Are some of the world’s biggest brands missing out on the personalisation revolution?

Are some of the world’s biggest brands missing out on the personalisation revolution?

Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Toyota, Bank of China, Samsung Electronics – they all appear in the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s biggest companies. But in the top 300 of that index, almost all are not engaging with customers using personalisation tools.

At a time when technology and data have become so powerful that companies can interact with stakeholders internally and externally on a personal basis and when customers want to know the stance of brands on a range of important issues, a recent study reveals that the most powerful brands globally are just not adopting tools to help them do it.

As many as 94% of the top 300 companies do not use personalisation tools such as Marketo Real Time Personalization, Acquia Lift, Voyat and Limespot.

And as many as 85% do not use chatbots on their websites, according to the fourth annual Global Marketing Engagement Index (MET) by TEAM LEWIS.

Sarah Ogden, Managing Director, TEAM LEWIS, says, “Lack of adoption can be due to not knowing about them or how they can be applied to marketing activities. Or in some cases, marketing technology not being used to its full potential.

“What surprises me is that these brands are missing the power of their owned networks. When it comes to the power of influence and integrated communications they have a powerful footprint across their networks. Quite often, CMOs and COOs – when focusing on external communications – don’t invest in owned channels as well.”

Pandemic advance and retreat

In the first year of the pandemic, which was covered by the MET study, company CEOs of all sizes were vocal and visible to provide leadership and reassurance. During the second year, the study found CEOs were in retreat. In fact, nearly a quarter had not conducted media interviews in the 90 days before the report’s publication.

The report also found that 94% of Global 300 CEOs are not active on social media and nearly a quarter do not link to brand social channels.

The MET Index findings this year have highlighted that while volume and reach have been key communications objectives in the past, heightened uncertainty has changed the role of marketing performance in light of evolved audience expectations.

“There is an opportunity for all brands to innovate around brand experience and it’s not about awareness but engagement. It’s incredibly important that audiences know you are listening and that you are relevant,” says Sarah.

“We are in an age of personalisation and we have amazing technology and data management that enable that but [in the top 300 companies] a lot of that is missing.”

The index shows that the best-performing brands were more consistent in delivering an integrated channel brand experience. 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 (down 19%), E-commerce (down 11%), and Aerospace & Defence (down 10%). Lower scores across the Media, Website Reporting and UX categories are the leading reasons for the decline.

The index also found:

  • 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.

Only 15% had fully ADA compliant websites – meaning people with disabilities could find their websites hard to access.