In all a world of heightened uncertainty and change, audience expectations have dramatically evolved. This year’s MET Index demonstrates that marketing performance is not just about volume and reach. It’s about a brand’s ability to listen and react when it matters most – at speed and with human understanding across channels. To nurture relationships, respect diversity and build inclusive experiences. Consumers and customers are alike in wanting to be informed, entertained and engaged in a way that respects boundaries and personal choice. The 2021 Global Marketing Engagement Index analyses the effective use of channels and marketing mix in achieving this.
Inconsistency is the overriding trend for marketing engagement in 2021. Brands are failing to implement strategies to engage their customers. Most companies do not use personalisation tools (94%) or a chatbot (85%) on their websites. Only 15% have fully ADA compliant websites. Nearly a quarter (22%) do not link to brand social channels. In addition, the majority of Global 300 CEOs (94%) are not active on social media.
IBM, American Express and Dell Technologies are 2021’s top ranked companies. However, the study reveals MET scores have fallen across the majority (65%) of industries.
Industries with the biggest score declines include Real Estate & Development (↓19%), E-commerce (↓11%), and Aerospace & Defense (↓10%). Lower scores across the Media, Website Reporting and UX categories are the leading reasons for the decline.
“The digital inflection caused by the pandemic is here to stay,” said Chris Lewis, CEO and Founder at TEAM LEWIS. “Our findings underscore the impact uncertainty has on even the world’s most successful companies. Covid-19 altered how consumers interact with brands. The expectation for seamless customer journeys is now a given. Organisations delivering flexible, frictionless experiences will continue to emerge on top.”
- 94% of companies measured do not use personalization tools on their websites. The only brands that currently use personalization tools in the Global 300 are B2C firms.
- Social media activity across the global CEOs showed minimal growth from last year. Only 40% of CEOs have a social media presence, and of those, only 17% actively post company-related info.
- Media operations look good “on paper” but the outcomes offer a different story. Compared to 2020, more companies experienced a media crisis within the last 12 months.
- Nearly a quarter of global CEOs have not been in media interviews over the last 90 days.
- Most corporate websites do not conform to ADA requirements, with only 15% fully compliant.
- Brands are behind on user experience with nearly 45% not using video assets on their sites.
- 40% do not list their corporate values anywhere on their website and roughly 20% do not reference current cultural issues.
- B2B brands are lagging on community engagement as they were found less likely to interact with customers over their social channels.
- Brands continue to perform poorly across key website optimization metrics. Text-to-code and backlink-to-domain ratios are two of the worst performing metrics. Keyword trends results have also gone down compared to 2020 data.
- Companies are shifting away from using tag management software, tracking custom conversions, and using custom events and dimensions on their webpages. This trend was first reported in 2020, and it accelerated by 10% in 2021.
- Most companies are still not actively marketing online events on their websites.
Download the Global Marketing Engagement Index 2021 here.