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YesmailGleanster-B2C-Marketers-Customer-Insights-Aug2013Mid-sized and large B2C organizations are making it a top priority to retain profitable customers, but may lack the requisite knowledge to do so, according to [download page] a study from Yesmail Interactive and Gleanster. Almost 9 in 10 believe they could do a better job at customer engagement with access to more comprehensive data sources, and the study shows that only a minority have a clear understanding of their customers beyond simple transactional data.

According to the researchers, 53% deem their understanding of their customers’ past purchase behavior to be “excellent.” And that was the leading area of understanding. Far fewer, for example, claim an excellent understanding of:

  • When customers are most likely to purchase (29%);
  • Customers’ household composition (27%);
  • The profitability of the cross-channel shopper/buyer (26%);
  • Customers’ channel preferences (21%); and
  • Customers’ level of participation in social media (20%).

Those deficiencies are causing marketers to face issues informing their lifecycle strategies with customer data, according to the researchers. Marketers’ ability to engage in personalized communications is also affected – with marketing tool limitations (42%), poor data quality (34%) and fragmented marketing systems (34%) most often blamed as barriers.

While respondents indicate that they see the value in sending more relevant and targeted communications, study results suggest that when it comes to their segmentation goals, loyalty and retention take on more importance than gaining insights into customer segments. For example, while a leading 63% say one of their goals with segmentation is to deploy more effective loyalty programs, only 37% say they’re concerned with understanding differences in customer sub-populations, while even fewer (28%) cite the creation of relevant offers/channel strategies as a goal.

The researchers recommend that “customer data dictate strategy,” emphasizing that marketers optimize the customer lifecycle based on deep knowledge gained through data, and make relationships more of a focus than transactions.

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