Microsoft’s Engagement Mapping … a quantum leap … in BS?

Initially I read the Microsoft engagement mapping announcement thinking this would be a remarkable innovation. They are claiming that EM will track a consumers interaction with advertising all the way to the point of sale which if done accurately would be a watershed in advertising accountability.

We’ve noted in many posts before how poorly advertisers track offline and even online advertising effectiveness, usually resorting to opportunisic reporting and explanations by their advertising agencies or reporting firms that stay in business because they support the agency advertising spends using questionable metrics.

Enter Engagement Mapping. Microsoft says:

The ‘last ad clicked’ is an outdated and flawed approach because it essentially ignores all prior interactions the consumer has with a marketer’s message,” said Brian McAndrews, senior vice president of the Advertiser & Publisher Solutions (APS) Division at Microsoft. “Our Engagement Mapping approach conveys how each ad exposure whether display, rich media or search, seen multiple times on multiple sites and across many channels influenced an eventual purchase. We believe it represents a quantum leap for advertisers and publishers who are seeking to maximize their online spends.” (bolding mine)

Read the bolded sentence again. Although I’ll have to see the methodology before rejecting it as bogus, that last line does not really suggest objectivity here. Rather it appears this is yet another way for a metric to support a course of action (increase online ad spending) rather than measure the effectiveness of that action.

This is standard fare for ad agencies who feed their kids by exaggerating the effectiveness of their campaigns so I guess it’s no surprise that Microsoft is going to help them do that for the online spends, which benefit…..wait for it ….. GOOGLE! And Microsoft too. But given Google’s approximately 50% share of all online spends I think Eric Schmidt should send Steve Ballmer a really nice gift. Maybe a even a Lazy Boy CHAIR?

2 thoughts on “Microsoft’s Engagement Mapping … a quantum leap … in BS?

  1. OK Joe. I got WAAY too into this for a work day. but here goes.

    I did a little digging on previous “quantum leaps” from Microsoft. Here are the highlights……or…..lowlights…….

    “Some way off in the future lies a generation of technology that Microsoft promises will change the lives of every computer user. Codenamed Longhorn, it involves a complete revamp of the company’s […] In short, it will be ‘the next _quantum leap in computing_, which will put us years ahead of any other product on the market,’ wrote Ballmer [in an email to Microsoft employees],” reports Richard Waters for The Financial Times. –

    “_the next quantum leap_ is Next Generation Windows Services,” Ballmer said. […] “There will be a new version of Windows, a new client, a new server, and a new set of services that will run in the _Internet cloud_,” he said. “This will provide a prog[r]amming model that focuses on the central abilities of XML.”

    Cloud indeed.

    “But our industry operates on orders of magnitude, _quantum leaps_ forward. And if we can make things in _quantum leaps_ simpler with new technologies that let me speak to the computer, for example, and have it know what to do.” Ballmer on voice activated computing (

    “With its practical and stylistic innovations, the IntelliMouse Explorer with IntelliEye technology is a _quantum leap_ in mouse technology.” MS Press release, 1999
    Anyone using their IntelliEye to scroll here?

    Adding Nero to Vista?
    “Nero 7 supports and enhances Windows Vista desktop experience with _quantum leap_ in multimedia technology…” Press release for vista

    Motocross Madness 2?
    “Motocross Madness 2 features all of the killer dirtbike action of the original, but takes a _quantum leap forward_ with entirely new gameplay depth, graphics realism, accessibility …”

    Software to solve the health care crisis?
    “This will move health care a _quantum leap_ closer to an exemplary system that delivers on the promise of affordable personal and population health.” (

    Here’s my personal favorite: WINDOWS ME
    “The ability to communicate and share things on the Net has taken a _quantum leap_, and Windows Me is delivering that experience in a way that feels safe and easy.” Art Pettigrue, product manager for Windows Me at Microsoft.

    MS Outlook and Exchange Server 2007?
    “[…] and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 are soon to be released, and together they offer a _quantum leap_ in the realm of communication and collaboration.” Ballmer

    And a close second, for favorite: POCKET PC
    “And we think the new version of the Pocket PC, which were launching today, available today, really takes just an incredible _quantum leap_ forward and were very proud of the device.” – Ballmer.
    Now where did I put that pocket PC again? Oh yeah! Its right here, in my pocket….

    Where is Scott Bakula when you need him?

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