What Is Engagement? DMA14's VIP Roundtable
Understanding how to ignite customer engagement starts here in San Diego at DMA2014 with keynote presentations, advice from thought leaders, and insight from VIPs. "The central theme at DMA2014 is all about building and creating engagement," said DMA President Jane Berzan. "This year's event is a week-long experience that explores the connections between brands and consumers that can ignite customer engagement." So we got a few of them together to ask: What is engagement, and how does it fit into data-driven marketing?
Our panelists are:
- Jane Berzan, president, DMA;
- Spyro Kourtis, president and CEO, HackerAgency;
- Keira Krausz, EVP and CMO, Nutrisystem;
- John Mellor, VP, strategy and business development, Adobe;
- Chris Pitre, director, strategic planning, Astadia; and
- Jim Sprigg, director, database marketing and CRM solutions, InterContinental Hotels Group.
1: How do you define engagement? Why is that important to marketers in 2014?
Berzan: We recently conducted a brand survey on the direct marketing industry. We found that marketers certainly rely on and value data, but they are not defined by it. They are interested in one-to-one connections, and they believe that consumers want the same thing. A customer at Macy's wants to be treated the same in the store as online and via mobile app. That is the modern definition of engagement.
Mellor: For me, engagement is defined primarily by relevance, and I see relevance as something that can only be achieved by rich data sets and even richer tools that link data to delivery of the right marketing assets. Not everyone shares that definition—many of my colleagues and friends in the industry think of engagement in far loftier terms, like immersion, or new experiences, or rich media, etc. But I'm a numbers guy, and the numbers show that people only care about advertising or marketing, on those not-too-frequent occasions they actually pay attention to it, when it speaks directly to them and their needs, or at least appeals to their curiosities.