Over Third Of Marketing Heads Manage Databases Themselves

November 23, 2003
By Colin Marks

Over a third (36%) of UK marketing heads manage their business-to-business (B2B) databases themselves, according to a survey by CRM Technologies Limited.

Entitled “Achieving ROI on Marketing Spend”, the report surveyed over 100 heads of marketing in £50m-plus-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 The top five complaints include that it’s time-consuming (67%), labour-intensive (51%), becomes out of date quickly (34%), not a popular activity among marketing staff (28%), integration with external data (28%) and fragmentation (27%).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 those senior executives who actually get involved in the day-to-day work on databases who fully appreciate all the difficulties faced by their company,” commented Andrew Freeman, managing director at CRM Technologies Limited. “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 headcount is an influencing factor. 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.”

In detail, more companies in the distribution sector find managing their B2B marketing databases time-consuming (90%) and unpopular among marketing staff (45%); it’s difficult to integrate new external data with their existing B2B marketing databases (50%), and finally they are 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 Ltd’s independent market research report can be obtained by contacting sales@crmtechnologies.com

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