SAN MATEO, CA: Brands are not maximising their engagement with consumers as they fail to keep pace with expectations regarding personalization and value, a new study suggests.

For The State of Engagement report, martech firm Marketo surveyed more than 2,000 marketing decision makers and consumers in the US and Europe and reported that marketing leaders need to quickly adopt new strategies to effectively engage their customers.

For one thing, they should appreciate that it is consumers who define engagement. While marketers have prioritized the consumer experience, and 82% believed they have a deep understanding of who they’re trying to reach, more than half of consumers (56%) thought brands could do a better job aligning with how they prefer to engage.

The top two channels through which consumers prefer to initiate engagement with brands are email and websites. But, the study said, marketers are making investments in a number of channels at faster rates than consumers are using them – across blogs, mobile devices, social media, and online communities.

And while consumers typically utilize different channels at each stage of the buyer journey, making it imperative for marketers to listen to their activities and respond accordingly, marketers said they were dissatisfied with the tools available to them to accomplish these tasks; 48% cited this as their number one barrier to effective engagement.

Quite apart from their day-to-day efforts to engage consumers, many marketers also reported the need to address internal issues around executive buy-in and partner/employee engagement strategies.

“In the Engagement Economy, consumers expect more from brands, and it’s up to marketers to provide value and connection at every engagement point,” said Karen Steele, group vice president, Corporate Marketing, Marketo.

“The customer journey for most organizations is highly fractured and crosses websites, mobile apps, social channels, third-party apps – even brick and mortar properties. It’s the responsibility of the chief marketing officer to steward their journeys across all engagement channels, everywhere the customer is,” she added.

Data sourced from Marketo; additional content by WARC staff