28 August, 2013, London – Only a minority of companies are committed to relationship marketing despite a widespread understanding among marketers about the need to build long-term loyalty , according to a report published today.

The second annual Cross-Channel Marketing Report, published by Econsultancy in association with Responsys, found that many businesses are failing to move beyond a campaign-centric marketing mindset rooted in acquisition.

According to a survey of nearly 900 companies carried out exclusively for this report, just 30% of respondents said their organisations are “very committed” to relationship marketing, with 22% conducting no relationship marketing at all.

Despite the fact that more than two thirds of respondents (70%) agree with the statement that “it is cheaper to retain than acquire a customer”, 44% of companies have acquisition as their primary focus compared to just 16% who say they focus mainly on retention.

The most commonly cited barriers preventing companies from committing to relationship marketing are a ‘lack of resources ‘(22%) and ‘no clearly defined strategy’ (19%).

Simon Robinson, Senior Director for Marketing and Alliances at Responsys, said: “Companies in all sectors should be using marketing technology to build individual relationships with customers across the digital channels. However, the Econsultancy research shows that relatively few marketers are capitalising on this opportunity.”

He added: “Evidence suggests that most marketing departments are still focused on a campaign-centric approach and are therefore missing out on the gains they know are waiting for them.”

Andrew Warren-Payne, Senior Research Analyst at Econsultancy, said: “Companies switching away from static, campaign-centric models to those that place an emphasis on building lifetime customer value are likely to be those that succeed in achieving sustainable and growing revenue streams in the future.

“As customer behaviours change and information is consumed from an ever greater number of channels, it will become more important to build relationships at an earlier stage of the customer decision-making process.”

While companies are struggling with relationship marketing, the research found that they are at least becoming more integrated in their approach to cross-channel marketing.

As part of the survey, carried out in April and May, companies were asked to indicate the level of integration between specific digital and offline marketing disciplines and their wider marketing programmes.

Across every single digital channel and discipline that was queried, a larger proportion than last year said that their channels are “very integrated” with their wider marketing efforts.

Since last year, the largest total changes are seen for online display advertising (+9%) and social media marketing (+9%).

As was the case last year, the most commonly cited factor enabling effective co-ordination of cross-channel marketing campaigns is a ‘clearly defined strategy’, with 37% of companies identifying this as such this year (up from 28% in 2012).

The research finds that there are worrying indications that many companies are failing to focus on strategy, with more than half of companies (54%) saying that less than 20% of their time is spent on ‘strategy and planning’.

Furthermore, according to the research, 40% of companies have no strategy for integrating mobile into their broader marketing campaigns.

The research is based on a survey of business professionals within Econsultancy’s database of digital marketers and ecommerce professionals.

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Journalists and bloggers can email Andrew Warren-Payne for a complimentary copy of the report and / or further information.

Andrew Warren-Payne, Senior Research Analyst, Econsultancy

(e: andrew.warren-payne AT econsultancy.com)

About Responsys

Responsys (NASDAQ:MKTG) is a leading marketing cloud software and services company. Our mission is to enable the smartest marketing in the digital world. The most respected brands across the globe use the Responsys Interact Marketing Cloud to manage their digital relationships and deliver the right marketing to their customers across email, mobile, social, display and the web. Our customers gain competitive advantage through the automation, individualization, and coordination of cross-channel marketing interactions at massive scale. Founded in 1998, Responsys is headquartered in San Bruno, California and has offices throughout the world. For more information about Responsys, visit responsys.com.

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is a global independent community-based publisher, focused on best practice digital marketing and ecommerce, and used by over 400,000 internet professionals every month.

Our hub has 200,000+ registered users worldwide from clients, agencies and suppliers alike with over 90% retention rate. We help our members build their internal capabilities via a combination of research reports and how-to guides, training and development, consultancy, face-to-face conferences, forums and professional networking.

For the last 10 years, our resources have helped members learn, make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, accelerate their careers and lead the way in best practice and innovation.

Econsultancy has offices in London, New York and Dubai and we are a leading provider of digital marketing training and consultancy. We are providing consultancy and custom training in the Middle East, and extensively across Europe and Asia. We trained over 5,000 marketers and ran over 200 public training courses in 2012.

Join Econsultancy today to learn what’s happening in digital marketing – and what works.

Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7269 1450 (London) or +1 212 971 0630 (New York). You can also contact us online.

Published on: 9:33AM on 28th August 2013