BusinessWeek Research Services-Saugatuck Study Highlights Disconnect Between Customer Intelligence Value and Effective Management

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New survey of more than 450 business and technology executives indicates most Customer Intelligence efforts result in wasted resources.

Optimizing Customer Intelligence for Profitability & Growth

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 10, 2003 – Even though most firms build strategy and tactics on customer intelligence (CI) data, relatively few base their actions on the actual value of CI systems. And even fewer firms take the steps necessary to optimize overall CI management, leading to millions of dollars wasted in sales, marketing and customer support.

These are among several findings of a new study of business and technology executives assessing the importance, effectiveness and optimization of Customer Intelligence by BusinessWeek Research Services and Saugatuck Technology. The findings were presented today at the "Optimizing Customer Intelligence for Profitability & Growth" conference, presented in New York City by BusinessWeek Events.

"The study results indicate that Customer Intelligence is a 'high visibility' topic in most firms, and is important enough to be included in the responsibilities of multiple high-level executives and managers," according to Saugatuck Technology managing director Bruce Guptill, who headed the research effort and presented the findings at Wednesday's conference. More than 60 percent of the survey's respondents said that changes in CI result in changes to their company business operations.

"Unfortunately, the impact and value of CI is not measured by a majority of firms," Guptill added, explaining that only 41 percent of survey respondents state that they measure the actual value or benefits of CI investments. Much of this is undoubtedly due to a lack of centralized authority for CI, the use of CI data from multiple applications and systems, and the resulting lack of coordination of data and responsibility.

According to the survey data, the responsibility for CI in most firms is spread out to the point where management of CI becomes disorganized, complex and costly. The result is a broad-based lack of efficiency, and ineffective use of valuable data for business planning and management.    

"If everyone has responsibility, then no one is responsible," Guptill stated in his presentation. "Effective use of CI requires a more centralized, coordinated effort than most firms have been able to deliver.

"The bottom line is that unless they do more to optimize the use and management of CI, most firms are throwing money away while losing market share, customer loyalty and other opportunities," concluded Guptill.

The report suggests several steps to optimize CI use and management, including:

· CI’s value needs to be understood and demonstrated clearly in order to gain the resources and investment needed for optimization

· Standardized measurement of CI costs and effectiveness will provide significantly greater support for CI resource and investment expansion

· CI’s value and impact will be greatly improved, and CI costs will be reduced, by simplification and standardization of data types and data management

Copies of Mr. Guptill's remarks and presentation, including summary initial results from the survey, are available to editors. Please contact Chris MacGregor at 203-454-3900 x251, or via email at chris.macgregor@saugatech.com.

About Saugatuck Technology Inc.

Saugatuck Technology is a strategic advisor to leading information technology vendors and service providers, providing business and market strategy consulting and CXO thought-leadership research programs. Its mission is to accelerate growth through strategic intelligence, filling a gap between traditional strategy consultants and IT market research firms. Saugatuck's primary research programs include quarterly and annual vendor and user surveys, in-depth CXO interviews, and business and IT executive advisory groups. Formed in 1999, with headquarter offices in Westport, CT, the company is managed by senior executives formerly with Gartner, IBM and KPMG. For more information, please visit http://www.saugatech.com.

About BusinessWeek Events

Since 1987, BusinessWeek Events has presented an unparalleled line-up of timely executive events, covering the most salient issues and themes in business, technology, and economics. BusinessWeek Event’s exclusive forums feature the sharpest minds in the corporate, government, and academic worlds and deliver the kind of business acuity that attendees can translate into bottom-line success. These premier events include forums for CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs; executive summits on all aspects of technology, and specialized gatherings on topical management issues. For a complete listing of BusinessWeek Events, please go to http://www.conferences.businessweek.com.

About BusinessWeek Research Services

BusinessWeek Research Services provide client-customized research solutions utilizing its Market Advisory Board to conduct various category studies among affluent audiences of business decisions makers. Composed of subscribers to both the print and online versions of BusinessWeek, this group of readers has volunteered to participate in a number of research studies in a calendar year. Memberships are retired after a year when a new panel is recruited. In addition to the information gathered in specific surveys, demographics, media and purchase habits are collected in a recruitment survey when panelists volunteer.

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PR Contacts:

Chris MacGregor            

Saugatuck Technology            

1-203-454-3900    x251            

chris.macgregor@saugatech.com    

Andrew Palladino

BusinessWeek

1-212-512-2680

andrew_palladino@businessweek.com

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