The great paradox for communicators and marketers is that while we give rhetorical priority to concepts of interactivity and audience-focused programs, we continue to hammer away at “breaking through the clutter,” “capturing people’s attention” and “getting people to do things.” Yet, even before the emergence of social media the music was already echoing off the walls: It’s no longer about getting attention, it’s about earning it.
That was written in January 2007 as an introduction to a post Moving Towards Engagement in which I began describing the results of a research initiative that looks beyond behavioral targeting, or simply counting the clicks (the 21st century version of 'beans'). Our team just presented the results from developing the eHealth Engagement Scale at the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media last week. The title (with a link to the presentation) and abstract as printed in the program follow.
This presentation describes a scale for measuring the engagement properties of eHealth content that was adapted from commercial advertising research. Accompanying research suggests that a 9-item revised eHealth Engagement Scale is a robust tool to operationalize this concept across a variety of health topic areas. The eHealth Engagement Scale may prove to be an important mediator of user retention of information, intentions to change, and ultimately efforts to undertake and achieve behavior change.
There are many different ways to think about engagement. This scale begins to get at the consumer/user experience of engagement that we define as the process of involving users in health content in ways that motivate and lead to health behavior change.
'Increasing the engagement of people' with advertisements, brands, communities, issues and media gets thrown around by many, however, rarely do I see someone operationalize it beyond eyeballs and clicks.
From our scale:
Engagement = Involving + Credible + [not dull + hip, cool]
See the presentation for more details, including the path model, and I look forward to your comments!
Post title from Susannah Fox on Twitter.