It was the legendary Philadelphia retailer John Wanamaker who uttered that now famous management complaint:"I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half". The problem, extended to the broader marketing environment, is as old as commerce itself, there’s never been an objective,reliable way to predict how — and how much —proposed investments in attracting and retaining customers will affect profits. Until now, that is. An ambitious study recently completed by Accenture establishes, for the first time, the strong link between excellence in a company’s overall interaction with customers — what we call customer relationship management, or CRM — and financial performance. Our research shows that companies that have not invested in developing specific CRM capabilities are leaving millions of dollars in profit on the table.
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