The twenty-first century has enabled many changes in the way consumers seek out, become interested in, and purchase goods and services. Not only are there more purchase options available, there are also more media vehicles utilized to search for and purchase goods and services. Both marketing professionals and advertising agencies recognize that consumers are now in the driver’s seat regarding choice of media channels. No longer are the traditional metrics, such as reach and frequency, enough in selecting media to target messages to create buyers, in addition to loyal, and perhaps life-long, customers. Consumer Engagement is one response advertising and marketing professionals have suggested as an antidote to these changing times. The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), have taken on the challenge of defining this concept, as well as developing metrics to better grasp the importance and relevance of the emotional connection to buyer behavior as delivered through advertising. In many industries, marketers are constantly reminded that no longer are the media metrics of ratings, readership, listenership, and click-through rates sufficient in measuring the return on investment (ROI) required to justify their advertising spend, or expenditures. Creating this new metric has proven difficult, however, as scholars and industry professionals have voiced many different opinions and concerns regarding the topic, which varies depending on the type of media used. There were three objectives of this research. The first, through a formal literature review, was to analyze the definitions that have been developed regarding engagement and assess their core similarities. The second was to contrast these definitions with other past and present theories on how advertising makes an impact. Third, a survey was administered to a targeted sample of four advertising agencies and six printers in the Rochester, NY area regarding their opinions on consumer engagement. The researcher’s other objectives for the questions asked in the exploratory interviews were: • Consumer Engagement—Awareness and Definitions If the companies interviewed in this study are representative of advertising agencies and printers in general, then it appears they have proprietary strategies for defining and measuring Consumer Engagement through identifying campaign and customer goals. Only half of the exploratory interview participants had heard of Consumer Engagement. The other half had either not heard of it, or were familiar with the concept in other terms. More of the advertising agencies were familiar with Consumer Engagement than the printers interviewed. • Similarities of Consumer Engagement to other Constructs Printers were more likely to relate Consumer Engagement to Relationship Marketing, whereas Advertising Agencies were likely to base their definition of Consumer Engagement on the goals of each of their clients’ campaigns. xi ii • What do the Marketing Professionals using Consumer Engagement think about it? Most of the participants expressed the need for Consumer Engagement and felt that it would help improve the media selection process. There was a wide range of responses from participants interviewed regarding the most engaging medium. However, the three media mentioned by both Advertising Agencies and Printers were the Internet/Interactive media, Broadcast-based media, such as television or event media, and Direct Mail.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Relationship marketing; Advertising--Psychological aspects; Customer loyalty; Consumer behavior

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Print Media (CIAS)


Sorce, Patricia - Chair

Advisor/Committee Member

Cummings, Twyla


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in December 2013. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: HF5415.55 .C86 2007


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