Measuring engagement

Arts Professional: Essential Audiences article 24 March 2008

Measuring engagement
For decades, marketers have been trying to understand their customers’ experiences. Mason Haire first talked about ‘selling the sizzle not the steak’ way back in 1950.
And it’s not just marketers. Retailers worry about their customers’ emotional experiences when shopping because they know that improving the ambience of the shop means people buy more. Designers worry about how people feel when they use their products because they want to create things that work. There’s a whole research field academics have named ‘funology’ that tries to understand what makes a computer game engaging. Producers of political documentaries have borrowed techniques from the researchers who test TV ads so they can measure the impact of their films on people’s political beliefs. There’s a big debate going on among the geeks who design social networking sites about how to measure the depth of engagement that people have with their sites rather than just its usability. Mark Ghuneim from Wiredset identifies four levels of engagement from bookmarking at the shallowest level to creating a fan community at the deepest…
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