Marketers Require Better Tracking, Reporting

Marketers face challenges in determining what drives effective customer acquisition and retention. That’s according to “Select & Connect: Strategies for Targeted Acquisition and Retention,” a report released by the CMO Council.

Thirty-six percent of firms in the survey have no formal system for tracking marketing’s role in customer acquisition, retention, and value creation. One quarter say they have a good degree of grading, scoring, and prioritizing, and 21.6 percent maintain a database for channel and sales access. Churn and retention rates are monitored by 44.8 percent of marketers, while 42.4 percent don’t and 12.8 percent aren’t sure what their company does to monitor such activities.

“[Marketers] really need to be providing critical customer insights that help shape the business operations from the strategy all the way down to execution,” said Christopher Kenton, senior VP of the CMO Council.

Although traditional and online direct response programs are prominent channels of outreach, referrals, trade shows and events, and organizations and associations are the most widely used efforts for lead generation. New technologies like Web site optimization (SEO), Webinars, online communities, content syndication, and blogging account for just 8.3 percent of prospecting. The 8 percent is broken down into SEO (50.9 percent), Webinars (27.6 percent), online communities (8.6 percent), content syndication (7.4 percent), and blogging (5.5 percent).

“Either those newer avenues of marketing have not yet been proved well enough to justify greater investment or marketers are comfortable with the types of tools they have been using in the past and are not jumping with abandon with everything that comes around,” said Kenton.

He said some proactive companies dedicate a set percentage, like 5 percent, of their annual marketing budget toward innovative platforms. “That’s what I think is the primary way that marketers need to learn about products,” he said.

The study was underwritten by NetLine and fielded to over 550 marketing professionals in the first quarter of 2006.

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