As talks of a recession keep getting louder, the global marketing agency, Team Lewis has found that companies are leaning away from corporate social responsibility and into focusing on digital.
Team Lewis has launched its 5th annual Global Marketing Engagement Index. The report analyses the top 300 companies from the Forbes Global 2000 list using a proprietary methodology, the Marketing Engagement Tracker (MET).
This study looks at how effectively the top brands connect with their audiences.
Since it was launched in 2017, it has reported some clear trends. These have been quantitative and linear. Organisations have made ever-more use of new digital tools, content and infrastructure. They have grown audiences and engaged more deeply. The quality of the marketing has also improved.
DBS was identified as the most engaging APAC headquartered brand, followed by Toyota Motor and KIA. However, no APAC-headquartered organisations made it onto the Global top 10. Microsoft was named the most engaging brand globally, according to the Index.
The changes recorded in the MET of 2022 show some paradoxical trends:
- 1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) / Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
The CSR section of the MET checks if companies have a programme on their website or mention the use of renewable energy resources, or diversity and inclusion efforts. Surprisingly, despite this topic being current, the score went down year on year from 65per cent in 2021 to 56per cent this year.
- 2. Media
This section of the MET looks at the scale of media content on the website. This could cover case studies, product or service news or leadership interviews and quotes. The overall score is down year on year, from 56per cent in 2021 to 35per cent in 2022. This is mainly explained by the pull-back of original research and more companies suffering communications crises which can be disruptive to the normal flow of content.
- 3. Digital Marketing
This section of the MET looks at factors determining the company’s success with online audiences.
From website bounce rates, domain authority, growth in top keywords, and keyword difficulty, to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) rankings. The overall score this year is down from 56per cent in 2021 to 47per cent in 2022. This indicates that companies are investing less in SEM and SEO.
On the upside, the research shows social presence increased from 55per cent in 2021 to 62per cent this year. User experience went up dramatically from 35per cent in 2021 to 61per cent this year, and Website reporting scores went up from 26per cent in 2021 to 48per cent.
Site Security remained at a decent level of 80per cent. This is high, but not all sites are fully protected.
“These trends appear paradoxical,” said Matt Robbins, VP of Insights and Research. “We see increased investment in user experience, yet a drop in SEO and SEM. There is no point in having a great user experience if nobody can find your website. Investment in online awareness should be increasing, not falling.”
He continued: “There is high inflation, but full employment (at present). This means businesses face the pressures of declining revenues and rising costs. This will lead to reputational problems whether they be workforce, environment or governance issues. Investment in these areas is being scaled back. It is a false economy. Brand reputation takes years to establish but can be lost quickly.”
This compilation is an industry benchmark recognised to have an authoritative and trusted methodology.
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