Audience Engagement Score: Towards a Sustainable Metric


With the emergenceEngaged of technology aided decision making in marketing, information on your customers has taken the centre stage as a key input for effective customer engagement. The customers are interacting with the marketers on multiple platforms – offline as well as online and these interactions leave a trail of data that marketers are using to understand, decode and predict consumer’s buying behaviour. The customers, therefore,are also exposed to messages transmitted through different media platforms and data on these interactions are held with the customers in a collective manner and data on individual platforms with respective media entities. For example, a marketer knows that a customer is interacting with newspapers, television, social media and other digital media during the course of her daily routine, and he also has data on such interactions on digital medium. What the marketer does not know clearly is what the medium mix is in a customer’s daily life? In India, where the print and television are still the most preferred medium and digital is making a fast inroad into daily lives of consumers, this information on customer interaction with different mediums, both in terms of gross engagement and proportioned engagement, will be critical for data-based marketing decisions. The imperatives are in terms of revisiting the audience measurement traditions – readership survey for newspapers, TAM for TV audience and different web-based analytics tools to measure visits and actions. Few points are presented here with respect to newspaper audience measurement :
Shift the Focus: The medium is no longer the focal point. The customer is. Therefore, the unit of analysis has to be the customer and her consumption/behaviour as she interacts with marketers on various medium. It’s like knowing about the customer’s daily life in a way that is most useful for marketers – what, why, when and where? All in a snapshot.
New Metrics: It’s no longer enough to know which newspaper brand/TV program is read/watched by what kind of readers/viewers in demographic terms. If only we shift the focus on the consumer of the medium, we can then find out more about the consumer in depth- who is your customer and why you should be interested in her! What makes her a great customer?
Audience Engagement Score: Its time that we moved to measuring audience engagement that provides marketer the data on how a consumer is dividing its engagement across several media that he or she consumes. A robust sample design and a survey can throw up such aggregate scores for each newspaper’s readers. Higher readership bases with low engagement scores are less meaningful as compared to relatively lower readership base with significantly higher engagement scores.
Shift the Goal Post : By adopting such metrics, newspaper marketers can focus on engagement building with its readers and not focus on ramping up readership alone. Their advertisers obviously are interested in highly engaged audience only. Therefore, the goal post in marker leadership would shift from “ highest number of readers” to “ largest number of engaged readers”


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