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UK firms ‘ignoring customer insight’

UK firms ‘ignoring customer insight’

Fewer than half UK financial directors and managers think that companies in their industry sector are using customer data to drive marketing initiatives, a new survey shows.

When asked if, overall, most firms in their sector were able to access and analyse customer data and then use this intelligence in their marketing, only 43% of the 1,000 finance directors and senior financial managers surveyed said “yes”.

The survey covered regions throughout the UK, key industry sectors and firms of different sizes. The sector in which respondents were most likely to see firms using customer insight in their marketing was hospitality and catering, with 72% saying this is the case in their field.

Other sectors seeing strong use of data-driven marketing included: travel and transport at 65% and banking at 50%. Sectors in which the use of customer data to inform marketing was seen as weak included: retail at 38%; healthcare at 29%; media and marketing at 36%; and utilities and telecoms at 36%.

Regionally, the areas in which a majority of respondents saw most companies in their sector using customer data to boost their marketing were Scotland, the North West, and the South East.

Areas in which fewer respondents were seeing customer insight being used were Wales, London, East Anglia, the North East and the South. The Midlands, Yorkshire and the South West were around the national average of 43%.

Matt Boot, chief analyst at database marketing and consumer insight firm KDB, which carried out the survey, said, “Using customer data to inform your marketing strategy is vital in the current economic environment. Smart companies use such insight both to get more out of existing customers and to make sure they are approaching the right potential customers in a way that will work.

“Customer data is a tool that is right there at the disposal of most companies and it helps them to make sure they are focusing on the sorts of customers that will help keep up their margins and cashflow in the face of the recession."

He concluded, “The last thing marketers want to be doing at the moment is wasting their budgets on less profitable and loyal consumers. The effective use of customer insight helps them identify the right targets for their marketing.”

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