A recent McKinsey Quarterly study revealed that having the ability to engage their customers and leverage those relationships is the No. 1 digitally related challenge facing marketers today.
The survey, which was conducted over a two-week period, queried nearly 800 marketing executives representing a wide range of industries from business-to-business marketing and business-to-consumer marketing.
The results of the survey were quite fascinating insomuch as over 50% of the respondents indicated that engaging their customers and gleaning deep insights from those engagements is their most important challenge from a digital perspective yet over half of the respondents also said that over the past two years the advancements in digital marketing have provided them with the ability to engage their customers.
Look at these two charts:
So, from Chart #1, you see the No. 1 challenge marketers face in today's digital world is engagement. And in Chart #2, you see the No. 1 change that has had the biggest impact on marketers in today's digital world: improved engagement.
On one hand, what we have is marketers who are thrilled to be able to engage with more people, thanks to advancements in digital technologies (e.g., social media). And on the other hand, you have these same marketers saying that while it's great we've been able to engage more over the past two years, there's still a whole lot of work to be done to truly do engagement marketing the right way.
One finding that was somewhat disconcerting was this one:
Only 47% of marketers are either already addressing the need to engage more or are in the process of doing it? You could take a glass half-full view of this, but, to me, it indicates the need for marketers to learn more ways to use engagement marketing to its fullest advantage.
There's one more chart I want to share, and this one was really telling:
Look at the disparity between what tools marketers are using currently to engage their customers vs. what they think they should be using in the next two to four years.
- 78% currently use their company's website, yet only 28% say they should be using that in 2 to 4 years.
- 60% indicated email is currently a way to engage their customers but two to four years from now, that number drops all the way down to 24%.
Not surprisingly as the numbers go down for the "traditional" means to engage (website and email), the numbers go up for social media and mobile applications. The future of engagement marketing will be through the use of social media, mobile marketing and other emerging media.
Why do you think engagement is such a challenge for marketers?
Sources: Google Images, McKinsey Quarterly
Steve Olenski is a marketer/writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. He has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via email, Twitter, LinkedIn or his website.