Agencies Behind in Customer Relationship Management

Advertising, marketing and public relations agencies understand the importance of customer relationship management and quality data capture behavior. But do they practice what they preach when it comes to database management and email marketing?

We surveyed over 300 top agency executives to find out how they execute CRM and email marketing for business development.

First we wanted to know which tool agencies most often use for their data storage and email marketing needs. Results shows that most agencies use basic office software like Excel and Word to track and act on leads, and 19% still rely on handwritten lists. Meanwhile, relatively few use specialized CRM software like Salesforce.com, Oracle, Constant Contact or MailChimp.

32% of agency execs said the method their company uses to track and follow up on leads is dated, but they don’t have the time to implement a more complex system.

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We also wanted to know the frequency at which agencies send email blasts to their contacts. According to our survey, 24% send an email blast less than once a month, while 18% send one per month and another 18% send 2 emails each month. But some agencies don’t use email marketing at all; 18% of respondents say they never send email blasts to contacts.

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The number of qualified contacts an agency captures is an important element of CRM success, so we asked agencies how many contacts are currently in their business development database. One third of our respondents said they have less than 1,000 contacts, while another 29% said they have between 1,000 and 5,499 contacts.

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Another important aspect of CRM is database segmentation; more precise segmentations (by demographics, seniority, industry vertical, field, etc.) may result in a better response rates. 79% of agency executives said they have the ability to segment prospects in their business development database.

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Agency CRM Strategy in 2012

Well-executed email marketing can keep an agency top of mind, nurturing leads and reducing the B2B sales cycle. But many firms lack the tools, time and dedication to make a complete lead capture and nurturing machine work.

Agencies aren’t using the tools that are available. In fact, only 27% of agency leaders said that the method their company currently uses for tracking and following up on leads ensures nothing falls through the cracks.

Meanwhile, 18% of agencies never send emails to their contact list – a missed opportunity for sharing results, research and company culture with important contacts.

In 2012 B2B digital marketing remains an open playing field with relatively little competition. Does your B2B firm plan to dedicate more time and marketing dollars to digital marketing in 2012? Let us know by commenting below or connecting on Twitter.