Big business backs prospecting over CRM while smaller firms remain cautious

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An overwhelming proportion of financial directors and managers from big companies favour the idea of putting more resources into prospecting for new business and fewer into nurturing existing customers during the current downturn, but their counterparts at smaller firms remain wary, a survey from Lloyd James Group reveals.

The data solutions provider surveyed 1,000 finance directors and senior financial managers, finding that 79% of respondents from companies with 250-1,000 employees and 70% of those at businesses with more than 1,000 employees backed the idea of boosting investment in prospecting while cutting spend on CRM activities.

But the survey also found that only 42% of respondents from businesses with 1-10 employees and 49% of those from companies with 11-50 employees supported the idea in the current economic climate. In between were mid-sized businesses, with 57% of respondents from firms with 51 to 249 employees agreeing that their marketing should lean towards prospecting for new business.

Overall, only 49% all financial directors and mangers surveyed nationally favoured putting more resources into prospecting and fewer into CRM. The survey by Lloyd James (www.lloydjames.com) covered regions throughout the UK, various key industry sectors and firms of different sizes.

The survey also revealed that, regionally, backing for greater emphasis on customer acquisition was strong among respondents in the North of England, where more than 56% of the financial decision makers favoured the idea, and Scotland, where support ran at 57%. Support was weakest in the Midlands at 40% and Wales at 33%.

In terms of industry sector, the weakest support for putting new business prospecting ahead of CRM came from respondents in retail, education, business services, healthcare, and IT, communications and high-tech, with fewer that 40% of those surveyed backing the idea in each of those five industries. Support was highest in: media and marketing at 73%; hospitality and catering at 67%; travel and transport at 65%; and utilities and telcoms at 64%.

Darrel Linehan, Client Services Director at Lloyd James Group, commented: “Smaller businesses risk losing out to bigger competitors if they don’t keep marketing to new customers despite the economic situation – just hanging onto the current clients is not going to be enough.

“Companies of all sizes need to realise that enticing new customers to switch to their products and services is just as important as ensuring that existing customers remain. With both consumers and businesses looking to tighten their belts, every company stands to lose at least some of their current customers, so finding new ones is vital to surviving the recession.

“We are encouraging all our clients to keep prospecting for new business and introduced our new solution, Prime, this year with that in mind. The idea was to provide a way for clients to improve their targeting and cost-efficiency by creating ‘virtual prospect pools’ on a pay as you go basis.”

Prime extends the principles of CRM to customer acquisition in an approach Lloyd James has dubbed prospect relationship marketing. Prime employs data on existing customers and uses predictive analytics to pick tailored prospect data from a range of sources pulled together by Lloyd James.

For more information or images, please contact:

Hugh Filman
Lindsell Marketing
+44 20 7402 0510
[email protected]

About Lloyd James Group

Lloyd James Group (www.lloydjames.com) is one of the largest independent providers of on and off-line data solutions in the UK. Since 1990, the company’s portfolio has expanded organically, resulting in a comprehensive set of interactive services that cater for the wide ranging marketing needs of its varied and expanding client base, including a full service data bureau, data analysis, list broking and list & media management.

Lloyd James’ client list spans all industries and includes ACAS, Debenhams, Homebase, Global Radio, Bauer Consumer Media, The Economist, O2, International Fund for Animal Welfare and American Express Corporate.

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