Customer Engagement

The Braze Customer Engagement Index: Understanding Where You Fit And Where You Want to Go

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Apr 28, 2021

Strong customer engagement is an indicator of consumer relevance, business performance, brand health, and staying power.

It's no surprise then that nearly half (48%) of seasoned companies that have been in business for 20+ years rank customer engagement as a top investment priority in 2021, according to a new survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Braze that polled 1,300 marketing leaders at the helm of companies with a minimum annual revenue of $10M.

But when asked how they're holding themselves accountable, only about a quarter (26%) of these VP+ level executives said their organizations have a shared, company-wide definition of what customer engagement success looks like.

That's why we created The Braze Customer Engagement Index, to offer brands across the world a shared global framework for defining what great customer engagement looks like.

Introducing The Braze Customer Engagement Index

As part of our first annual Global Customer Engagement Review, this new index includes the top 12 factors companies can use to evaluate and elevate their own approaches to building relationships with customers, while also providing insights for improving activation, retention, and monetization KPIs.

We've found that the crucial elements of customer engagement success can be broken into two key categories:

  • Tech: Made up of the subcategories of channels, classification, data, orchestration, performance, and personalization

  • Teams: Made up of the subcategories of culture, experimentation, metrics, objectives, staffing, and strategy

Here are the top 12 factors that influence your brand's customer relationships

We determined these 12 key areas using both the Wakefield Research study and a comprehensive analysis of Braze data aggregated from over five billion global users.

How mature is your company's customer engagement strategy?

Of the 1,300 companies surveyed, we grouped responses into three levels of maturity, with:

  • Activate representing those brands just starting out in adopting customer engagement approaches

  • Accelerate representing those brands that have embraced a culture of cross-collaboration and experimentation and are employing data-driven strategies

  • Ace representing the most advanced brands leveraging streaming data to power their lifecycle-centered customer engagement

Brands advance from Activate to Accelerate and Accelerate to Ace when they embrace collaboration, data, and real-time action
The largest number of brands (nearly 50%) fall solidly within the Accelerate level, with about a third at the beginning stages, and a select percent (17%) at the cutting edge, according to our analysis of the 1,300 brands Wakefield Research surveyed

Where Brands Are Succeeding and Where There's Room for Growth

According to our findings, most brands—regardless of how they rank overall—excel in two key areas:

  • Experimentation: Employing rich, ongoing testing using multiple variants, multiple rounds of experiments, advanced analytics, and the most recent customer data

  • Channels: Providing a seamless cross-channel experience, following along as customers move between platforms

While brands surveyed generally performed well across the 12 customer engagement factors we identified, there are two clear areas where brands have room to grow:

  • Staffing: Only 5% of brands have permanent, cross-functional teams in place to support company-wide customer engagement efforts

If you’re struggling with staffing and collaboration-related issues, check out our guides 5 Ways to Foster Teamwork to Build Authentic Customer Relationships and Modern Teamwork: How to Assemble and Manage Agile Teams To Support Brilliant Customer Experiences for more guidance.

  • Real-time personalization: While many brands use data to personalize their campaigns, few (10%) are using real-time personalization

If you’re struggling with embracing real-time data in your personalization efforts, check out For Smart Message Personalization, You Need Braze Connected Content and Understanding Dynamic Content Personalization for more information.

Anything Else?

Get your copy of our 2021 Global Customer Engagement Review to explore the full Braze Customer Engagement Index and see how your company ranks. Plus, get insights on what it takes to advance from Activate to Accelerate and from Accelerate to Ace across your brand's cross-channel strategy, segmentation, data practices, customer experience orchestration, performance optimization, and more.

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip

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