Loyal customers are extremely important for businesses as constantly attracting new shoppers and converting them into customers is a costly process.

In fact data from the new Econsultancy/Responsys Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2013 shows the value of building customer relationships, as 70% of respondents agreed that “it is cheaper to retain than acquire a customer.”

Similarly, nearly half (49%) agreed that “pound for pound, we achieve better ROI by investing in relationship over acquisition marketing”.

However businesses aren’t necessarily making a huge effort to retain their customers, as just 30% of companies say they are “very committed” to relationship marketing, with 22% conducting no relationship marketing at all.

Does your company carry out relationship marketing?

The research – which covers use of online and offline channels, integration of display advertising, relationship marketing and use of mobile for marketing – is based on a survey of nearly 900 Econsultancy users from both companies and agencies, carried out in April and May 2013.

Barriers to relationship marketing

Companies who are not “very committed” to relationship marketing were asked to provide the main reason which prevented them from doing so.

As we see with many other marketing tactics, lack of resources was the most common barrier (22%), followed by a lack of a clearly defined strategy (19%) and technology limitations (13%).

What is the main reason preventing your company from committing to relationship marketing?

Opinions on relationship marketing

Finally, to understand attitudes towards relationship marketing we asked businesses to state whether they agreed, disagreed or had a neutral opinion towards a set of statements. 

As mentioned, more than two-thirds (70%) of respondents agreed that it’s cheaper to retain than acquire a customer, while 61% agreed that consumers are tuning out from mass marketing.

On the flip side, the statement which was most disagreed with was “we orchestrate interactions based on customer lifecycle understanding”; 32% disagreed with this statement, indicating that more needs to be done when it comes to understanding the customer journey and taking decisions based on knowledge of this area.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?