In today’s highly competitive world of compressed margins and slow economic growth, private companies are looking for new ways to boost revenue. One key way is to engage and learn about customers via digital means rather than strictly through traditional avenues such as direct mail and print advertising. According to PwC US’s Private CompanyTrendsetter Barometer, most private companies (70%) are now doing some form of customer outreach through digital avenues, including via email and company websites. Within this group of Trendsetter companies that engage/research customers digitally, 67% are leveraging social media and mobile devices to that end.
private businesses in particular are embracing digital tools in their customer
outreach. Among Trendsetter companies,
those that use digital means to engage and learn about customers forecast 11.3%
revenue growth over the next year, compared with 6.3% revenue growth projected
by private companies that are not using digital tools for customer-engagement
private companies using digital means of customer engagement and research to a
moderate/great degree also tend to have higher annual revenue ($244 million)
than those using digital means to a smaller degree ($191 million).
Tools Deliver Clear Value, But Full Benefits Depend on Data Analytics
marketing to individual customers -- for instance, via email promotions, text
messages, and pop-up ads -- is the top way private companies are using digital
technology for customer engagement/research (65%). Half of private companies
that are using digital channels for customer engagement/research are also
encouraging customers to act as brand ambassadors — for example, by posting
online testimonials about products and services and spreading the word via
social media. Roughly the same percentage (48%) use digital means to solicit
customer insights for product development, including innovation.
companies that are using digital channels for customer engagement are notably
positive about the benefits, saying that digital means help their businesses do
a better job of marketing their products/services to customers (76% of
respondents) and improve customers’ experience and overall satisfaction (72%).
companies are using digital tools to research customers: 43% are using such
tools to gather information on customers' behavior and preferences, while 40%
are employing digital means to obtain demographic information. Despite these
lower percentages, fully three-quarters (75%) of the companies using digital
technology in their customer-focused efforts say that doing so helps them
obtain better and more useful information.
(75%) of Trendsetter
companies consider the customer information they collect (via both digital and
traditional channels) relevant to their product development and innovation.
This percentage rises to 84% among private firms that use digital tools to a
great or moderate degree.
roughly one-quarter (28%) of private companies have not yet enlisted digital
tools in their customer outreach. Meanwhile, among those companies enlisting
digital technology to that end, only a minority (28%) believe that doing so is
currently helping them achieve lower costs.
More information on Customer Engagement can be found at www.CRMindustry.com.