October 5, 2011

Research shows companies not doing enough to engage with clients

by Kerry Butters

Recent research shows that whilst many companies have plenty of customers who visit their websites, most businesses don’t do enough to engage with them in order to increase long term relationships.

The study was carried out by Trovus, an award-winning provider in customer intelligence services.

They found that “only innovators are exploiting the value of this customer intelligence to develop their businesses.”

“Our research highlights that analyses of customer intelligence from their web site profiles reveal who is interested in what and when,” said Caspar Craven, Co-Founder of Trovus.

“This is a powerful weapon. It tells you which clients and prospects to engage now. The most innovative companies use this customer intelligence to understand vertical market trends and client needs, gaining insights into interests and behaviours and targeting engagement activity and messages appropriately.”

The research also found that social media is a powerful tool and companies that ignore it “do so at their peril.”

“We would ask whether it’s time to stop questioning the value of social media,” says Trovus’s Craven.

“Our research highlights an unmistakably powerful correlation between exploitation of social media and number of referrals to a company’s website … referrals that can be seized upon with further personalised business development activity.”

When the research looked at an innovative company alongside four others who use social media, it showed that despite having a lot of followers on LinkedIn, the four companies were failing to gain referrals.

This is thought to be due to the lack of dedicated resources for social media channels.

The innovative company had at least one employee dedicated to the use of social channels and this meant that their referral rate was converted from 5495 followers to 5332 referrals.

The benchmark figure for such figures is 4493 followers to 167 referrals, illustrating the huge impact dedicated employees can have.

The study also looked at referrals from email and found a major difference, again highlighting the power of social media, when used to its maximum potential.

“This information is invaluable to our clients,” concludes Craven. “They can create fresh opportunities in terms of marketing and business development.”

“Their business development initiatives reach only a small segment of the full target audience, so the potential market to exploit opportunities with more targeted marketing campaigns is massive.”

As other recent research has showed that many companies don’t understand how their cutomers engage with them on social media sites, it would seem that businesses need to further educate themselves on this powerful tool.

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