More Than Half of Consumers Frustrated by How Brands Approach Engagement Today, Study Shows

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A global study of more than 2,000 marketing decision makers and consumers, both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C), reveals major gaps in how brands are engaging key stakeholders in today’s Engagement Economy. The report, The State of Engagement, commissioned by Marketo, Inc., the leading provider of engagement marketing software and solutions, found that marketing leaders must quickly adopt new strategies to effectively engage their customers.

Karen Steele - Image
Karen Steele

“In the Engagement Economy, consumers expect more from brands, and it’s up to marketers to provide value and connection at every engagement point. The State of Engagement proves that marketers must align their organizations around this common goal and focus on the right tools, data, and insights to ensure success,” said Karen Steele, group vice president, Corporate Marketing, Marketo.

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Key findings include:

  • Consumers, Not Marketers, Define Engagement: Marketers have prioritized the consumer experience, and 82% believe they have a deep understanding of who they’re trying to reach. Yet over half of consumers (56%) think brands could do a better job aligning with how they prefer to engage.
  • Marketers’ Investment in Channels Outpaces Consumer Adoption: The top two channels through which consumers prefer to initiate engagement with brands are email and websites. But marketers’ are making investments in a number of channels at faster rates than consumers are using them, namely across blogs, mobile devices, social media, and online communities.
  • The Right Technology Is Critical for Engagement: Marketers are dissatisfied with the tools available to them to accomplish these tasks, with nearly half (48%) citing this as their number one barrier to effective engagement.

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  • Successful Engagement Requires Structure and Buy-In: Though 98% of marketers believe consumer experience is critical and have a strategy to specifically address it, only 56% of respondents report strategic alignment with a key stakeholder group – executive leadership.
  • Engagement Goes Beyond Prospects and Consumers: Many marketers also oversee partner and employee engagement strategies. The data found a 17% gap between the importance marketers put on this type of engagement and their performance with respect to how well they do it.

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