The Engagement Gap: 3 Insights on How Marketers are Missing the Mark (and What to Do About It)

August 31, 2017 | MelissaNazar | Link

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “engagement gap?”


If you’re a marketer, the engagement gap might be the reality of your day-to-day work, trying to hustle to find smart ways to reach your audience, grab attention, and get them to take an action. Not easy in a market where consumers are bombarded by generic messages nonstop.


That’s why we were pumped to hear about Marketo’s report The State of Engagement, a deep dive into both marketer and consumer attitudes toward, and their motivations for engagement.


The report affirms what we already suspected – engagement is hard, and even harder to do it at scale. Our CEO and Founder Seth Lieberman, says this about engagement:



“…marketers are waking up to the reality that the old seller-centric playbook is on life support. New engagement and conversion strategies are required to meet these challenges.”



(this also happens to be why we are excited to become a Marketo Accelerate partner – love helping Marketo customers find better ways to create engaging content!)


What did we learn from Marketo’s report? Here are three key insights, and our takeaways, for marketers looking to fight the engagement gap.


Marketers aren’t doing enough to engage.

The research found that as marketers, we have a pretty sunny outlook on consumer engagement – 82% of us think we have a good idea of what they want from us and our brands.




But from the consumer perspective, the story is a bit different. While consumers said that the engagements are mostly relevant, it’s because tend to be more transactional in nature, focused on the purchase process, or very specific asks from a consumer.




So we say we know what consumers want, but it turns out, that’s only really the case when someone wants to buy something from us. What about earlier in the buying journey? Are we considering our audience’s interests and needs throughout the entire process?



Takeaway: Focus on relevant engagement across the buyer journey, not just at the purchase point. Create engaging, interesting content throughout the funnel to support your audience’s needs.


The content we’re sharing isn’t always relevant.



Consumers relied on our content and channels to do their homework on brands – website, followed by email, were named the most common channels used for learning about and comparing products and services.


But the very channels they rely on seem to be the hinderance for deeper engagement. Irrelevant content was cited as the top reason that consumers don’t engage more often.


Think about it – imagine you’ve purchased from or interacted with a brand in the past and they don’t seem to know anything about you.


Let’s take a B2C example – my own online purchases of dog food for my pup. As a regular customer, I’d expect a company to be able to anticipate my needs, based on my purchase patterns, maybe send me coupons and reminders to buy. But if instead, I’m treated as a brand new entity every time I interact, I’m way more likely to get annoyed and shop with another company.


What exacerbates the relevance issue is the problem with integration across touchpoints. As marketers, we need to find ways to have all of our channels work together and share vital customer information. Consumers want it; some verbatims from the research about what they want:



“Smart software that is intuitive enough to anticipate my next move or purchase. They also have become better at making email and push ads relevant rather than random junk.”


“Tailoring e-mails and promotions to products that we need.”



Takeaway: Create hyper-relevant content targeted at individual prospects and customers, based on where they are in the funnel (persona mapping is a great tool for this) vs. relying on broad-based marketing messages to resonate.



Our technology isn’t playing nice.

Marketers realize that consumer engagement is an issue, and that it requires the right tools to get it done right. But as it turns out, marketers are pretty frustrated with the tech they have available, and have challenges like complexity and management of them.




There’s plenty of tools out there. MarTech offerings seem to be exploding (see fancy chart for reference below), but it can be hard to figure out what to use and how best to use it.




That’s why finding tools that integrate seamlessly is so essential – it takes all the extra legwork out of the process. Finding tech that supports relevant audience engagement and connects effortlessly on the backend? That’s the ultimate goal.


A great example? SnapApp and Marketo. Our direct integration lets you feed the insights you collect through interactive content right into their platform, helping you qualify leads faster and inform downstream marketing outreach.


Don’t take it from us; Brian Vass, VP of sales and marketing tech at joint customer Paycor had this to say when we announced our partnership:



“We currently use SnapApp to create personal, one-to-one interactive experiences to engage buyers and accelerate our marketing efforts. Connecting SnapApp with the Marketo Engagement Platform enables us to collect valuable insights on our audience, and then use that information to inform and scale all of our marketing efforts. We have seen substantial campaign performance lift and efficiency gains since we deployed SnapApp last year.”



Takeaway: Work with technology that plays well together and makes your job easier. Focus on tools that help you learn more, relevant details about your audience, while also connecting it back to your marketing efforts.


Want to learn more about how you can use SnapApp and Marketo together? See our profile on Launchpoint.




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