Study: DM, Sales Budgets to Rise

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More money will be spent on direct marketing and sales programs in 2005 than last year, according to the most recent Customer Relationship Management Trends Census conducted by Customer Connect Associates Inc.

The Davidson, NC, CRM technology and consulting firm surveyed executives and managers at small, midsize and large businesses. The census is conducted quarterly.

The most recent survey results, released yesterday, found that respondents who invested heavily in CRM technology are focusing on using and improving existing processes rather than implementing new technologies. Those who did not keep up with the CRM technology curve are investing in technologies that are more affordable and stable.

"We're seeing that companies are still investing heavily in marketing data marts and sales automation technology," said Geoff Ables, president of Customer Connect Associates. "Those companies that completed implementing those technologies are now reaping the rewards. They have moved on to developing tighter processes and spending more on sales and marketing programs."

The percentage of respondents reporting more emphasis on direct mail doubled in the past 12 months. Results indicated a continued trend toward using the Web as a main communication channel, with about 70 percent reporting greater emphasis. But while respondents view the Web as the most important method to communicate with customers, few use systems to manage Web content or capture important information such as clickstream data.

"While companies are continuing to place greater emphasis on electronic communication channels, they are placing less emphasis on measuring, understanding and managing leads generated through them," said Amber Butler, marketing technology manager at Customer Connect Associates.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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