics and management at the IAB (pictured). She said: “For too long the concept of ad engagement has confounded stakeholders across the media landscape. With the advent of digital analytics and highly sophisticated technologies for measuring user interactions, the engagement landscape has become overcrowded with hundreds of metrics that may or may not have value in understanding the effectiveness of ads.”


1 Comment

8 years ago

hmmm... I thought Sherrill Mane had her hands full trying to push forwards the 3MS initiative, which is still rather a long way from fruition. It seems logical that 3MS as an initiative should include engagement anyway (what's reach without it?), but taking on another industry-moving metric when the last one is still facing significant hurdles could be seen as being a little hyperactive...

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