Report: Top companies lacking marketing consistency, personalisation and brand purpose

New Team Lewis Marketing Engagement Index explores the digital marketing prowess of the world's top 300 companies

Four in 10 top 200 companies globally do not list their corporate values anywhere on their website, 94 per cent don’t use personalisation online and fewer than 15 per cent have accessible digital offerings.

Those are just some of the top-line findings from the latest Team Lewis Marketing Engagement Index. Now in its fourth year, the Index is based on the agency’s proprietary technology that tracks the top 300 companies from the Forbes Global 2000 list to see whether their digital marketing is up to scratch. Key areas covered include brand purpose, digital marketing, UX, media, mobile, chat and app, site optimisation and security and social media presence.

According to the Index, 40 per cent of websites analysed did not include a corporate values statement, and one in five did not reference current cultural issues, both signs of strong brand purpose. In addition, only 15 per cent were found to comply with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessibility requirements.    

Looking more specifically into digital marketing, the Index found 94 per cent of companies lacked any website personalisation tools, with the only firms using such capabilities being B2C organisations. Only 15 per cent had chatbots. In addition, 22 per cent failed to link to brand social channels, while 94 per cent of CEOs across the 300 organisations were not active on social media. Four in 10 had a social media presence.

In terms of technical capability, the Index showed brands continuing to perform poorly across key website optimisation metrics, with text-to-code and backlink-to-domain ratios two of the worst examples. The agency also noted companies shifting away from using tag management software, tracking custom conversions and using custom events and dimensions on their Web pages. This trend was identified in 2020 and jumped by 10 per cent in 2021.

From a content perspective, Team Lewis reported under half of companies are employing video assets on their websites (45 per cent). Sixty per cent had not fully disclosed data practices on their websites.

In terms of best performing companies, the top three ranks globally were taken by IBM, American Express and Dell Technologies. In Australia, the top three were all banking organisations: ANZ (ranked 58th globally), National Australia Bank (ranked 96th globally) and Commonwealth Bank (ranked 106th globally).

On a year-on-year comparison, Lewis reported industries with the biggest score declines for digital marketing prowess were real estate and development (down 19 per cent), ecommerce (down 11 per cent), and aerospace and defence (down 10 per cent). Key reasons for these dips were found to be scores for media, website reporting and UX categories.

For Team Lewis, the figures indicated both inconsistency as an overriding trend, as well as a media crisis for many organisations over the last year. As a case in point, the agency said nearly a quarter of the CEOs represented by these companies had not been featured in the media over the last 90 days and overall CEO quotes dropped nearly 60 per cent.

“The digital inflection caused by the pandemic is here to stay,” commented Team Lewis CEO and founder, Chris Lewis. “Our findings underscore the impact uncertainty has on even the world’s most successful companies. Covid-19 altered how consumers interact with brands. The expectation for seamless customer journeys is now a given. Organisations delivering flexible, frictionless experiences will continue to emerge on top.”

The scores were based on website tracking undertaken in September and October 2021.

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