I know the world is a digital world. And I don’t want to go all “geezer” on you, but if I hear or read one more CMO or CEO say they “want to increase engagement” ima (sic) go all Baltimore. Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman used these words yesterday to defend his poor quarterly performance. I understand that the product is an online content play, fueled by user activity, growth and advertising but the word engagement just feels so dissociated from sales and revenue.
In the heyday of TV Networks (last week?), earning calls didn’t talk about the act of watching TV or focus on the number of viewers? (Of course show ratings were important.) They top-bottom lined the bottom line — with gross ad sales and net revenue.
Here’s the litmus test: If you are looking to purchase an online property with your own money, who would you want in your meeting: the chief engagement officer or the chief financial officer?
Start-ups, growth companies and mature enterprises of the digital nature, need to keep their eyes on the prize. The stuff that goes into the bank. The bank bank. Not the engagement bank.
Engagement is a means to an end, some are forgetting the ends. Peace.