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PwC: Private companies embrace digital tools
July 16, 2012
By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
According to PwC US’s Private Company Trendsetter Barometer, most private companies (70%) are now doing some form of customer outreach through digital avenues, including via email and company websites. Fast-growth private businesses in particular are embracing digital tools in their customer outreach. Among Trendsetter companies, those that use digital means to engage and learn about customers forecast 11.3% revenue growth over the next year, compared with 6.3% revenue growth projected by private companies that are not using digital tools for customer-engagement purposes.
Within this group of Trendsetter companies that engage/research customers digitally, 67% are leveraging social media and mobile devices to that end. Notably, private companies using digital means of customer engagement and research to a moderate/great degree also tend to have higher annual revenue ($244 million) than those using digital means to a smaller degree ($191 million).
Targeted marketing to individual customers — for instance, via email promotions, text messages, and pop-up ads — is the top way private companies are using digital technology for customer engagement/research (65%). Half of private companies that are using digital channels for customer engagement/research are also encouraging customers to act as brand ambassadors — for example, by posting online testimonials about products and services and spreading the word via social media. Roughly the same percentage (48%) use digital means to solicit customer insights for product development, including innovation.
Three-quarters (75%) of Trendsetter companies consider the customer information they collect (via both digital and traditional channels) relevant to their product development and innovation. This percentage rises to 84% among private firms that use digital tools to a great or moderate degree.