Survey: Most CMOs dissatisfied with customer retention efforts

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By: RickFerguson |

Posted on April 27, 2017

A new report from the CMO Club and marketing tech company Signal found that, even though 60 percent of global CMOs are unhappy with their customer retention rates, only 44 percent are investing sufficiently investing in customer loyalty and retention. The reason for this disparity: pressure to deliver short-term growth.
The study, called "Why Customer Identity Matters for Great Customer Experiences" collected responses from 61 marketing executives, heads of marketing, and CMOs. Given the small sample size, the resulting data is less scientific than it is anecdotal - but it nonetheless results in a useful snapshot of the imperative for brands to invest more heavily in customer retention.
The survey reveals that 74 percent of executives surveyed report "Growing new customers" as their top marketing metric. "Increasing customer loyalty and retention" comes in as the number two goal, with 44 percent of executives citing it as a priority. Even with this disparity, most CMOs recognize the importance of customer retention. Money quote from Ellen Junger, CMO for Payless ShoeSource:
"In a highly competitive landscape, retention is more important than ever. Not only are loyal customers a brand's strongest advocates, but retention drives compelling business outcomes. To increase loyalty, marketing must be as sophisticated as consumers, who shop across all channels and interact however they want, at every stage of the journey."
We agree - and yet, according to the study, while nearly half of CMOs say that they spend 30-50 percent of their budgets on retention and loyalty, another 33 percent spend only 10-30 percent of budget dollars to keep existing customers happy.
While executives surveyed cite single customer view and customer identity data as the top technological requirements to drive customer loyalty, only 33 per cent have integrated disparate platforms to create holistic customer profiles. Just 25 percent said they could combine historical data and real-time customer context across platforms, and only 19 percent said they were able to identify the customer across all touchpoints.
And, in the "no surprise" category, executives cite organizational barriers and data siloes as their biggest obstacles in capturing a single-customer view.
Download the report here.