SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

September 09, 2008 14:22 ET

Research Proves Advanced Customer Analytics and Segmentation Tactics Lead to Higher Revenue and Market Share Growth

60% of Best-in-Class Companies Plan to Increase the Budget for Customer Analytics Technologies in 2009

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 9, 2008) - In order to maximize top and bottom line revenue growth, organizations must be capable of understanding, anticipating, and reacting to customer behavior. As a result, top performing organizations are turning to segmentation to identify key trends and commonalities among customers across various marketing and sales channels. The increasing competition for high value customers is causing many companies to improve the intimacy and relevancy of marketing messages by incorporating demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral variables in customer segmentation. A recent study, "Customer Analytics: Segmentation Beyond Demographics," conducted by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), reveals that 74% of Best-in-Class companies track past business history for improved segmentation and 56% track behavioral attributes for use in segmentation. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5146.

According to 48% of survey respondents, the top pressure causing companies to segment and target customers is a desire the increase customer loyalty and retention. The need to increase profitability (34%), either through improved response rates on marketing campaigns or by minimizing customer churn and maximizing customer retention, is the second highest concern for survey respondents. Best-in-Class companies indicated that they currently utilize customer feedback tools (65%), customer databases (64%), segmentation and targeting tools (60%) and data hygiene tools and services (40%) to better segment customers for marketing purposes. As a result, Best-in-Class companies are able to positively affect key marketing metrics over time.

"One of the top pressures for all organizations is the need to measure and maximize return on marketing investments. Customer analytics play an essential role delivering superior performance from marketing spend," explains Ian Michiels, Senior Research Analyst at Aberdeen. "Best-in-Class companies demonstrate that the use of multiple attributes in customer segmentation, including demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and purchase history. This allows top performing organizations to achieve superior annual revenue growth, market share, average order value growth, and improved customer profitability. The Best-in-Class showed a higher propensity to enable sales, marketing, finance, and dedicated analysis with processes and technologies that centralize, scrub, and democratize customer data," concluded Michiels.

The report demonstrates the value of collectively leveraging organizational capabilities in process, performance measurement, knowledge management, and technology to provide a foundation for marketing success. By combining processes designed to identify high value customers for marketing purposes (57%) with the ability to share customer analytics analysis among multiple functions in the organization (71%), Best-in-Class companies are able to maximize their sales and marketing efforts through segmentation.

The research educates readers about the value of customer analytics and targeting techniques. The report also identifies Best-in-Class performance as a result of segmentation compared to the Industry Average and Laggards and the difference in capabilities and technology use among maturity classes. A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Equifax, SAP, and Portrait Software. Furthermore, this research is being disseminated to the market through the support of various media outlets, such as the ECT News Network and ITO America. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5146.

To access all of Aberdeen's complimentary research please visit http://research.aberdeen.com.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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