Database marketing to the fore – but only for the minority

Using the customer database to drive communications has been a winning strategy during the recession, but only for 37 per cent of companies. A further 27 per cent say that they have become more reliant on database marketing during the downturn, according to a survey among 500 marketing decision makers carried out by GI Insight.

Loyalty schemes have made deeper inroads into marketing’s must-have list, with 71 per cent of those in the survey saying these have become more vital to the success of their business in the last two years. Some sectors are more committed to these programmes such as utilities and telecoms (97 per cent positive), banks (82 per cent) and retailers (74 per cent).

The survey identified a potential mis-match between the value of loyalty schemes and database marketing and their fit with the business. Only half of respondents felt that their programmes were fully integrated with other marketing activities.

Andy Wood, managing director, GI Insight, says: “Loyalty has been put to the test during the recession as consumers have sought out the cheapest deals. As a result, customer retention has been a clear focus for most businesses over the past two years and many have realised the importance of loyalty schemes in helping them to achieve this. Additionally, a significant proportion of marketers have recognised the value of database marketing.”

He warns: “The real danger, though, is the lack of commitment to marketing integration. If marketing activities are not integrated, then a business is less able to ensure consistency of message and could waste money on redundant communications – both of which might hurt ROI and cost them competitive advantage over a rival firm.”

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