GLOBAL: The most engaged consumers are male, married and millennial, according to new research that also finds Scandinavians among the least engaged consumers in the world.

Customer engagement specialist Affinion partnered with Oxford Brookes University to carry out a survey of more than 18,000 consumers in 13 countries around the world, developing a metric – a Customer Engagement Score between one and 100 – to show how engaged they were based on their responses to a series of questions about their relationship with their bank, mobile phone provider and favourite retailer.

This found that that millennials (18-34 year olds) had the highest level of engagement with all three of these, with an overall Customer Engagement Score ranging from 67 – 70.

That was higher than older age groups, in particular the 65+ age range which had an overall score of 61.

Marital status was another indicator of difference, with married respondents reporting an average engagement score of 67, compared with 64 in singletons.

And when gender was considered, male respondents showed a tighter bond with their banks (68) and mobile providers (65), while female respondents reported a stronger bond with their favourite retailers (69).

Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Finland and Norway – consistently reported the lowest levels of customer engagement, according to the research, with scores ranging from 58-60.

The UK secured an average combined score of 63 against the global average of 66.

And consumers in Turkey, Brazil and the US emerged as the most engaged – these three countries being the only ones to consistently exceed global metrics across all the industries, with an overall Customer Engagement Score of 70-72.

"Customers with higher engagement scores are more likely to stay with a brand for longer, spend more and recommend an organisation to family and friends," said Karen Wheeler, Affinion, UK country manager.

"Advocacy breeds advocacy, so turning customers into advocates should be a company's ultimate goal," she added. "Understanding how to drive up these engagement scores is crucial for businesses if they are to increase customer retention and ultimately drive business growth."

Data sourced from Affinion; additional content by Warc staff