91% of consumers in APAC stay loyal to brands that personalize experiences, so brands investing in digital customer engagement are well-positioned to weather economic turbulence: Twilio study

Recent research from Twilio shows that investment in customer engagement continues to drive revenue growth and help companies meet their financial goals in the face of economic headwinds.

Twilio’s fourth annual State of Customer Engagement Report reveals that amid constrained resources and economic uncertainty, investment in digital customer engagement increased brands revenue by 90% on average, up from 70% last year, globally.

The data also illustrates how customer engagement contributes to business resilience globally, six out of 10 companies report that investment in digital customer engagement improved their ability to meet changing customer needs, and helped increase customer retention, conversion, and long-term loyalty.

The State of Customer Engagement Report is based on a survey of more than 4,700 B2C leaders in key sectors across the world, plus a parallel survey of over 6,000 global consumers. It also incorporates data from Twilio’s own customer engagement platform. The report includes findings from Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

The 2023 research found that consumer patience with poor digital experience is waning in APAC: 73% will stop using brands if their experience is not personalized. Brands continue to overestimate how well they are meeting those expectations, with a personalization experience gap of 27 percentage points between B2C and consumer perceptions.

Asia Pacific including Japan

Key consumer insights in the region include:

    • Consumer frustration with inconsistent digital experiences is growing. 53% of consumers in APJ report being frustrated with their interactions over the past year, up from 51% the year before.
    • Precise, real-time personalization improves customer lifetime value. 91% of consumers in the region say that personalised experiences increase their loyalty to brands. Consumers in APJ also spend 24% more on brands that personalise higher than the global average of 21%.
    • Consumer trust is lower than brands realize. Consumers in APJ want more control over their customer data, with identity data being the top priority. Meanwhile, 44% of consumers in APJ have stopped purchasing from a brand after their expectations for data privacy and transparency werent met, exceeding the global average of 41%.

Global findings

As part of the research, Twilio divided B2C companies into three categories based on their customer engagement maturity: customer engagement leaders, framers, and laggards. The customer engagement leaders companies that have the most mature use of personalization, first-party data, and highest level of digital engagement reported enormous benefits compared to those who have less advanced customer engagement strategies. These include substantially increased revenue growth, customer retention, and customer conversion rates, along with a greater likelihood of meeting the company’s financial goals. Globally:

    • 82% of customer engagement leaders met or exceeded their companys financial goals for 2022, compared to 62% of customer engagement laggards.
    • 40% of engagement leaders reported much higher customer retention rates than previous years, compared to 12% of laggards.
    • 41% of engagement leaders also reported much higher customer conversion rates than previous years, versus 15% of laggards.

“In this macroeconomic climate, every business is looking to do more with less budget,” said Joyce Kim, chief marketing officer at Twilio. “This research reflects what we’re hearing across our customer base, which is that when brands use first-hand data to personalize engagement with customers, it saves companies meaningful marketing spend and increases lifetime value. For brands facing growing headwinds, this means ROI today.”