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The Engagement Gap: How B2B and B2C Firms Are Missing the Mark

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Most marketers say they have a deep understanding of how to engage consumers, but many consumers do not agree with that assessment, according to recent research from Marketo.

The report was based on data from a survey of 1,192 marketers who are manager-level and above, 511 B2C consumers, and 489 B2B customers—in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Some 82% of marketers surveyed say they have a deep understanding of how their consumers want to engage.

However, 65% of B2B customers and 47% of B2C consumers say brands/vendors could do a better job of aligning engagement activities with their needs.

Moreover, brands have a much more positive view of how innovative their engagement activities are: 83% of marketers say their engagements are extremely or very innovative, but only 33% of B2B customers and 23% of B2C consumers agree.


Some 62% of B2B customers and 59% of B2C consumers say the most effective brands use innovative engagement methods.

Compared with B2C consumers, B2B customers especially value brands that understand their needs and care about them.

B2C consumers and B2B customers say the biggest barriers preventing them from further engaging with brands are too much irrelevant marketing content and companies' not offering anything beyond products/services.

The digital channels most used by consumers and customers to initiate engagement with brands are email (79% use), websites (60%), and social media (35%).

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 1,192 marketers who are manager-level and above, 511 B2C consumers, and 489 B2B consumers—in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Peter Altschuler Wed Aug 23, 2017 via web

    The media may have changed over the decades, but the conclusions are, essentially, the same. In the '80s, it was the relevance of contacts through postal mail and telephone calls and, once in the sales funnel, of collateral (now called content). To meet prospects' expectations, it was vital to understand the things they cared about, the information they needed, and the frequency with which they were contacted... in any way.

    Interactions may now occur online, be initiated by customers/prospects instead of by salespeople, and involve more easily configurable options for personalization, but the basic expectations of buyers (and misperceptions by marketers) haven't changed.

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