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At its very core, customer engagement is the prerequisite to providing a memorable customer experience and forging brand loyalty.
Customer engagement, in theory, should be second nature for brand marketers, yet, according to a new study from the Chief Marketing Council—titled “Brand Attraction from Enriched Interaction,”—marketers still lag in creating multichannel, digital marketing campaigns that reach and resonate with diverse, micro-audiences worldwide.
Only 19% of respondents said they are extremely good or very good in this area. In contrast, 45% gave lackluster grades on their ability to captivate and engage customers, partners, and employees through fully integrated mobile, web and social channels. This compares to just 21% who said they were very proficient.
The study, which was sponsored by IBM Digital Experience, was designed to assess the degree to which marketers are embracing new digital channels and content management technologies to realize the full value of rich media engagement, crowd-sourced content, and mass-customized commerce through higher levels of personalization and tailored interaction. Notably, the study reveals that only 5% of respondents have highly or tightly integrated content and commerce compared to 64% who say they have plans or existing programs to improve this.
“Digital marketers are challenged to create an end-to-end, multichannel experience that engages and enlivens customer, partner, and employee audiences with more compelling and relevant content-driven commerce and conversation,” said Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council, which has nearly 10,000 members in 110 countries. The council's research was based on input from 287 marketing leaders across all regions of the world
A critical area of insight from survey respondents centered on what technology transformations are most likely to impact how companies market, operate, and engage with customers. Topping the list was the advent of the smarter digital enterprise, with its automation of marketing execution and customized interactions at scale. Next was the new API-driven economy, where partners and ecosystems share mobile/web links, information and insights to add value and further monetize transactions and interactions. Not far behind this is the disruptive potential of the "Internet of things" and the ability to gather real-time data and intelligence through pervasive, sensor-based tracking of behavior, intention and satisfaction.
“Driven by the forces of cloud, mobile and social engagement, businesses and brands are experiencing a digital disruption that is revolutionizing every interaction with their diverse audiences,” said Gary Dolsen, Vice President of Digital Experience software for IBM Systems. “When marketers create a personalized and tailored interaction for a specific audience on the right platform, businesses and brands will create emotional engagements, which will grow relationships and encourage loyalty while influencing behavior or purchase decisions.”
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