The beginning of the year is always flush with industry predictions, so we thought we'd summarize some predictions on customer relationship management (CRM) for 2010 for your interest.
First up is the Gartner Group, which published its predictions for CRM in 2010 'and beyond' last week. Its predictions include:
- Facebook will probably have 600 million user accounts by the end of 2010 making it the world's largest social network. As such marketers and customer service management will be able to focus on the three of four key social network that dominate specific languages.
- Marketing budgets will remain flat in 90% of companies in 2010 and there is increasing pressure to link programs to sales results and tools such as Marketing resource management (MRM) will become more important: "MRM will become a top priority for marketing organizations, and enterprise marketing management (EMM) will take on new meaning as a vehicle for strategic planning, collaboration and measurement," said Kimberly Collins, managing vice president at Gartner.
- By the end of this year, the focus on social applications will be on improving customer relationships instead of improving internal collaboration. As such enterprises will be looking for social media platforms that support business with use cases and key performance indicators.
- More than 90% of all marketing campaigns will include an element of online marketing compared to 50% in 2009. One of the main reasons is that the online element offers much better metrics, and Gartner predicts that "marketers will see a 10 to 20 per cent savings in marketing communications as a result of precise attribution metrics for campaigns."
Other predictions can be found SearchCRM.com in this article. Amongst them is William Band, vice president and principal analyst, Forrester Research, who says:
- Social CRM hype will reach a crescendo, but it's important for enterprises to have sound customer management process fundamentals in place in order for social CRM tools to work. They shouldn't expect social media to compensate for this deficiency.
- CRM will become the customer management ecosystem. In other words, traditional CRM tools will be integrated with other customer-facing tools such as billing, order management and contract management.
- Customer service will be back in the spotlight. Forrester says that it is receiving increasing numbers of enquires on how to improve their customer service capabilities. Enterprises understand that the better the service, the more customer loyalty and the more sales they can make.
- Integrating customer data will continue to be a struggle. Enterprises say that the biggest barrier to successful CRM is poor data management. Business intelligence tools can help by providing a focal point for customer intelligence across multiple sources.
After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.