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What is it about companies’ marketing that drives satisfaction for their customers? MarketingSherpa explored this question in a survey [download page] fielded among 2,400 US consumers, half of whom were asked about the companies they were satisfied with and the other half about companies with which they’re dissatisfied. For satisfied customers, consistently having good experiences was the most common refrain, reported by a majority (56%) as being true of their experience.

Likewise, the second-most popular response was that it was easy to conduct business with the company whether online, in person or on the phone.

These results align with separate global research from Accenture, which has found core drivers of satisfaction to include high-quality service and ease of doing business.

In that study good value (for the money) was the leading driver of consumer satisfaction with companies. The MarketingSherpa study also suggests that consumers see value as a key factor: when thinking about the marketing of a company they are satisfied with, the third-largest proportion of respondents said that “it doesn’t always try to sell to me but tries to provide value.”

Marketing has a big role to play in influencing customer satisfaction: 91% of satisfied customers said that the products and services of the company do their intended job “very well” or “well” – while just 24% of dissatisfied customers could say the same. As such, the marketing message needs to align with the value of the product and service itself. It also helps if the marketing is not intrusive, as this was also a common tenet for satisfied customers. (It’s worth noting here that other research indicates that more than 9 in 10 consumers agree that online ads are more intrusive now than they were 2-3 years ago.)

Interestingly, personalization isn’t considered quite as important, with fewer satisfied customers saying that the company knows what they like and don’t like. Still, separate results suggest that customers satisfied with companies feel that those companies help them make the best decisions for themselves.

Overall, the results indicate that satisfaction comes from making purchasing experiences easy and enjoyable (aligning with other research on the customer experience), offering consistently good experiences, and delivering value that matches the marketing message.

About the Data: In September and October 2016, MarketingSherpa sampled 2,400 US adults (18+), weighted to reflect a close match to the U.S. population. Half completed a survey about their experiences with a brand with which they were highly satisfied, and half completed a survey about their experiences with a brand with which they were not satisfied.

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