Digital channels are best for brand responsiveness and driving consumer purchasing decisions

Adapting to consumer feedback on a regular basis is an important factor in evaluating brand performance. According to a recent survey by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council among 150 brand marketers, 90% believe that a quick responsiveness to consumer feedback, preferences or needs is important, if not critical, to the overall customer experience.

However, just 16% feel that their organisations were reacting fast enough, whilst most still failed to adapt product changes or services upon consumer request.

According to marketers, some of the main issues that are holding companies back from accelerating their responsiveness include a lack of budget or data and intelligence to make changes, install functional teams that can separate marketing from product and packaging decisions, and vendors who are unable to work to expedited timelines.

Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council, says:

“Customers fully expect for brands to engage at the speed of light – after all, it is exceptional customer experiences from brands like Amazon and Starbucks that have proven that rapid response, personalization and real-time (or near real-time) omnichannel engagements are possible at the push of a button or click of an app. This is engagement at the speed of digital, and the customer expects a similar level of responsiveness across all experiences, regardless of whether the channel is physical or digital.”

The top touchpoints for consumer engagement include company websites, social media channels and digital advertising options, whilst touchpoints for consumer purchasing decisions are driven by digital ads, in-store sales representatives and social media channels.

A majority of respondents (77%) said it can take up to 90 days to respond to a consumer request, whilst 36% admitted that they are only able to react and respond to consumer suggestions within three months.

However, 36% of marketers admitted that their response was channel-dependent with digital responsiveness being rated much faster than physical responsiveness. For example, 43% of respondents are able to respond within 24 hours to a consumer request if a digital channel was used. Another 35% are able to respond within seven to 14 days via digital. In comparison, it takes the majority of marketers (59%) more than 30 days to respond to physical requests.

In order to remedy these challenges, marketers believe that new tools are required and 60% think that a focus on the consumer over the product would have to take place.

Joakim Weidemanis, Group Executive and Vice President, Product Identification at Danaher Corporation, says:

“With recent great advances in digital media delivery, unfortunately, the capability to make changes to physical media has been a laggard. Many people simply don’t know what’s possible until they decide it will be so. Advances in technology today allow business leaders to demand more speed, higher quality and greater transparency from their partners and vendors than ever before. Even more powerful for global brands is that such technology is available all over the world.”