iCrossing Study: Brands Missing Opportunities to Connect with Consumers Online

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Connected Brands Index Quantifies the Relationship between Consumers and Brands in Networks

Brands know they need to connect with consumers across new media channels, but the brutal fact is few are doing it well

iCrossing, a global digital marketing agency, today published the results of its first Connected Brands Index, a first-of-its-kind research report which gauges the quality and performance of a brand's presence in networks.

Using the Connected Brands Scorecard, a diagnostic tool developed by iCrossing for clients, the Connected Brands Index ranks the Interbrand Best Global Brands against five categories - visible, useful, usable, desirable and engaged - to determine an overall "connectedness" score on a scale of one to 10. The Scorecard consists of more than 65 data points across the five criteria, including presence and consumer engagement across social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube; unique visitors, inbound URLs, and consumer actions on corporate blogs, as well as an extensive review of each brand's website using a standardised review methodology.

Key Findings:
iCrossing found that the brands that ranked well in Interbrand's analysis are not necessarily the most connected brands online:

  •     Few of the analysed companies are truly connected brands: Of the top 10 Interbrand companies analysed, only three (Google, Disney, Intel) had a score of five or better (out of 10). The average for all 10 companies was 4.83.
  •     Brands are not engaging users: Brands scored lowest in the "engaged" category. The average score for "engaged" was 2.11, with only Google scoring above five.
  •     Brands scored well in categories relating to search and website design: The 10 companies scored highest in "visible," "usable," "desirable" categories, likely reflecting their experience in Web development.

The study indicates that significant opportunities exist for brands to improve their awareness of the networks where their customers spend time, realign infrastructure and processes to be more agile in their ability to interact with customers and increase the quality and quantity of the actions they take with those customers to create greater intimacy.

"Brands know they need to connect with consumers across new media channels, but the brutal fact is few are doing it well," said Adam Lavelle, chief strategy officer, iCrossing. "Connectedness is an approach to marketing within networks that focuses on audiences, not targets, dialogue not shouting, and building trust that lasts. The Connected Brands Scorecard is designed to help brands quantify their online relationship with consumers."

In addition to using the Connected Brands Scorecard to drive digital marketing programs for clients, iCrossing will score the "connectedness" of brands within specific industries in an on-going series of Connected Brands Index reports. The complete report, including a full explanation of the Connected Brands Scorecard, can be found at http://www.icrossing.com.

About iCrossing:
iCrossing, formerly known as Spannerworks in the UK, is a global digital marketing agency that combines talent and technology to help world-class brands find and connect with their customers. The company blends best-in-class marketing services - including paid search and search engine optimisation, social media, content and media, display advertising, user experience, web development and analytics and insight to create integrated digital marketing programs that engage consumers and drive ROI.

iCrossing clients include world-class brands such as The Coca Cola company, HBOS, Toyota and Virgin. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, the company has 550 employees in 12 offices in the US and Europe, including 97 employees in the UK.

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Chris Eden
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