(Chicago, IL) March 22, 2012 – SourceLink, a top 5 largest privately-held CRM/Direct Marketing Agency and top 3 GPO Supplier, announces today the results of their most recent client survey, highlighting key trends in marketing services and transactional document processing priorities, as well as challenges and direction for the future.

Changes in technology are driving more effective targeted communication by leveraging data to create better engagement with consumers online and offline, while building deeper and lasting relationships. SourceLink’s latest Client Marketing and Transactional Document Survey revealed that direct mail is still a top marketing priority for 2012. The findings are based on completed surveys from over 30% of SourceLink’s client base. Key objectives for 2012 were Customer Retention, ranked number one in the survey, followed closely by Customer Acquisition and Customer Profitability. Over 88% of respondents declared Direct Marketing as the engine in reaching their marketing objectives. Other key findings include:

Direct mail ranked number one in planned channels for 2012, followed by web/micro-site, email and Social Media. Over 64% of respondents use Social Media to some degree as part of their marketing plan.
Increasingly, marketers recognize the role of modeling and analytics in accomplishing their marketing objectives, as evidenced by over 60% of respondents asserting that they currently leverage customer intelligence or are interested in doing so in 2012.
Recognizing the imperative of multichannel efforts, over 69% of respondents conduct multichannel marketing and over 56% of those consider it an integral part of their marketing strategy. However, only 34% are seeing the results they had hoped for, highlighting the need for a centralized, database approach to optimize multichannel communications.
Over 45% of respondents have considered integrating marketing with transactional customer documents, and over 40% use color personalization in marketing communications or transactional documents.

Increasing regulation and a tough economy have caused many financial services firms to reevaluate onboarding strategies and improve retention efforts. 78% of SourceLink’s financial services clients ranked retention activities as “Very Important” or “Most Important” in terms of marketing priorities. Additionally, 78% of financial services respondents leverage multichannel marketing and 40% of those consider it an integral part of their marketing strategy.

In tandem with the focus on Direct Marketing, 80% of all survey participants cited Business Intelligence/Data Driven Marketing and Campaign Performance/Marketing Metrics as “Most Important,” “Very Important” or “Important” for 2012.

“While customer acquisition, retention and profitability are traditional priorities across industries, it is an exciting time to be partnering with clients to help them evolve their multichannel approach, combine channels in interesting ways and leverage technology and data insights to engage customers and prospects,” says Judith Hemmel, Director of Customer Intelligence. “The opportunity to heed the voice of the consumer has never been greater, and while the channels of communication will undoubtedly continue to evolve, nurturing a meaningful dialogue will remain the key to reaching marketing objectives.”