It’s an email world. That’s the conclusion we came to after reading “Marketo Survey: Websites, Email Still Rule Consumer Engagement," an article posted today by Dan Nicastro on CMS Wire. It's based on a global survey done some months ago by Marketo.
Looking at the original stats, it's clear that email is still the leading customer engagement tool.
The channel used to initiate engagement in B2B?
The channel used to learn about products or services in B2B?
The channel most used for post-purchase feedback?
The most popular channel across the U.S. and Europe?
Before we get too intoxicated, though, there is a lot of other material in this report. And email doesn’t always come out on top. For example, email is not seen as the most integrated touchpoint. And as Nicastro notes, "garbage content" helps prevent engagement in many cases.
Worse yet, "about a quarter of B2C and B2B consumers also reported that "engaging with certain vendors or brands is more work than it's worth," Nicastro writes.
That's hardly a positive finding.
But let's drill down a little. Going back to the source, Marketo polled 1,192 marketers, 511 consumers and 489 B2b shoppers, spread across the U.S., the UK, France and Germany. The objective: To provide an update on what Marketo calls The Engagement Economy," which was also the theme of Marketo's spring conference.
The study revealed that consumers engage with brands mostly to purchase products and service. The next most-popular goal is to learn about those offerings. (Makes you wonder: Are they buying first and asking questions later?)
Way down the list is keeping up with the brand’s content.
"Marketo pushes the idea of the Engagement Economy as a vendor: the belief that, as CEO Steve Lucas blogged, "we are living in a new era — a digital future where everyone and everything is connected," Nicastro writes.
"'The Engagement Economy,' Lucas wrote, "embodies the fundamental shift in relationships between buyers and sellers, but extends across entire organizations to include customers, prospects, employees and partners."
That said, consumers do have their gripes about the whole process. And they're not all related to garbage content. Almost two-thirds of the B2B respondents feel that vendors could “do a better job aligning their engagement activities with my preferences."
Right. It makes us wonder if the Engagement Economy should be renamed The Marketing Automation Economy.
At the same time, small percentages also feel that brands don't share their values. Those numbers could skyrocket in the wake of Charlottesville.
And email? Yes, it is a popular channel, Nicastro affirms. Going back to the original survey, 79% of the B2bB respondents use email to initiate engagement. Next are websites (60%), social media (35%), chart (28%) and mobile devices (25%)
In addition, 54.5% use email to learn about products or services. However, 65.5% utilize websites for this. Third is social media (33.5%).
And for post-purchase feedback? Email comes out on top again, with 53% reporting usage. Websites are next (46.5%) and online communities are third (30.5%).
There's one knock against email, on the marketing side: That it is not the most integrated touchpoint. That honor belongs to website/ecommerce.