Customer Engagement: Brands need to focus more on data to engage with customers better

Digital Doughnut's 'The State of Customer Engagement' report is here. Published by London Research, in partnership with dotdigital, the report dives into the insights of nearly 700 marketers for an unmissable overview of the customer engagement landscape.

Customer engagement has been an industry-wide marketing term for around a decade now. It encapsulates the change in marketing philosophy brought about by three effects of digital media:

  • Rise of marketing automation
  • Move from one-to-many broadcast marketing to one-to-one conversational commerce
  • Proliferation of transactional and programmatic messaging

Customer Engagement pressures: Marketers need new ways to engage

According to the report, marketers have found that they need to find new ways to communicate with customers and build lasting relationships, or face crippling competition from more capable rivals.

Those that adopt a customer-engagement approach to their marketing strategy typically see improved customer satisfaction, resulting in improved customer retention and financial performance.

B2Cs, for instance, measure impact in increased order values and reduced marketing costs, while their B2B counterparts use customer engagement techniques to boost acquisition and optimize their lead quality.

For better customer engagement, brands need to connect and communicate smarter

Adopting a customer engagement-focused marketing strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Putting the customer at the heart of the business requires significant, inside-out change throughout the organization. Only 9% of respondents in the survey cited their business at an advanced level.

There are two main barriers to a robust customer engagement strategy:

  1. Difficulties in getting a single customer view (SCV)
  2. Disconnected technology platforms

Many businesses struggle with legacy systems that don’t work together, since driving engagement relies on the seamless connection of all data points. Plus, antiquated organizational structures impede the vital sharing of data across the business. This is another key requirement to creating a consistent and engaging experience along the path to purchase and beyond.

Headline stats highlight customer data silos

How are marketers engaging their customers?

  • 79% of respondents use email platforms
  • 65% use content management systems
  • 62% use social media tools

BUT, creating an SCV proves to be a challenge…

  • Just 65% of companies have integrated email and CRM
  • Only 56% of businesses have integrated email with their didgital analytics

And the levels of integration are far lower for other types of technology.

Consumers expect personalized experiences

Brands are well aware of the growing expectations of consumers. Personalization has, according to 25% of those surveyed, been one of the most important customer engagement-related trends in the last five years. The need to personalize is driving intermediate and advanced brands to focus more on AI as a tool to accelerate the customer experience into new realms of personalization.

More unmissable insights

For a deep-dive into all of the stats, as well as regional breakdowns across the UK & Europe, North America, and APAC, download the full version here.

You’ll discover the true importance of customer engagement, considerations and tactics for B2C and B2B, as well as how the right technology can drive long-term success.

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