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Report reveals potential misspent resource as 36% of senior UK marketing executives admit to managing their own business-to-business marketing databases

Over a third (36%) of UK marketing heads manage their business-to-business (B2B) databases themselves, according to a survey by CRM Technologies. Titled “Achieving ROI on Marketing Spend,” the report surveyed over 100 heads of marketing in +£50m turnover businesses, with 99% claiming that their company faces at least some difficulties managing the databases they use for B2B marketing campaigns.

The top five complaints include; that it’s time consuming (67%), labour-intensive (51%), becomes out of date quickly (34%), not a popular activity among marketing staff (28%), integration with external data (28%) and fragmentation (27%).

“In-depth qualitative research suggests that it’s only the senior executives who actually get involved in the day-to-day work on databases that fully appreciate all the difficulties faced by their company,” commented Andrew Freeman, managing director at CRM Technologies. “We are very surprised that such a high number are working with their databases at such a hands-on level,” he added. “Databases are an extremely valuable corporate asset in terms of potential revenue, and they’re a foundation block for all customer relationship management (CRM) processes,” continued Freeman. “However, it seems an obvious waste of well-trained, qualified and time-served marketing professionals to be regularly undertaking such mundane tasks, when their expertise is probably better placed at a more strategic or value-added level.”

Freeman added, “Many marketing heads are under increasing pressure to deliver measurable results with diminishing resource. Perhaps falling departmental head count is an influencing factor,” he explained. “However, maintaining a legal and effective database is, as the survey suggests, very challenging. I think the additional complexity of DPA compliance, new email marketing legislation this month, the Freedom of Information Act and so on will drive many organisations to adopt a more ‘managed’ approach to data,” he added, “It’s time-consuming, mundane and repetitive - yet crucial to the sales effort. Outsourcing this work to professional partners is fast becoming the obvious solution,” he concluded.

In detail, more companies in the distribution sector find managing their B2B marketing databases time consuming (90%), unpopular among marketing staff (45%), difficult to integrate new external data with their existing B2B marketing databases (50%), and finally they find them difficult to segment (45%).

One marketing controller in the distribution sector commented during their interview, “It’s cumbersome to maintain a 100% accurate database; it’s labour-intensive and often involves other departments as well. So, I would say it’s like wrestling with a small crocodile,”

Copies of CRM Technologies’ independent market research report can be obtained from

About (CRM Technologies)

CRM Technologies provides fully-managed and outsourced marketing campaign lifecycle and lead management services to a range of organisations including Sun Microsystems, Borland, Network Associates and others. The company’s technology and consulting solutions help to drive a business’ lead management process, optimise marketing spend and deliver campaign validation and identifiable return on investment for the marketing department.

The company’s headquarters are based at Network House, Basing View, Basingstoke, RG21 4HG. Report authors: Dynamic Markets, PO Box 19, Abergavenny, NP7 8YF.

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