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Global biz leaders are losing the digital engagement battle—here’s how to win

by | Nov 5, 2018 | Public Relations

Digital strategy misalignment is happening on even the grandest of scales. New research from integrated comms firm LEWIS finds the majority of the world’s largest 300 public companies are failing to look at their marketing mix as one cohesive function—and asserts that to deliver more integrated customer experiences, we must herald a new era in marketing: Quantified Engagement.

The inaugural LEWIS Global Marketing Engagement Index examines global performance in 10 industry categories, including security, personalization, social media, response time, and user experience, called the LEWIS Marketing Engagement Tracker (LEWIS MET)—and reveals significant marketing inconsistencies across many of those profiles, especially on a regional level.

Global biz leaders are losing the digital engagement battle—here’s how to win

A key revelation of the research is that despite demand for a more joined-up level of engagement across channels, brands continue to operate in silos, creating a disjointed customer experience. Many companies are not using simple mechanisms for optimization such as schemas, tag management, and personalization of paid content. Social media remains a megaphone rather than a channel to engage and interact with customers. The hackability of websites was much higher than expected, including within industries where security is paramount, and HTTPS was not used by nearly a fifth of companies in the Americas.

Global biz leaders are losing the digital engagement battle—here’s how to win

Despite differences in category strengths and weaknesses, the average scores for companies in the Americas and EMEA were close. Companies in APAC scored less than Americas and EMEA peers across the marketing mix. The Index takes into account the significant differences in marketing in APAC, especially in China where Weibo, WeChat and e-commerce are key channels.

“Winning the engagement battle is the new frontier for marketers, and measuring it is more critical than ever,” said Giles Peddy, senior VP of the EMEA region at LEWIS, in a news release. “We believe that companies must accelerate their integration of the marketing ecosystem and begin measuring it as a collective, not as a series of islands. This is why we believe we are on the cusp of a new era in marketing called Quantified Engagement.”

Global biz leaders are losing the digital engagement battle—here’s how to win

Global biz leaders are losing the digital engagement battle—here’s how to winGlobal biz leaders are losing the digital engagement battle—here’s how to win

The LEWIS MET provides marketers with the ability to look across the entire marketing engagement spectrum and drill down at specific marketing touchpoints,” Peddy added. “We want this to help and empower businesses to make their brands stand out, reach customers at every point of interaction and become the global leaders of tomorrow.”

Based on the analysis, the Global Top 10 was headed by Microsoft, followed by Bank of America and Intel

Of the Top 10, five were from financial services and only three companies were from outside the U.S. Diversification of sectors grew outside of the Americas with the EMEA and APAC Top 10 consisting of companies from FMCG, pharmaceuticals, automotive, electronics, telecoms, oil & gas, and mining.

Global biz leaders are losing the digital engagement battle—here’s how to win

Key findings:

  • Microsoft is #1, nearly two points higher than the #2 company
  • 17 percent of companies in the Americas still run on HTTP, despite the security implications and impact on search
  • A near-global failure to use schema mark-up impacts searchability, despite 93 percent of online activities starting with a search
  • Tag management deployment is uneven at best and companies have the potential to find further opportunities for optimization
  • The top company in APAC would not make the Top 50 in the Americas and would just make the Top 50 in EMEA
  • Brands continue to use social media as a megaphone rather than engagement
  • Companies are not responding to customer enquiries at a level that would be expected to deliver a positive experience

Global biz leaders are losing the digital engagement battle—here’s how to win

“In the hyper-connected, multi-channel world of today, it is important that organizations look beyond simple, single metrics to evaluate their engagement, audience responses, and reputation,” said Professor Jim Macnamara, School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics (LSE), in the release.

“Organizations need to look at multiple factors that collectively provide deep insights into the journey of customers and other stakeholders. Engagement is more than likes and click throughs—it’s a combination of a multitude of interdependent factors ranging from access and relevance, to trust and value.”

Download the full study here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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