Econsultancy/cScape survey shows companies are missing opportunities to engage through mobile channel and to use online engagement tools to help product development

3 December 2009

Many companies are turning their attention to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter but are neglecting mobile as a channel for deepening customer relationships, according to the 4th Annual Online Customer Engagement Report, published today by Econsultancy and digital agency, cScape.

While presence on social networks has almost doubled from 23% to 44% of companies and use of micro-blogging (i.e. Twitter) has gone up five-fold (from 7% to 35%) year-on-year, only 11% of companies surveyed are planning ‘significant investment’ in the mobile channel despite increased use of smart phones and the ‘mobile internet’.

A large proportion (41%) of companies are not planning any investment at all in mobile in 2010, while a further 49% are planning only ‘limited investment’. Over half blame this inertia on lack of resources (which was also cited as an obstacle to improving engagement in general in the last 12 months by 52% - the same percentage as last year).

In addition, while social media usage has ballooned since last year and 61% (almost double last year’s figure) say that they expect consumers to be less tolerant of poor service over the next year, only a quarter are tapping into user feedback and ratings for product development and innovation.

With only 29% saying senior staff members are encouraged to use social media to build customer dialogue and an even smaller percentage (17%) having processes and workflows in place to encourage staff use of social media, it’s clear that the Enterprise 2.0 vision is not yet a reality.

Linus Gregoriadis, Econsultancy’s Research Director, said: “Companies should be thinking hard about their strategies for mobile and for channelling online feedback from customers back into the product development process but the research suggests that this is not the case.

“Lack of resources, skills and experience are cited as obstacles, but today’s customers expect a seamless approach when they deal with companies, irrespective of whether they are calling them up for information, commenting on a blog or trying to buy something online while on the move.”

Richard Sedley, Director at cScape’s Customer Engagement Unit, added, “Despite the predictions that handheld devices will soon become the main interface for social networking marketers are still holding off using this valuable marketing channel.

"However, what is also clear from the 1,000 plus participants is that marketers need to focus on quality, simplicity and customer service if they hope to engage their customer over the next 12 months.”

The full Econsultancy / cScape Customer Engagement Report 2010 is available for download here:

http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-engagement-report

Journalists and bloggers can also email or call Econsultancy or cScape for a complimentary copy of the report and / or further information

Contacts are as follows:

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director, Econsultancy, Email: linus @ econsultancy.com Tel: + 44 (0) 207 269 1465 / 07956 564713

Richard Sedley, Director of Customer Engagement, cScape,
Email r.sedley @ cscape.com or Theresa Clifford, Sales and Marketing Director, t.clifford @ cscape.com, both on Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7 689 8800

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is the leading source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce. Our reports, events, online resources and training programmes help a community of over 85,000 registered marketers make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers. Join Econsultancy today to learn what’s happening in digital marketing – and what works.Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7269 1450 or contact us online. http://econsultancy.com

About cScape

cScape is an award-winning, NMA top 50 full service digital agency that ranked number 14 in NMA’s design and build 2009 top 100 poll. Based in the UK but operating internationally, cScape is part of the AIM listed cScape Group Limited which has over 110 staff It, offers digital marketing/customer engagement campaign strategy, planning, management and training; graphic design and rich media services including app development and video, and technical health checks/build (intranet, extranet, website and mobile). Customers include Aviva, Sony, Barclays, the British Council, ExxonMobil, Tesco, Carbon Trust and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Published on: 1:13PM on 3rd December 2009