B2B marketers ignoring customer databases

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Business-to-business marketers have "plenty of room for improvement" when it comes to using customer and prospect databases for direct marketing purposes, new research claims.

An online survey conducted by marketing communications agency Godfrey found that B2B marketers could make their direct marketing campaigns more effective by combining web 2.0 technologies with customer and prospect databases.

Lynne DeMers, strategic direct marketing team leader at Godfrey, said: " Direct marketing is not about sending 20,000 mailers to a rented list and hoping for a two per cent return.

"It is about creating a programme and a system of messages, offers, information capture, measurement and refinement.

"It is a direct communications 'roadmap' of continuous cultivation that provides more targeted information and leads prospects to the point where the sales channel can take over."

The poll found that 80 per cent of B2B marketers maintain a sales lead or inquiry database, but only 55 per cent use it regularly for direct marketing.

In addition, only 40 per cent of B2B marketers regularly engage their inquiry database via email or an e-newsletter.

Only 60 per cent use their customer database for targeted direct marketing, and only 40 per cent regularly update customers with new offers.

While mass direct marketing techniques typically yield response rates ranging from 0.5 to two per cent, targeted direct marketing technologies are considerably more effective, according to Godfrey.

B2B marketers can realise 40 per cent open rates, 10 to 20 per cent click rates and opt-out rates of less than one per cent with segmented email marketing and e-newsletter campaigns.

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