Customer-centric marketing organizations net higher ROI: Report

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Creating a customer-centric marketing organization provides significantly higher return on marketing investment and has become a driving imperative for chief marketing officers according to the benchmark report "The CMO's Strategic Agenda: Creating a Customer-Centric Marketing Organization" released by the Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks company.

The report, which was launched with support from the American Marketing Association and underwritten by Dun & Bradstreet Corp., FrontRange Solutions, Infor and Sage CRM Solutions found that best-in-class companies consistently demonstrate proficiency in multiple marketing capabilities, which has a positive impact on overall performance.

These top performers track customer behavior, use customer profitability modeling, maintain centralized knowledge and data management systems and possess real-time decision support, including business intelligence tools integrated with marketing and customer data with higher frequency than benchmarked groups.

"Companies serious about building a customer-centric marketing organization will need to rethink how they create processes around customer interactions and how they invest in technologies that support advanced, rules-based communications," said Leslie Ament, director of customer intelligence research at Boston-based Aberdeen Group. "Our research demonstrates that small and mid-market enterprises are investing and deploying technologies, capabilities and processes that facilitate closed-loop marketing processes at rates higher than industry average."

Specifically, enterprises with under $2 billion in revenues exceeded average performers in all metrics benchmarked. For example:

--50 percent of small and mid-market enterprises lead in capturing 70 percent of current customer profiles;

--55 percent have centralized customer knowledge and data management processes in place; and

--Customer data is utilized to perform customer profitability modeling at rates significantly above average-41 percent versus 33 percent.

A majority of "customer-centric organizations" companies achieved better than 15 percent annual improvement in ROMI, gross revenues, and customer retention rates as a result of the following capabilities:

--Leaders leverage customer analytics, multichannel interaction applications, business processes and technology infrastructure integrated across brands and product lines.

--Best-in-class companies understand exactly the relationships their best customers want.

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