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Is there a more holistic way of diagnosing your brand’s online communication?

by Ben Osborne

June 29, 2021

Brand owners have become used to monitoring KPIs for their online channels and communications, whether impressions, visits, shares or mentions. Presence, engagement and the impacts on brand perception are all closely linked – and brands fight for share of all three. But does having a high share of one result in success in the others?

The importance of having a truly holistic tool to diagnose performance in digital communication cannot be overstated. Without such a tool, accurately measuring the weak points of your digital customer journey cannot be done, and with result, remedied.

This is particularly pertinent in the world of B2B Tech. When you are competing with the scale of Microsoft and Google, you need a clear understanding in order to maximise your resources.

FlashRanks is a new research methodology from Siegel+Gale, combining diverse inputs from both social media and web analytics to holistically diagnose contribution to presence, engagement and perception across owned, earned and employee channels. We used the tool to benchmark 40 B2B Tech. leaders, across different categories, to diagnose how to win.


The evolution of technology has changed how brands and their customers interact. What was once one-way communication, customers and brands can now engage in real-time dialogue, providing added value for both parties. However, to be in a position to engage your clients on digital channels, they first must know where to find you. A strong share of brand presence is vital.

Brand presence is not infinite. The higher the share of brand presence your competitors have, the less is available for you to take advantage of. Cutting through the noise is not easy and finding the right strategy for your brand is important.

In our investigation to find out who has the largest share of presence, we uncovered some surprising truths. Breaking the data down into seven segments from global leaders and sub sectors, we learned that global leaders have an impressive share at 59%. With the remaining sub sectors not having a higher share than 11%, both Security Software/Services and Payments Software/Services trail with just 2% each. The leader overall was Microsoft – with a web presence that unites B2B and B2C audiences, generating 1.2 billion visits each month.


We all have brands that we feel a stronger emotional attachment to over others. Typically, these are the brands that we are more likely to engage with. These engagements, when executed correctly, can have positive impacts on customer purchase intentions. While we focused our research on digital channels, engagements, of course, are omnichannel and take place in both the physical and digital realm. In the physical world we connect with customers in places like brick-and-mortar stores. And although we can get an idea of customer satisfaction through tools like NPS, online presents a valuable opportunity to witness behaviours, and hear honest feedback. These are the multiple touchpoints within a customer journey that make up the overall customer experience.

Ensuring your marketing communications efforts are on point should drive positive engagement. However, even more vital is ensuring employees understand your brand and what you stand for. Using purpose as a guiding light, and values to ensure alignment with your employees can allow stakeholders to make the right decisions when representing the brand and provide the experience expected by customers.

While global leaders over shadowed subsectors for presence, the divide in engagement is much more evenly split. Global leaders, with a share of 15% sit in joint third with Security Software/Services and Technology Consultancies. Second to last and last positions at 12% and 9% respectively are held by ERP & CRM, and Banking Software. Interestingly, Payments Software/Services, which had the joint lowest share of Presence has the highest share of engagement at 18%. Adyen and Klarna both invest in high engagement, social media-friendly external experiences, but Wise leads the pack through a focus on employee engagement and maintaining its start-up culture, driving the brand from the inside out.


Following on from presence and engagement, a customer will form their perception of a brand. This, in short, is how the public, a customer or an employee feels about the organisation. Perceptions are inherently difficult to change once a customer has formed an opinion. This is particularly true with a negative a perception.

Authenticity is a key component to giving your brand the best chance at ensuring positive perceptions with your customers. Expectations are on the rise, and customers are demanding more from brands than ever before. Brands that do not walk the talk are quickly found out and the resulting blowback can be devastating to perception. Combining purpose and values as your guiding light, with authenticity will demonstrate to customers who your brand is and what it stands for, allowing like-minded customers to align with your brand.

In our research, perception saw the most even split between segments. Global leaders and Banking Software lead the way at 17%, while Security Software/Services bookend at 10%. The number two spot is held by Business Processes + Professional Services at 16%, while Payments Software/Services (15%), Technology Consultancies (13%), and ERP + CRM (12%) make up the middle ground. The biggest factor here was sentiment amongst customers, where companies like Temenos lead by creating an inspiring environment for customers to engage with the group via social media channels.

Where do we go from here?

It’s clear that there is a direct correlation between all three points that were researched. However, it is also clear that success in one area does not directly result in success in another. Furthermore, when Tech. companies play to their strengths, they can win hearts and minds away from the big players. Using your purpose as a guiding light, internally and externally, and abiding by your values in an authentic way generates trust and aligns you with like-minded potential customers (and employees), having a knock-on effect across all three points.


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