Engagement is Tricky


Leah Hacker
Head of Research - Accomplice

Engagement is one of those metrics that seem to change meaning depending on what you are measuring and what type of product users are engaging. For websites, engagement may mean conversions or time spent interacting with your content. For mobile products, it may be use-frequency or behavior while using the product. For Netflix, viewing a huge part of their secret sauce. But, in all cases, engagement is the way someone interacts with your product.

For this weeks episode, we caught up with Steven Gianakouros a Design Manager on the Creative Product Team at Netflix to understand engagement and design. If you haven’t listened, you should. You can listen here.  

Engagement is one of those sometimes buzzy, but always necessary words when talking about marketing or pushing a product to an audience. But, how do organizations integrate the metric of engagement into their creative process? Here are a few keys to keep in mind:

Your content should resonate with your audience. For some populations and products, flashy and attention-grabbing may resonate and translate to conversions. For other products and populations, flashy and attention-grabbing serves to fill the funnel, but actually, inhibits conversions. So know your audience.

Measure the action that comes after the engagement to determine if it’s engagement. Engagement should lead to action — did your user convert? Did they view your content? Or purchase your product? Without measuring the follow through in your consumer’s behavior, you lose insight into where interacting with your product leads a user.

Data or Intuition…Data or Intuition? The answer is both. Spend the time upfront to know your consumer. The consumer landscape is blurring as more and more ages are leveraging technology. (See our blog post on Gen Z and Consumer Evolution, here) For that reason, understanding the behaviors and preferences of your consumer may reveal far more about your consumer versus segmenting by age demographics alone. And, data is great at highlighting previous behaviors, but intuition may serve to push you forward and test new concepts. And definitely, test, test, test, test, test…… {after all, the more you know……}.  

Design is in service to the users. Always, always. Designing products is a service to the end user. Amazing creative is incredible and has a role in producing kick-ass products — but if it’s not usable, it’s not engaging. And if it’s not engaging, then it’s not meeting its business objectives for existing.  We create products for people to use. That’s important to remember.

Validate, Iterate, Continue Forward. Hey, that sounds familiar…. There’s a reason Accomplice preaches this school of thought. It’s necessary for success. In all honesty, validating your intuition with data allows you to continue moving forward with quick iterations and minimal friction. It just makes sense.

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It’s Worth Doing Right podcast is a collection of conversations exploring the intersection of data in the creative process. You can listen to more of It’s Worth Doing Right Podcast, here.

Mad props from IWDR:

A huge thank you to Steven Gianakouros for chatting with us! We enjoyed our time talking with him. Steven brought a wealth of knowledge and insight as a leader on the Netflix team focused on a wonderful blend of science and art in creation.