Engagement vs Interruption: Are You Making an Impact or Just Making Noise?

April 7th, 2016 by John


Our marketing and advertising clients often ask us “Am I moving the needle with my customers? And not only that, am I making a difference?” These questions often come up after the big advertising splashes like the Superbowl, the Academy Awards, or the just completed NCAA tournament. As an advertiser, is it better to spend your dollars making noise or making an impression?

Advertising is, in its purest form, just getting your attention.

- Alex Bogusky (co-founder of Crispin, Porter & Bogusky)

For some brands and with some advertisers, getting heard is what counts. In 2010, Pepsi skipped the Superbowl in favor of a broad social media strategy (a bold move in 2010 when Twitter user base was one twentieth of today’s and Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat had yet to launch). The results? Pepsi’s sales slid 8.6% in nine months and fell to #3 on U.S. soda sales ranking behind Diet Coke.

There were other cracks in the foundation that shook Pepsi but clearly they lost some relevance. But that was 2010…

Today marketers and media vehicles are far more diverse. The second screen experience is real (and not just in mass media) and marketers have increasingly harnessed the conversation like never before. Engagement has become the new measure where awareness once stood. Tracking the customer journey is the new challenge and its dividends can far exceed making a splash.

So how do you measure your engagement to tap into the customer journey and accelerate the buying process? We believe the best way is to develop an index on how your customers interact with your brand, where they do so, and what volume and activity you see there. This powerful engagement index can not only track how your different outlets are doing, but also where to best dedicate your resources to truly engage with your customers.

Interruption can get you heard. But engagement can tell you if they’re actually listening.