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M5 Benchmark Survey Contains Scary Surprise

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For business, 2009 was all about learning how to do more with less.  Now, companies are positioning themselves for growth as the economic recovery takes hold.   IP-based investments – such as unified communications, cloud computing and software as a service will help businesses work harder and more efficiently for the next decade.  So, we figured this would be a good time to ask people where they are with regard to emerging communication and collaboration tools.  We asked a group of cross-industry and cross-functionality folks to tell us a bit about themselves.
Much of what we learned confirmed what we already expected.   For example, email continues to be ubiquitous, but other communication methods are gaining traction.  I was a bit surprised that 56% of people said they use text messaging for business, but maybe that’s because I’ve been slow to adopt this practice myself.

We did expect to find that people are using remote workers more and in fact, 31% of participants report that more than a quarter of their workforce spends more than a quarter of their time working outside of the office.  For sales people, remote work is even more important with 60% of them spending more than a quarter of their work time outside of the office.  Given this, it is not shocking that sales people were reported to use their cell phone as often as their office phone.

There were two parts of the survey that really surprised (and in one case frightened us).  I’ll start with the least scary.  We asked about marketing automation and found that while 35% of marketing departments said they use CRM, only 4% reported using a dedicated marketing automation tool.  Perhaps the most unanticipated result of our survey is that 70% of respondents report advertising through print publications.  Direct mail and non search engine internet advertising were the next most popular at 55% each.  Who knew that good old fashioned paper was still so popular?

So here’s the really scary finding of our survey.   An astounding 48% of respondents indicated that they had no disaster recovery solution in place for their telephone system.   When the office is inaccessible due to an unexpected emergency, 45% of workers report working from home using a home phone, while 32% report not working at all.  Really?  Yikes.  What’s worse than having an emergency at the office?   Having an emergency and no way for customers and prospects to contact you.  The M5 team plans to spread the word about the importance of emergency planning for communications. You’ll be hearing more about this from us.  

A big thanks to everyone who participated in our survey.  If you didn’t get a chance to participate, but would like to just click here.