Traditionally, analysts in the digital marketing space have looked at common behavioral metrics such as time on site and bounce percentages, but since the advent of mobile applications, Facebook pages, video-on-demand, audio/radio streaming and the like, the topic of user engagement now deeply depends upon the context and the medium from which one is looking.
With emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, advances in computer vision, and both virtual and augmented reality, understanding user engagement extends beyond identifying what the metrics are for each particular medium and instead has shifted to analyzing all the information that comes with it. Artificial intelligence has been heralded as the “fourth industrial revolution,” and its adoption in the advertising realm has supercharged data and targeting.
In order to understand user engagement, we ask questions because we want to know if, ultimately, people are finding value in the products and services that we create, and whether or not we can optimize their journeys through our products and experiences. Today, we segment our data and look at such dimensions as web browser or device (desktop vs. mobile vs. tablet), but tomorrow, we may very well be looking at user behavior through the lens of drivers in a Google Car or a self-driving Tesla with varying levels of automation.
There may even be a time when information is accessed through our own eyes, when augmented reality becomes more here and now. Today, we have Pokémon Go, a popular game where we catch Pokémon through the camera lens of our phones, but in the future we may be able to search something on Wikipedia based purely on what we see in front of us and our GPS coordinates.
With regards to the future of user engagement, we will be tracking behaviors and interactions with our environments, but the deliberate use of technology versus behaving naturally in our everyday lives may become blurred. While that seems like something in the distant future, the reality is that these behaviors are already becoming a challenge.
The challenge for marketers and analysts will be accessing and understanding all the data points and making them actionable. The solution isn’t necessarily to build teams around each new medium, but leveraging technologies that makes all of these channels accessible and their analysis perfunctory. The objective should be to make the accessibility, analysis and decision-making around user engagement a scalable problem as companies and enterprises start to dabble in more complex mediums (in which their customers participate).
At Katana, we have a strong understanding of how to scale the analysis of data and make it actionable in our marketing campaigns and services. At our core, we know that emerging technologies arrive faster than most marketers can act on, which is why we’ve created the technologies to make these upcoming challenges a solvable problem. Our vision is to enable marketers with the ability to leverage their data, no matter how deep it goes.