Marketers Try to 'Close the Loop' on Customer Retention - eMarketer

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Marketers Try to 'Close the Loop' on Customer Retention

Discipline helps boost customer referrals and drive incremental purchases

October 3, 2016

Customer retention is already key area of focus for many marketing organizations, especially among those focusing on email marketing. Now a growing number of marketing executives are stepping up their spending and activity around customer retention as they attempt to cultivate customer loyalty.

Most Important Benefit of Customer Retention According to Executives in Europe and the US, April 2016 (% of respondents)

In April 2016 research conducted by email personalization company Sailthru and Forbes Insights, 32% of executives polled in Europe and the US said their customer retention efforts were instrumental in creating sources of referrals and recommendations from existing customers. Another 19% mentioned that customer retention efforts were important in helping drive incremental purchases from those existing customers.

One result of the increasing recognition of customer retention's benefits is an increase in spending on the tactic by many organizations. A January 2016 study by Totango, for example, found that more than 50% of software-as-a-service (SaaS) professionals it polled worldwide in January 2016 planned to increase customer retention-related spending in areas like staffing, technology and retention programs.

Change in Customer Retention Spending According to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Professionals Worldwide, by Area, Jan 2016 (% of respondents)

At the same time that more marketing executives are seeing benefits from customer retention efforts, many also note that a number of barriers still hold them back from acquiring repeat or loyal customers. In the Forbes and Sailthru survey, 45% of Europe- and US-based media executives said the lack of a cross-channel reader experience was a key problem, while another 35% mentioned a lack of technologies to enable them to attain repeat or loyal customers.

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