NEW YORK, Aug 11, 2010—Marketing executives responsible for driving corporate growth are being     hampered in their efforts by insufficient budgets, skills shortages and     inadequate tools, according to a new study by Accenture. The     study, “Onward     and Up—How Marketers Are Refocusing the Front Office for Growth,”      also found that marketers today are increasingly challenged by their     companies’ customers who demand greater value, quality and service.

The 400 senior marketing executives surveyed for the study across Asia     Pacific, Europe and North America said their top strategic objectives     include improving operational efficiency, increasing profitability and     responding effectively to change. However, the barriers they said they     must overcome to achieve those objectives include: inefficient business     practices (cited by 21 percent of marketers), inadequate funding or     other resources (17 percent), insufficient integration with other     business functions (15 percent), a lack of required skills (13 percent)      and lack of access to the customer data they need (6 percent).

Additionally, only 23 percent of the marketers said their organizations     excelled in customer analytics, innovation, customer engagement and     marketing operations at the same time and 33 percent said they did not     perform well in any of those areas.

To achieve their growth objectives, marketers most frequently said they     must master customer analytics (cited by 65 percent of the marketers),      offer innovation (64 percent) and improve customer engagement and     marketing operations (57 percent each).

“Given the changing competitive landscape, customer analytics will be     the prerequisite for marketers’ success,” said Dave     Rich, managing director of Accenture Customer     Relationship Management consulting group and Accenture     Analytics. “The insights that can be gained from the data will help     marketers identify what customers want and predict how they need to act     differently to help steer corporate innovation that can drive improved     business outcomes. It also can provide guidance for engaging with     customers via the right channels, with the right offerings and messages.”

However, marketers most frequently said they did not make effective use     of online communities (cited by 43 percent of marketers); direct mail     and telemarketing (37 percent); new digital marketing (34 percent); and     online advertising (31 percent).

“As marketers up their game, those who streamline their operations and     increase their effectiveness will free up much needed cash, enabling     them to further invest in capabilities that can help them fuel growth,”      said Nick Smith, Accenture’s lead executive for CRM     Marketing Transformation. “Beefing up those capabilities will     contribute to marketers’ abilities to target their sweet spots, and as     they do, they’re likely to eliminate waste as a byproduct of executing     marketing programs that are much more laser focused.”

The three business issues the marketers most frequently said they want     to address are customer retention and loyalty, new customer acquisition     and sales numbers among existing customers. But they reported that     changes in customer expectations are impacting their marketing     strategies. For instance:

—      72 percent of them said that “most or all” of their customers expect       more value for money.

—      71 percent said customers have higher product quality expectations.

—      69 percent said customers are increasingly price sensitive.

—      68 percent said customers have higher customer service expectations.

—      66 percent said customers expect businesses to have greater respect       for their time.

“It all boils down to meeting customer expectations,” Rich said.      “Organizations that understand their customers will be the best     positioned to achieve their growth strategies in the face of     increasingly difficult challenges.”

Methodology

To complete the online study, 400 senior executives working for     companies in nine countries, including Australia, Canada, China, France,      Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States were     surveyed between November 2009 and January 2010. The majority of the     respondents (82 percent) worked for companies with annual revenues     exceeding $1 billion. Others in Australia and India were employed by     companies with revenues in excess of $500 million.

About Accenture

Accenture     is a global management     consulting, technology     services and outsourcing     company, with more than 190,000 people serving clients in more than 120     countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities     across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on     the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with     clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.      The company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal     year ended Aug. 31, 2009. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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