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SCHEMA: Information on marketing and customer engagement performance – reality versus dreams

Merlin Stone (Department of Management and Social Sciences, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK)
Neil Woodcock (The Customer Framework, London, UK and De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)
Yuksel Ekinci (University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)
Eleni Aravopoulou (St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK)
Brett David Parnell (PCubed Consulting, London, UK)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 19 March 2019

Issue publication date: 19 March 2019




This paper aims to review the development of thinking about the information needed by companies to create an accurate picture of how well they manage their engagement with customers, taking into account the evolution of thinking and practice in this area over the past three decades towards the idea of data-driven customer engagement. It then describes the evolution and use of an assessment and benchmarking process and tool which provide the needed information.


Literature review, conceptual analysis and explanation of the management consulting process are used.


Companies can get an accurate picture of how well they manage customer engagement provided that a careful assessment approach is used where assessors are properly selected and trained and that there is a strong focus on compliance with requirements rather than “box-ticking” based upon managers’ perceptions.

Research limitations/implications

The assessment and benchmarking process was developed mainly for use by larger companies, though the findings could be adapted for use by smaller companies.

Practical implications

Companies whose success depends upon customer engagement should consider using the assessment and benchmarking tool to guide their planning and implementation. They should heed the warnings about the risks of inaccurate assessments which may arise because of the incentives by which managers are managed.

Social implications

The assessment and benchmarking process has been used by the public sector and government, and given government’s desire to engage citizens better, they should consider adopting the ideas in this paper to reform citizen engagement.


This is the only paper which reviews the development of the assessment process for customer engagement.



Stone, M., Woodcock, N., Ekinci, Y., Aravopoulou, E. and Parnell, B.D. (2019), "SCHEMA: Information on marketing and customer engagement performance – reality versus dreams", The Bottom Line, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 98-116.



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