Extraprise, the B2B database marketing services and CRM systems integration provider, announced results from its National Center for Database Marketing (NCDM) survey, which gauged B2B and B2C marketer's top challenges for 2006 and plans for 2007. Extraprise found that while B2B and B2C marketers face the same problems, their approach to solutions differs widely.

Top Challenges in 2006

When asked about their greatest marketing challenges in 2006, NCDM show attendees surveyed cited the lack of integration between sales and marketing (37 percent) was the biggest challenge that both marketers faced. Other challenges included: lack of data quality (22 percent); marketing program performance (20 percent); fractured lead generation process (14 percent); list quality (7 percent).

"It comes as no surprise that B2B and B2C companies face similar marketing challenges," said Chad Gottesman, chief marketing officer, Extraprise. "However, marketers today have many automation and integration tools available to them and their success in overcoming internal challenges will rest largely on how well the tools are utilized."

2007 Priorities

More than half (63 percent) of B2B companies surveyed indicated that the solutions they seek most next year will revolve around marketing automation technology while only a small percentage of B2C marketers (15 percent) said they same. Half of B2C marketers (50 percent) plan to invest in CRM and marketing automation systems integration. Slightly less than one-third (31 percent) of B2C respondents indicated their investments would lean towards analytics or modeling and a mere nine percent of respondents planned to focus spending around data hygiene. No respondents were inclined to invest in lead management processes next year.

Measurement/ROI

When asked about measurement, more than half (55 percent) of B2B companies surveyed claimed that the primary driver of measurement was to determine overall contribution to revenue, while less than a third of B2C marketers (30 percent) said the same with the majority stating that justifying individual programs was the key driver (60 percent). Overall, 21 percent of both B2B and B2C marketers cite pressure to deliver more sales-ready leads as the key driver.

"The findings prove the theory that marketing accountability has fully penetrated the B2B space," added Gottesman. "Marketing performance is being tied directly to revenues, meaning the expectation is that programs should be developed and measured based on their bottom line impact."

Extraprise recommends that companies looking to embrace accountability invest in improving marketing efficiency, tighter integration with sales channels and applications and continuously improving performance. Important considerations include:

  • Data - The starting point for most improvement projects. If you wish to improve marketing, you can't achieve anything with inadequate, incomplete or incorrect data.
  • Process - Data is not static. The next place to invest is in a continuous process to capture, correct and standardize data. Get the right data to the right people at the right time.
  • Systems - Automate as many steps as possible. Focus internal investments on the mission. Outsource the activities.
  • People - Focus your brain trust on the highest value insights and automate the key processes. Outsource for expertise and execution.

The findings are based on responses from a sample of attendees interviewed at the National Center for Database Marketing 2006 conference in Orlando, Florida.

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