CRM begins to deliver on promise, study finds

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on June 6, 2005

New research reveals that marketers' targeting and personalisation efforts are finally reaching a majority of consumers. But the level of successful introduction of fully implemented end-to-end marketing varies from industry to industry.

The research, from data management and document services specialists CDMS, found that over half (51.5%) of UK plc now fully implement a CRM strategy from conception to actual delivery to the customer - a 17.3% increase since 2003. These top UK companies are now able to translate sophisticated database analysis into highly personalised and segmented campaigns, where creative, message, and enclosures are varied for different types of recipient.

The survey, conducted in April 2005 amongst UK top 1000 company marketers, assesses the performance of various industries in terms of performing 'end-to-end' marketing.

Key findings

  • While the importance of getting targeted CRM and marketing communications out of the door has achieved mainstream awareness, there is still considerable potential for improved return on investment from CRM systems.
  • The Telecoms sector achieved a surprise first place (60%), probably due to pressure from the combination of high corporate debt and fierce market competition, as well as the increasing richness of new information services available over mobile phones.
  • The Banking and Credit Card sector has slipped into second place (59%), a cause for concern given the sector's need to improve marketing delivery and the sector's massive investment in CRM systems.
  • Mail Order - the pioneer of many modern direct marketing techniques - has recovered to 53% from its low in 2003 (44%), possibly the result of major retailers' involvement in the remote shopping industry.
  • Less than half of retailers can deliver end-to-end marketing and CRM, revealing a possible polarity in the sector between mass advertisers and database marketers.
  • Hotels and Travel companies score lowest of the sectors studied (43%), a warning flag for the two sectors that are both feeling the economic squeeze, but the hotel trade is improving at the fastest rate of any industry studied.

No excuse
According to Ian Hubbard, CDMS director of data services: "Huge sophistication is possible at the database level. With the availability of a wide variety of data on consumers - both internal customer information and commercially available attributes - CRM systems are able to interrogate and analyse the customer and enquirer database in order to define these different groups of customers, usually known as 'segments'. In theory, different offers, or packages, can then be constructed to meet each group's needs or interests."

"However, until recently, the process of delivering segmented messages to different customer groups had proved a bottleneck. This is no longer the case. There is now no excuse for failing to reach the customer with sophisticated targeted marketing messages; campaign management tools allow email, mail and phone to be integrated, individual documents can be easily generated by the call centre agent in reply to an enquiry or customer service call, variable printing is now economic and mailing enclosures can be automatically individualised," Hubbard concluded.

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