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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2017-10-11

Examples of intrusive, unwanted marketing tactics abound today, making you wonder if return on investment and creating brand trust are priorities for some organizations. A new study by Marketo seems to verify this disconnect between marketers and their target customers. The report, The State of Engagement, polled more than 2,000 marketing decision makers and consumers in both the B2B and B2C realms. It reveals significant gaps in how brands are aligning with key stakeholders in what Marketo calls today’s “Engagement Economy.”


On the flip side, the report also confirms that email remains the most desired marketing channel by consumers, business purchasers and even marketers alike. Key findings include:


  • Consumer frustration: Marketers believe they are prioritizing the customer experience, with 82% of them confident they have a deep understanding of who they are trying to reach. Yet, at the same time, over half of consumers (56%) think brands could do a better job of aligning how they would like to be engaged.


  • Email communication (still) preferred: Email and websites remain the top two mediums consumers prefer when initiating engagement with brands. In fact, 79% of consumers polled initiate brand engagement via email, and over half (54%) find email useful for learning about products and services (second only to websites themselves). However, email is the top medium for providing post-purchase feedback: 53% compared to only 46% for those who utilize websites to do so.


  • Global marketers love email: Email topped the list of engagement channels according to the 1,000 marketers polled. Social media and websites also made the top three. In addition, email wasn’t just the favorite channel of marketers in America, but the leading channel globally. Email was number one in the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany.


  • Email fuels automation: Email also lends itself well to marketing automation, such as for triggered emails including welcome messages, timed milestones, abandoned shopping carts, renewal reminders and more. In fact, most marketers (54%) rated email the top marketing activity with the greatest potential to engage with prospects, when fueled by automation. Other activities getting votes include mobile marketing (49%), social media (46%) and website visitor tracking (46%).


  • Non-email investment off-target: Despite the preference by consumers and B2B buyers for email, curiously, marketers still make investments in some less preferred marketing channels at faster rates than their prospects actually use them. These channels include social media and online communities.


The findings of this latest report indicate marketers still have a way to go to deliver the experiences that their targets want and are looking for. Although marketing as an industry is evolving, the data continues to show that email remains the most desired, most effective marketing channel for reaching new customers and increasing revenue. Do you agree?




Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI, and convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary e-book on building a successful B2B email marketing database.

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At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.

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