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The State of MarTech Report

There has never been a more exciting time to work in marketing and technology. The world was already digitising rapidly, but the pandemic has accelerated this digital transformation. Companies that have been forced to adapt to evolving customer behaviours to survive now have an opportunity to thrive.

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Confidence in Customer Engagement is Paying Off for Brands

This is a sponsored post by Braze

The last few years have shaken up how many consumer-facing brands conduct their day-to-day interactions with customers.

So with the advent of a new year, and a new landscape, it becomes even more important to pay close attention to ongoing themes from the past, and upcoming trends for the future.

From a survey of 1,500 VP+ marketing executives, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Braze, emerged three customer engagement trends. Number one, brands are more confident than ever about customer engagements - and it's paying off.

Number two: the death of the third-party cookie will pave the way for the rising importance of zero- and first-party data. Number three is a big one. The survey found that data management is now the top challenge for brands, outranking all other concerns.

In this article, we're taking an in-depth look into how customer engagement has adapted and changed following the pandemic, and how confidence in customer engagement as a technique pays off in dividends. In conclusion: with more confidence comes more revenue. Let's jump in. 

94% of Brands Report Good/Excellent Customer Engagement in Today’s Challenging Landscape

The pandemic hasn't just had an impact on how consumers interact with brands, but how brands interact with consumers. Every industry has been forced to adapt to survive.

But as a result, we've seen an acceleration towards modern technological adoption and away from older, shakier models of customer engagement. So, the change brought on by COVID-19 has led to this maturity, as well as a distinct increase in customer engagement investment. Accordingly, it’s no surprise that brands are becoming confident in their new, improved engagement efforts. 

This year, 43% of marketers said their company does an excellent job of customer engagement, up from 32% the previous year. Overall, 94% of brands rated their practises as excellent or good, up from 88% last year. So, within a single year we've seen rapid and significant change.

Positive Impact of Cross-Channel Engagement on Likelihood to Buy Rises 48% Year on Year

The pandemic hasn't just increased the use of digital channels and technologies as separate entities, working in silos. It's increased the use and impact of these technologies in tandem with each other. In fact, a cross channel engagement strategy which combines both in-product messages, like in-app messages, and out-of-product messages, like email and push notifications, increased a user's likelihood to buy by 3.1X, compared to a single-channel approach. 

In fact, the top performing brands surveyed by Braze are:

This impact has risen from 2.1X in a single year; since 2020 there's been a rise of 48% year over year, showcasing how powerful cross-channel engagement has become during the pandemic. But it's not just a case of combining two channels and seeing the top results. In fact, each time you add in another channel to your messaging mix, you'll see further improvement. 

Braze customer HappyFresh has succeeded using this technique. When the company found itself facing delivery shortages, it used messaging to encourage users to opt-in for targeted notifications, alerting them to available slots as soon as they became free.

This campaign used a cross-channel approach, which included in-app messages, push notifications, and email, which worked together to keep customers informed during a trying period of time. This resulted in opt-in rates of 43% and purchase rates of 33%, in a difficult pandemic landscape. Impressive stuff. 

98% of Companies that Ranked Their Customer Engagement Efforts as Excellent or Good Exceeded their Revenue Goals

As we've mentioned, with more confidence comes more revenue.

And the results speak for themselves: 98% of companies that ranked their customer engagement efforts and excellent or good exceeded their revenue. Those that didn't? Well, only 65% met revenue goals. 

Though we have to be cognisant of the current environment, where the bounce back from the pandemic could skew results. But this doesn't negate the impact an effective, deep focus on customer engagement can bring. The brands which adapted to the changes in consumer behaviour have been rewarded. Companies which shifted their focus, and worked to embrace customer-centric campaigns are now well-positioned to receive the revenue gains they have set themselves up to collect. 

For more data on the trends shaping customer engagement in 2022, and the opportunities for companies, download the 2022 Braze Global Customer Engagement Review in full, here.