March 01, 2005 08:00 ET

Deloitte: Accountability, Privacy & Education-The New 'Watchwords' in Marketing and Sales. Are Canadian Companies Ready.



MARCH 1, 2005 - 08:00 ET

Deloitte: Accountability, Privacy & Education-The New
'Watchwords' in Marketing and Sales. Are Canadian
Companies Ready.

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 1, 2005) -

Keeping customers happy and making marketing accountable. Deloitte
discusses the Top Predictions for Customer and Channel Strategies for

Deloitte today announced its top Customer and Channel Strategies
Predictions for 2005, which focuses on achieving an increase in
marketing and sales accountability through innovation, responsibility
and measurement.

"For 2005 and beyond, it will be important for companies to step back
and take a holistic, customer-centric view of their organizations," said
Richard Lee, Lead Principal of Deloitte's Customer and Channel Strategy
Practice. "But at the same time, in this era of Sarbanes-Oxley, there
are escalating demands for corporate transparency. For marketing and
sales - there is no exception, with accountability an increasingly
important component of maintaining best practice marketing and sales."

Other key trends Deloitte predicts will continue to shape the market
going forward include; innovative marketing techniques using alternative
channels; a focus on customer education to maximise retention; privacy
issues in relation to the use of customer data; and proximity
technology. Once organizations achieve a balance of these key areas,
they will better understand and be more prepared to market their
businesses effectively, achieving their desired results.

Following are Deloitte's top Customer and Channel forecasts for 2005:

1. A strong tie between marketing and bottom-line results.
Traditionally, marketing has escaped accountability in being subject to
performance metrics that match inputs with outcomes. But in an age of
increased transparency, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) will come
under the same pressure as the CFO and CIO to measure results. Expect to
see: Companies increasingly tying marketing and advertising expenditures
to results and spending more time aligning internal performance measures
with brand promises. The result will be a tighter focus on driving more
tangible and targeted results in brand awareness, customer acquisition,
loyalty and customer insights.

2. Greater scrutiny of corporate data protection. Now that Customer
Relationship Management (CRM) technology is ubiquitous, companies have
an abundance of customer data. Most companies focus on using this data
to create marketing campaigns to precisely target their customer base.
However, very few worry enough about protecting the privacy of customer
information. Expect to see: A high-profile scandal about the misuse of
customer information that will lead to greater scrutiny of corporate
data protection practices and stricter enforcement of privacy laws and

3. Innovative Customer Segmentation. Marketers tend to focus on
traditional market segments, such as the 18-34 age group. But, new
thinking and sophisticated yet easy-to-use data mining and campaign
management tools allow marketers to target non-traditional customers.
Many political parties successfully used this approach in both the
Canadian Federal election and the US Presidential election. Expect to
see: Marketers increasingly justifying their investments through
innovative customer segmentation and going beyond traditional parameters
such as demographics to include other characteristics such as shared
interests and values.

4. Innovative Marketing. Alternative marketing channels provide a fresh
yet effective approach to acquiring new customer channels and sparking
market interest or 'buzz'. Expect to see: Major companies using blogs,
online trends newsletters and word-of-mouth marketing as channels to
engage hard-to-reach customers at lower incremental costs.

5. Educating the customer. It's common knowledge that it is less costly
to keep an existing customer than acquire a new one. Marketers recognize
that they can maximise the lifetime profitability of customers by
educating them during and following the acquisition process to reduce
the volume of customer service, returns and churn. Expect to see: More
destination stores with knowledgeable staff that can provide educational
service and sales support.

6. Customer Service Integration. Multi-channel customer service is not
delivering on its hyped potential. Although companies offer customers
multiple channels, they rarely deliver high-quality service across them
all. Instead, customers are expected to provide the same information
repeatedly and, in return, receive inconsistent, ineffective service.
Expect to see: More companies, realizing that customers ultimately
determine which channels they will use and how they will use them, will
focus on integration of customer service channels to help ensure
continuity for customers.

7. Increase in Proximity Technology. Radio Frequency Identification
(RFID) has attracted a lot of market attention, but mostly in the
context of supply chain. Proximity technology is a variant of RFID with
a variety of uses - such as contactless payment. However, proximity
technology can also be used to provide customers with targeted marketing
information at the point of sale. Expect to see: Companies becoming
innovative with proximity technology. The successful ones will find
non-intrusive applications that enhance the customer's experience.

8. Focused customer strategies and solutions. Many companies have
invested in CRM platforms, but there has been a shift away from
utilising CRM programs with large-scale implementations. Increasingly,
companies are focusing on specific technology-enabled solutions that
address a particular business issue and show a definitive return on
investment. Expect to see: Companies investing and realizing the
benefits from smaller-scale technology-enabled CRM strategies and
solutions that are well conceived, focused and results oriented.

For further information on Deloitte's Customer & Channel Strategies
Group, or to request an interview with one of Group's Deloitte's leading
practitioners contact: Lynn Cook, Deloitte (416) 874-3654 or Emma
Capombassis, Cohn & Wolfe (416) 924-5700 x4065.

About Deloitte

Deloitte, one of Canada's leading professional services firms, provides
audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through more
than 6,100 people in 47 offices. Deloitte operates in Quebec as Samson
Belair/Deloitte & Touche s.e.n.c.r.l. The firm is dedicated to helping
its clients and its people excel. Deloitte is the Canadian member firm
of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte
Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, its member firms, and their respective
subsidiaries and affiliates. As a Swiss Verein (association), neither
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"Deloitte," "Deloitte & Touche," "Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu," or other
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subsidiaries or affiliates and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu


Contact Information

    Lynn Cook
    (416) 874-3654 or 1 (877) 381-9611
    Cohn & Wolfe
    Emma Capombassis
    (416) 924-5700 x4065