Winning Engagement: Brands Are Spending More On Messaging

Brands are racing to improve their consumer messaging this year, judging by the 2021 Global Customer Engagement Review.

Of the companies polled by Braze, 60% plan to increase their customer engagement budgets, while 13% will decrease them. 

Older companies are more likely to see engagement as an investment priority — with 48% saying they do, versus 39% of young companies. Globally, 61% of U.S. forecast budget increases, as do 66% of those in Asia and 52% in Europe.  

Among firms that rate themselves as excellent at engagement, 75% are projecting 2021 budget increases, compared with 60% of those that see themselves as good, and 16% who rate themselves in the fair/poor category.  

The news comes as companies struggle with numerous challenges. The top three are:

- Breaking through or standing out in a crowded market

- Using or training employees on new technology or approaches

- Coordinating messages across channels, devices, and touchponts. 



That last point is critical because customers contacted in even two channels are 73% more likely to make a purchase. And they show an increase of  4.2 times in lifetime value, a 76% longer user lifetime and a 58% spike in 30-day retention. 

Still, 78% of U.S. companies are concerned that customer engagement metrics aren’t translating into business outcomes. In Europe, 73% of brands say the same thing, as do 68% of those in Asia. 

Where does that leave email? As yesterday’s channel, judging by these findings. 

The study notes that “older companies are often email-centric while startups often overuse push notifications.” But that’s not true when email is properly used. 

Take the case of Grubhub. The food-ordering service sought to create personalized year-in-review emails for each diner, the study says. It sent emails customized by 32 attributes.

The results were impressive. 

“The yearly summary email saw a 100% increase in social media mentions year-over-year and a 18% lift in word-of-mouth referrals to the app–all from a campaign based on first-party data from Grubhub diners,” the study says. 

Financial services firms are busy adding other channels. When they add in-app messages and mobile push to email, they enjoy a 2.3X increase in customer lifetime value and a 3.6X hike in 30-day retention.  

Here’s more finding: Of firms that rate themselves as excellent, 67% have exceeded their revenue goals, versus 44% of those that say they are good, and 14% who describe themselves as fair/poor.

And, by the way, 93% of U.S. companies say they’re excellent, versus 88% of Asian outfits and 82% of those in Europe. 

Braze surveyed 1,300 VP-plus marketing executives at consumer-facing brands. 

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