Engagement as a marketing concept is riddled with complexities and ambiguities. Real engagement is about feelings and emotion, not just the capturing of attention. It emerges from positive experiences that have depth and substance. The rise of digital, and the proliferation of data, mean that marketers need to exercise caution when deciding what metrics effectively represent engagement. Continued technological developments will produce new ways of measuring emotional engagement, and may reshape its role within marketing and communications entirely.
Engagement is a broad topic that is open to interpretation, though fundamentally engagement is about 'connectedness'. This can range from engagement being any action a consumer takes with content, to engagement representing a two-way communication between a brand and consumers, and the discovery and exchange of shared values.
A key reason for this ambiguity is that the term and its context are continually evolving. As technology develops and media fragments, content and consumption change, and so does our understanding of what constitutes engagement.