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Marketers to direct additional spend to data analytics

LONDON - A large majority of marketers are planning to increase their spend on outsourced database marketing services this year, according to a study by Forrester Research.

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Forrester recently released a report on database marketing service companies for the US, Europe and Asia Pacific, analysing market trends and the capabilities of leading suppliers.

It showed that marketers are planning to increase spend on analytics and strategy services from their existing database outsourcer by almost 50% on average, and plan similar increases for reporting services and database design or management.

Eric Schmitt, Forrester analyst, said: "The demand for value-add analytics and strategy services is forcing outsourcers to act more like agencies and less like service bureaux every day.

"Most suppliers aren't there yet though. Just 30% of marketers say their outsourcer is 'very proactive' when it comes to proposing new marketing tactics and strategies."

The report analyses the capabilities of 10 leading database marketing suppliers. However, just three operate in the UK as well as the US -- Harte-Hanks, Acxiom and Experian -- while the others only operate in the US.

Forrester concluded that a US-only provider, Epsilon, was setting the bar for the industry, and named three other leading companies: Merkle, Allant and Targetbase.

The report described: Acxiom as strong on high-end technical requirements, but with overall client satisfaction below the industry average; Harte-Hanks as having added email capabilities and demonstrated it can deliver modern, integrated database solutions; and Experian as owning the breadth of capabilities, experience and resources to put together a strong organisation, but feedback from current and ex-clients showed its delivery was below expectations.

The report can be accessed here and is priced $795.

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