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RSR Research: Marketers take interest in customer data


Walnut Creek, Calif. – The percentage of retailers who consider their marketing department to be an owner of customer data has more than doubled in the past year. According to a new RSR Research survey, “Retail Marketing 2013: Organizational Drift,” 61% of 122 retail respondents surveyed online between May and July of this year listed marketing as a customer data owner, compared to 33% in 2012.

The percentage listing IT as a customer data owner is virtually unchanged at 34% (33%) last year. The store operations (22% compared to 14%), e-commerce direct channel (20% compared to 13%) and merchandising (20% compared to 7%) have also taken a much greater ownership stake in the past year. About half as many retailers say customer data has no explicit owner this year (17%) as last year (33%), while the percentage who say the supply chain/fulfillment department is an owner remains low at 10%, but doubled since 5% indicated this in 2012.

Other findings include:

  • The top three marketing opportunities retailers see this year are more effective targeting by capturing more detailed customer preferences (53%), a greater focus on customer experience with less on product (48%) and using digital channels to drive store traffic (44%). The first two percentages are basically flat from last year, but digital driving of store traffic grew in popularity by more than 50% from 28% last year.

  • Forty-six percent of retailers think their marketing department spent the right amount of time driving digital and store traffic in the past year, while 37% think they didn’t spend enough time and 17% think too much time was spent.

  • Retailers listed the same top three organizational inhibitors to marketing this year as last year, but in higher percentages. They are difficulty getting IT resources (55% compared to 38%), lack of resources for available opportunities (48% compared to 37%) and difficulty quantifying ROI (41% compared to 27%).

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