Of these key capabilities, the Accenture research revealed that developing and delivering a branded experience and creating and shaping demand tend to have the most direct influence on customer loyalty. However, mastery of all five areas is needed to achieve high performance.
Accenture identified a distinct difference between higher- and lower-performing companies as the leaders place more importance, and spend more of their budgets, on building competency in all five key marketing and customer management areas. As the masters strive for excellence in these key capability areas, they also monitor practices across industries and continually seek new and better ways to improve their performance.
The Accenture study, based on qualitative and quantitative research, was designed to identify how companies approach marketing and the essential capabilities for marketing and customer management. The research also correlated marketing capabilities with financial performance while pinpointing how the capabilities create and enhance customer loyalty to contribute to margin, growth and shareholder value.
Marketing decision-makers at 716 business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies across industries in North America, Asia and Europe were asked to rate their companies' mastery of 120 marketing skills and performance against four measures: customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty; profitability, margins or returns; revenue growth; and shareholder return.
The data were used to correlate marketing skills with the ability to build customer loyalty and achieve superior business performance, using factor regression, segmentation and decision-tree analysis.