The Velocity Of Engagement

Velocity is a strong word. If you're into words - it's a good word. It's started to make its way into our industry lexicon, most often as a way to reference the velocity of data traveling through systems,  ready for our  analysis, as we consider the performance of our media assets.

During a recent session on demand-side platforms (DSPs) I found myself extending the concept of "velocity" in my own mind to address the marketer's holy grail of "engagement." In a world where  we can avail ourselves of full-service data management, bidding, multivariate testing and optimization tool sets (and not just DSPs),  we are able to strive for engagement with greater and reasonable expectations for more immediate gratification. In making the investment to ensure that one is armed with today's most robust data management systems and consumer insights, there are fewer blind spots for committed data-driven marketers than ever before.

The idea that brands focusing primarily on engagement and conversion metrics can strive for engagement velocity is a potent one. At the ideal state, you would reach clear and desirable engagement volume, sooner and at a more intense clip. The needle on engagement would move with more pronounced authority, if you will. But, if you are committed to using data and analysis to their potential, to achieve engagement velocity, it's not enough of course to simply hope. There is a whole companion set of things we should value as we strive for velocity:

Reach matters. No matter where you fall on the branding, engagement, conversion continuum as a marketer,  visibility within your universe of addressable target consumers remains key to getting traction. Doesn't mean you have to execute a branding campaign, but it's a box to check as you build the plan: reach with your target.

Brand resonance. Neglecting clarity of brand message and promise is a potential residual effect of disproportionate focus on the mechanics of engagement. The spirit, language and promise of the brand must still persist through all engagement-driven campaigning.

Scope of data. Aligning yourself with the right data solutions and tools set requires some diligence. But, there's no reason for blind spots if you're vigilant about making these choices. Whether you're working with DSPs, direct-buy publishers and ad networks, a simple or complex media mix --  the tracking and data solution you use to execute, test and optimize represent more potential than ever before to get to the right scope of data.

Predictive modeling. To me, this is one of the most exciting facets of today's systems, whose actuality is finally catching up to their promise. We've been talking about this for years. But, today, as never before, it's possible -- based on scope of data available and mature testing constructs - to weigh probable outcome before media investments are made. While we may opt to leave more to experimentation, some level of predictive modeling directly supports the idea of achieving engagement velocity.

Dynamic testing and optimization environments. By this, I'm talking about the real deal. Most marketers, and certainly digital marketers, will say they advocate testing and learning. But, not all set themselves up to do so credibly. A sophisticated approach to multivariate testing and optimization, one that entails speed of data processing and analysis, predictive modeling, and a dynamic optimization mechanic, is de rigeur for any marketer who really wants to get at it, early enough in the game to make a difference.

In conversations about the systems and options available today, the triple focus of insights, targeting and scale persists. There is one major peril here. With the options available right now, it's possible to scale your spend somewhat stupidly. So, in pursuit of intelligent growth and engagement velocity -- getting swiftly to volume and an intense clip of engagement -- implementing the right data and management systems sooner rather than later is key. There's no reason today to create your own blind spots. And, as I heard a smart woman in my midst say recently: At a certain point of scale, you lose the luxury to test



2 comments about "The Velocity Of Engagement".
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  1. Ed Borasky, May 17, 2010 at 1:58 p.m.

    You should be tweeting these posts! I just tweeted this one! @znmeb

  2. Mark allen Roberts from Out of the Box Solutions, LLC, May 17, 2010 at 11:01 p.m.

    With these tools sales will be less of an art and more of a science as I discuss in my blog

    Fail to embrace marketing tools and your sales will be an art...and not predictable nor repeatable.

    Mark Allen Roberts

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