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RSR-Retail-Marketing-Challenges-Aug2013Asked to identify their top 3 marketing business challenges, almost half of retailers indicated that they can’t keep up with the new ways consumers are using technologies, according to [download page] new survey results from RSR Research. While that wasn’t the top response overall (61% complained that customer retention has become more difficult and building customer loyalty is challenging), it was the top concern for so-called “winners,” who boast comparable store/channel sales growth of more than 5%.

61% of winners cited consumer use of technology as a top-3 marketing business challenge, with customer retention and loyalty concerns trailing (50%).

By contrast, “laggards” (with comparable store/channel sales growth of less than 5%) are very concerned with customer retention (89% citing as top-3), with few (31%) worried about the new ways consumers are putting their technologies to use. In fact, laggards appear to be more anxious about differentiating their brand from the competition (44%), a concern that that isn’t shared by those in the winners category.

The gaps between winners and laggards extend to their levels of marketing sophistication, too. 32% of winners strongly agreed that they know who their best shoppers are, versus 18% of laggards. Similarly, while 24% of winners strongly agree that their company is proficient at targeted marketing across channels, only 12% of laggards concur.

Overall, the share of respondents strongly agreeing that they know their best customers has increased from 22% last year to 28% this year.

About the Data: The RSR Research survey was conducted online from May to July 2013 and received answers from 122 qualified retail respondents. 33% came from companies with more than $1 billion in revenue in 2011. Respondents sell a variety of products, and 70% are headquartered in the US.

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