Digital Customer Engagement Post 2: Measuring Engagement

October 29, 2014 Jeff Small

Digital marketing technology options have multiplied exponentially over the past few years. Navigating the platforms is daunting, but knowing what to do with them can be even more harrowing. Jeff Small, One North’s Director of Technology Solutions, will give tips and techniques to build a solid digital marketing foundation to connect you with clients and prospects, enabling a seamless customer experience across channels.

Your customers are more connected now than ever before. The changes in customer expectations has driven a revolution in marketing technology. We’ve seen it with Amazon’s product recommendations, personalized email promotions from our favorite retailers and hashtags on Diet Coke billboards. While the technology first took hold in the consumer space, professional services firms can reap the benefits as well. To boot, it doesn’t take a 25-person team to implement.

In my last post, I introduced the Customer Experience Maturity Model (CEXP). The model maps a path for increasing your understanding of customers in order to better engage with them, turning them into advocates for your firm.

Looking at the model, we have found that the majority of our professional service clients are in the Radiate or Align Phases of the Attract group of steps on the diagram. They have a solid website, probably a blog and some topical minisites. While they continue to use mass emails to communicate with customers, they have also started using social media. Their quest for further expansion has led them to dabble in web analytics and data.

Good news! They’re not alone.
In a recent study, Sitecore Business Optimization Services found that 85% of businesses are currently in the early stages of the Attract phase. Of businesses surveyed, 67% of them were in the Initiate phase and 17% in the Radiate phase.

Customer Experience Maturity Model: Attract Phase

But, what kind of data, and how?
Historically, websites, social media campaigns, email marketing and other digital marketing endeavors have been measured quantitatively:

  • Page views on a website
  • Retweets
  • Click-throughs on an email.
  • This data can be misleading. Marketers know that every conversation is not of equal importance. Traffic to the “about our firm” page is not as important as traffic to a thought leadership publication, for example. But our current data is unable to reflect this.

What we need is qualitative data. One way to get this kind of data is by measuring the importance of content and interactions to achieve your digital marketing goals. Sitecore calls this Engagement Value. Engagement Value is measured by applying points to actions and pieces of content to weight their importance to your firm’s overall digital marketing goals. Think of Engagement Value Points as a way of measuring the business value of customer interactions.

Below are some sample engagement values for typical interactions on a professional services site focused on increasing the awareness of its mergers and acquisitions practice.

Digital Goal Engagement Value Points
View M&A Practice Page 5
View Upcoming M&A Practice Event Page 10
Download PDF of M&A Publication 20
Register for M&A Event 50

Putting it Together
Engagement value is a compliment to traditional web analytics, providing another dimension by which to measure the success of a site. When looked at together, we get a value-per-visit metric that illustrates the overall value of the visitor’s traffic to the firm. Increasing value per visit over time reflects the website’s ability to drive the firm’s strategic objectives through the use of digital marketing tools.

Value-per-visit metric

To the next level?
It’s one thing to understand engagement and another entirely to optimize your site to drive engagement. In the next post, I will walk through techniques that can be used to leverage engagement value and content profiling to drive engagement on your site.

To read the previous post in my Digital Customer Engagement Series, click here.

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Jeff Small

At the time of publishing, Jeff Small was One North's Director of Technology Solutions.

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