Throughout 2011, the same sort of questions kept coming up as we talked with the good folks at brands. No matter what the category, it seems every CMO is wrestling with similar dilemmas, which can be boiled down to one big question: what impact is digital having on my brand?
Most brands are long past the “should we be on Facebook” question. They are already there because they’re afraid not to be, putting their most friendly face forward. But behind closed doors, they don’t really know if it matters. Or, if it does, how to most strategically use the opportunity to actually connect consumer with their brands. And, perhaps the ultimate question they are asking, how do they best approach those who are digitally involved? — a critical one to answer as the non-digital person continues to go the way of interest-bearing savings accounts and land-line telephones.
Studies of digital usage are easy to find, but we have found none that offer these kinds of answers. Simply knowing what digital platforms people are using does not tell a brand how that platform can best be leveraged, linking the platform to the emotional and rational aspects that drive consumer engagement with a category. Or which digital platform is more important than another in a category. Or how high digital involvement changes the way a consumer looks at the category. Usage has remained in a silo, separate from how consumers engage with and choose among category brands. And that approach is far too limited.
To answer these questions and more, we are debuting the Digital Platform Engagement Index — the DPEI — the first-ever addition to our annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, now in its 16th year.
This unique approach to understanding what’s behind consumers’ engagement with digital platforms — in over 80 categories — will be available in early 2012. Feel free to contact Leigh Benatar at email@example.com for information on our pre-release packages.
We feel the time has come to really answer the question for brands of what to do in the digital space. Watch this space, as they say, for more as we continue to insist that the easy questions are usually not the ones really worth answering.