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Businesses engaging poorly with social media users

A new survey has identified a failure on the part of many businesses to develop marketing and customer relations techniques that keep pace with the rapidly changing outlook of their target consumers. The survey results are particularly scathing of companies’ attempts to engage with customers via social media.

The survey, by consultants Ernst & Young, questioned nearly 25,000 people across 34 countries, and found many seemingly underwhelmed by the marketing and customer relations strategies being employed to try and capture their attention or vie for their loyalty.

Social media users were the least impressed of those surveyed, with 85% saying they did not think businesses were making the most of sites such as Facebook and Twitter to make a connection with them.

Aside from the emergence of social media as a powerful consumer force, the survey discovered that the growing use of new technologies in general was a major factor in worsening the schism between consumer expectations and companies’ attempts at engagement.

With one example of this identified as being the fact that 62% of those surveyed say they now go online to carry out at least some of their buying activity, Ernst & Young warned in their concluding report that:

‘Consumers are equipped with all possible product, price and stock information, and can simply bypass retailers that don’t compete.’

Ernst & Young argue that consumers wish to be seen as ‘co-creators’ of marketing and consumer relations campaigns, and they recommend that businesses adopt various engagement tactics, such as making more of an attempt to personalise their contact with potential customers and entering into dialogue with them.

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