As companies invest more in marketing to drive growth in 2023 and 2024, some have made themselves more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches as website security decreased to 63.9% in 2023 from 79.9% last year. This was a result of more external application programming interfaces (APIs) connecting to company websites leading to a higher risk of external breaches.
Not only has site security been revealed as marketing’s vulnerability, but conversion tracking and tag management fell as marketing material creation was prioritised according to creative agency TEAM LEWIS’s Global Marketing Engagement Index which analysed Forbes Top 300 companies.
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The index also highlighted that while Forbes Top 300 companies have increased their use of personalisation tools year-on-year, keeping track of conversions has proven difficult as website performance scores fell by 2.4%.
The UX section of the index which measures the accessibility and mobile compatibility of company websites along with its use of engaging content remain relatively unchanged, decreasing by 0.7% in 2023 compared to last year. In fact, Forbes Top 300 companies continued to struggle with American disability compliance laws, with only 85 websites fully adhering to requirements.
Renewed focus on media, digital marketing and CSR/ESG
While the index revealed vulnerabilities to the marketing departments of companies, it also showcased a positive growth in the media scores of companies from 24.6% in 2022 to 70.1% in 2023. The media section of the index measures the scale of media content on the website, including case studies, product or service news, leadership interviews and quotes.
More specifically, the drivers of the change were a result of an increase in Forbes Top 300 companies who shared more original research and enjoyed more press coverage in 2023.
The second-largest jump in scores was from the digital marketing portion which went up from 46.9% in 2022 to 64.8% in 2023. As the section focuses on a company’s success with online audiences, keyword difficulty scores increased on average with average site durations increasing from 3.34 to 7.93 on the index’s score out of 10.
Furthermore, as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) has become a significant trend in recent years, the number of companies that mention carbon reduction on their website increased from a score of 1.57 last year to 7.17 in 2023.
The corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ESG section of the index had a 12% increase in companies that have a CSR programme or mention sustainability initiatives, renewable energy sources, or diversity and inclusion efforts on their sites.
Brands that came out on top
Globally, IT and security giant Cisco had the highest engagement score with 80% while IBM, American Express and Nike experienced a three-way tie for second place with a 79% score.
In fact, the scores for the top 10 brands are a close battle with Accenture, JP Morgan Chase, Verizon and Samsung in a four-way tie for third place with a 78% score.
Korean electronics brand Samsung also topped engagement scores in the APAC region while Sony came in a close second with a 75% engagement score. Singapore’s DBS also made the top 10 list of APAC brands in fifth place with 68%.
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