ANNUAL ONLINE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT REPORT 2009
This year’s report provides insights into theway companies and agencies are continuingto use the online space to develop stronger andmore intimate bonds between our organisationsand our customers. A year ago we mightall have accurately predicted that emailnewsletters would remain a staple techniqueor improving online customer engagement, but ar ewer might have predicted that 13%o companies would look to be investing inmicro-blogging utilities like Twitter.There have been a number o constants acrossthe years that the survey has been running butthis report is published into a very dierentworld than the previous ones. The shadowo a credit crunch in 2007/2008 has alreadyturned into ull blown recession in somecountries and the impact o internationaleconomic woes are predicted to reach well intothe next decade. The instability that the marketeconomy creates or all organisations meansthat it is increasingly dicult to think beyondthe short term and even the best laid businessplans can be unhinged at a moment’s notice.
Those organisations able to grasp the changes in our customers’ behaviour andpsychology, while placing an emphasis on delivering increased value, will be ableto reap the rewards o customer engagement.
Welcome to this, the Third Annual OnlineCustomer Engagement Survey Report.This year the survey was translated into ourdierent languages and attracted the largestnumber o participants ever with nearly 1300companies and supplier agencies taking thesurvey. This makes it the biggest survey o its type anywhere in the world.Hal o you now classiy customer engagementas essential to your organisation and youranswers indicate that an increasinglylarge number o you understand customerengagement as an activity that delivers valueto both customers and businesses. Ater allthis is the dening eature o engagement, itstrue value lies in the development o mutually benecial relationships.So what is the role or customer engagementwithin this climate?To eectively engage we must endeavour tounderstand and provide relevance and thisyear’s report provides insights into how weare targeting and segmenting our customers,as well as what methods we are using to learnhow our customers are changing in this newworld.Nearly 50% o you recognise that sensitivityto price will be a key customer behaviourin the coming year. But i we assume thatit is the sole, or indeed the most importantmotivating quality, we will have missed themore subtle interaction between the changingeconomic environment and our customer’s
I we assumethat sensitivity toprice is the sole,or indeed themost importantmotivating quality,we will havemissed the moresubtle interactionbetween thechanging economicenvironment andour customer’spsychology.
psychology, and ultimately their behaviouralpatterns. For example, in previous economicdownturns escapism made the cinema,gambling and cosmetics relatively ‘recessionproo’. Will they continue to be or willalternative orms o escapism predominate?What role will the expanding secondhandmarket online play and how can we takeadvantage o this? As tightened purse stringsencourage conservative purchasing how willa recessionary ocus on the amily unit expressitsel online?In our First Online Customer EngagementReport published in 2006 I made the point that“customer engagement is the best measure o current and uture perormance; an engagedrelationship is probably the only
or a return on your organisations’ or yourclients’ objectives”. I still hold this to be true.Indeed in a troubled economy the emphasison engagement is one o the ew activitiesthat can deliver value to both customer and business alike, over both the short and thelong term.