Customer Engagement

Who Owns Customer Engagement?

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Apr 15, 2021

This year, Braze launched its first ever Global Customer Engagement Review, a resource brands can use to evaluate and elevate their own relationship-building efforts across 12 key factors we've dubbed the Braze Customer Engagement Index.

Alongside technology-related factors, teamwork is an important component in assessing the maturity of brands' customer engagement strategies. We've called it out as its own pillar in the Index because effective collaboration across teams can be just as critical to building authentic customer relationships as the tools that teams use to communicate with their users. After all, company culture, experimentation, metrics, objectives, staffing, and strategy are all essential building blocks that help set companies up for success.

The 12 factors that contribute to customer relationship-building success

So let's dig into what we learned from surveying of 1,300 VP+ marketing executives, conducted in partnership with Wakefield Research on behalf of Braze.

In General, Marketing Owns Customer Engagement...

While there was some variation among respondents, some clear themes emerged. In particular, we found that the majority of B2C executives surveyed told us that ownership of customer engagement lives either within their marketing department or within the marketing team in conjunction with other partner departments.

...But Customer Engagement Could Be More Cross-Functional to Improve the Overall Customer Experience

For many brands, their marketing teams are already working hand in hand with other groups, including data, product, engineering, and more to ensure optimal customer engagement. That's an area where US brands are ahead, with more than half (55%) reporting having a highly cross-functional approach to customer engagement, compared with APAC and EMEA behind at 42% and 34%, respectively.

Still, globally only 5% of all brands report having permanent cross-functional teams in place. And even among the most advanced brands we evaluated, only 12% report having a dedicated cross-functional digital team.

That's a big area for improvement across the board when it comes to customer engagement. It’s not uncommon for disconnected teams to lead to disconnected customer experiences—for instance, having messages originating from different teams within the organization can potentially confuse or frustrate recipients if that outreach isn’t cohesive and coherent as a whole.

Related: 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

...And Most Brands Lack a Shared, Company-Wide Definition of Customer Engagement Success

While most marketers (88%) who responded to the survey self-reported that their approach to customer engagement is "excellent" or "good," the majority (74%) also say they're worried their metrics aren't translating to concrete business outcomes.

Digging in further, we found that one factor that may be contributing to this problem is a lack of alignment within companies on what positive results should look like. In fact, only 26% of marketing executives surveyed said their organization has a shared, company-wide definition of success for customer engagement campaigns.

That's a common issue. To better understand which numbers matter the most, how to best act upon them, and the ways you can glean more data to drive stronger business results, check out our report Understanding Customer Engagement Benchmarks and Metrics.

Final Thoughts

In today’s challenging, fast-moving business environment, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you’re speaking effectively to your customers and building sustainable relationships with every individual user.

Effective cross-team collaboration is a key component of that effort, but it’s not the only factor that brands need to ensure exceptional customer engagement. For more on how to make that happen, head over to our full 2021 Global Customer Engagement Review to discover the top areas in which brands are excelling and the opportunities where there's room for the greatest growth.

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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