As long as there has been advertising, marketers have been not only trying to identify their customers and potential customers but also trying to understand what makes them tick and which campaign elements make them buy and which do not.

Some things never seem to change.

At least that is the conclusion of a new survey from Silverpop, an e-mail service provider (ESP), conducted by JupiterResearch.

In a poll of 422 e-mail marketers, 34% of them said that a lack of customer data is the largest hurdle they face.

Additionally, 32% said they struggled with analyzing campaign results.

In other words: "Exactly who did we send this mailing to and what did the responses (or lack thereof) mean?"

"The ability to analyze customer data in meaningful ways is more important than ever for marketers," said Elaine O’Gorman of Silverpop. "Driving Web site traffic, personalizing content and improving ROI can’t happen without sufficient levels of customer data and sophisticated analysis of that data."

Consequently, it is not surprising that when seeking the assistance of an ESP, four out of 10 marketers who send 50,000 or more e-mails a month look for customized reporting capabilities from within an e-mail marketing application, and 38% identify the ability to program reoccurring campaigns as important. Campaign triggering capabilities also ranked high at 35%.

More here.