Consumers, Marketers Disconnect On Measures Of Brand Engagement

Marketers may be out of touch with how consumers feel about their engagement with brands, according to [download page] November 2012 survey results from Turn, conducted by Forbes Insights. For example, 49% of marketers rate forwards or shares of ads or other content online as a strong influence on their engagement measures, but just 15% of consumers say they feel engaged or invested in a brand when they share an ad.

Data from “The New Rules of engagement: Measuring the Power of Social Currency” reveals that there are numerous similar instances of disconnect between what marketers measure and what consumers feel is important. One that stands out relates to brand recommendations. 45% of marketers say that consumers’ proactive efforts to recommend a brand is a strong measure of engagement for them. But, just 24% of consumers report feeling invested in a brand when they convince others to use it. The only measure in which both groups agree concerns opt-in messaging. For marketers, subscribers to email alerts, newsletters, or other loyalty programs topped the list of strongly influential engagement measures. At the same time, signing up for special deals or email updates ranked as the top way that consumers feel engaged with brands.

For all the press about 1-to-1 engagement, marketers and consumers diverge on its value as well. While 72% of marketing executives claim to have personally reached out to customers, just 9% of consumers report feeling engaged or invested in a brand by receiving a personal note from someone connected to the brand. Similarly, 35% of marketers say their companies encourage consumers to customize products, but just 15% of consumers (24% of those aged 18-24) report feeling engaged or invested in a brand when they were able to do so. The data suggests that consumers’ definitions of engagement differ from those of marketers, or that marketers overestimate the importance of those activities.

Consumers, Marketers Agree On Website Visits, Clicks

Marketers and consumers are most in tune over website visits, and clicks on ads and videos. 78% of marketers use website visits as an engagement measure, and 83% of consumers reporting having visited a company or brand website. 62% of marketers measure engagement by ad or video clicks on a website, which 60% of consumers report having done.

The researchers speculate that consumers have become desensitized to engagement methods. For example, more than half of marketers placed value upon Facebook likes and other social media behaviors as engagement measures, while just 2 in 5 consumers report having liked a company’s Facebook page or followed the company on Twitter.

About The Data: Forbes Insights conducted separate surveys of 250 marketing executives and 2,000 consumers. Nearly 100% of those executives were US based, and about two thirds from companies with annual revenues of $1+ billion, and a quarter from companies of $10+ billion. Nearly nine in 10 companies reported their companies had at least 2,000 employees. The consumer survey polled 2,000 US-based individuals, age 18+, projectable across US income, age and other demographics.

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