FTSE 350 companies enjoy more commercial success if their boss is digitally connected, according to a website's research

Firms with management teams that engage with clients more personally through digital technology tend to have a much better rate of growth, a software company has claimed.

FTSE 350 outfits ensure better overall commercial performance for their companies if they employ "the personal touch", according to Sitecore, which has published a report on the topic.

It says the research shows that only 7% of FTSE 350 chiefs maintain a two-way dialogue with their stakeholders and customers, while the vast majority fail to do so.

Firms employing the so-called personal touch recorded a compound annual growth rate of 27% for 2009-12 and 30% for 2010-12, Sitecore claims.

It said the next best-performing group of firms managed only a respective 9% and 13% for the same periods.

Personal touch companies also enjoy more internet traffic than the others, according to Sitecore, with 50% of them having 150 people mention them in online articles, compared with 33% of non-personal-touch companies.

The study also suggests that around one in six bosses at FTSE 350 firms (17.6%) engage with dialogue only on a one-way basis and do not communicate with customers, preferring instead to employ a broadcast-style of imparting information.

Around one in eight (12.6%) have no engagement or digital interaction whatsoever with the public, Sitecore says.

Spokesman Shawn Cabral said: "There are clearly some very important lessons to be learned from the 'personal touch' research, and the growing adoption of this digitally connected leadership style.

"In the ever-changing digital landscape where the number of social media users is continuing to grow, the majority of CEOs are missing out on an opportunity to interact effectively with their consumers, and boost the commercial growth of their firm as a result."

Copyright Press Association 2013