Damage is just the "easy" way to get peoples' attention. It may also be king in this game, but that's also because encounters tend to be poorly designed. Regardless, it's not the only avenue that can be explored to bolster melee acceptance, and I'll just copypasta a post I made here Sept. 8 with such a possibility.
Promoting situations of just spamming spells can be simply cycling of a different flavor while naturally diminishing swing time even if you were "allowed" to engage a target. Time and again I've argued that time we spend casting is time we can't melee, thus naturally parsing lower and thus being less effective if actually trying to be a diverse class. To add further insult, if you forgo all that and just swing away, you're still inferior to other jobs. Now, Fast Cast and Temper somewhat alleviate this, but not nearly enough to get anyone to notice or anyone outside of non-melee-hater RDM to care.
So, in short, if we're really keen on throwing stances around, I'd just like to reiterate my old charge-like idea rooted in Enspells. One stance will favor will upping buff potency/duration and cures. The other would benefit nuke and enfeeble potency. In a perfect setting, you'd start off in the first stance to get your party set up, then switch to the second once everyone's buffed (for hopefully 15 minutes or more). All you'd have to do is land a hit 3 times or more on a mob to get the best effect of either side for your next appropriate spell. Boom, we can finally do a bit of everything with the buff output being comparative to staff swapping.
Add a few more minor traits, some new debuffs (while scrolling T2s), improve our gear/WS selection a bit, and maybe traits that give TP for (de)buffs and we're more on track for being our own unique entity. Backlining still has its advantage of safety and lesser interaction, but stepping up would also finally have its benefits.
Not covered there, but add a trait where landing a WS adds duration and maybe some potency to all currently inflicted enfeebles.
Everyone will still get what they want, but with more duration and potency. Giant chunks of the job's skill set wouldn't be collecting dust only to be used solo or in the-now-useless Campaign. "Fine" or whatever regurgitated bull about the job's martial status would mean people wouldn't care when you engage. They still very much do because it isn't fine. No amount of being a selfish **** and just doing what you want to anyway will change numbers, especially outside of the parse vacuum, that support the naysayers. The damage war will never be won, but I'll be damned if you can't add utility to it.