Thursday, February 2, 2012

CRM’s Next 5 in 5

Customers are Ignoring You
Customers are Ignoring You 
Lauren Carlson, CRM Analyst, Software Advice talked to foremost thought leaders in the CRM field to get a perspective on what is likely to happen in the next 5 years in that area. Read more below to understand how they look at the next 5 years shaping up.

"Each year, IBM publishes “The Next 5 in 5,” in which they predict the five technologies that will change the way we work, play and live in the next five years. Some of their predictions this year seem plausible: systems will use your unique biological identity to protect your information, eliminating the need for passwords. Others border on sci-fi: scientists will create technology that links your brain waves to your devices, allowing you to control them with your mind.

I wanted to follow IBM’s lead and ask, “Where will CRM be five years from now?” To answer that, I reached out to some of the foremost thought leaders in the field:
Without further ado, I present the five technologies that will change CRM in the next five years."

The five technologies she covers in detail, are as follows:

Context Services Will Provide a Clearer Picture of Customers

"A key benefit of CRM is that it aggregates information about current and prospective customers, collectively painting a picture of the person or organization a company is dealing with. Context services, with data originating from social media, location-based services and mobile devices, contribute additional context (location, relationships, behavior, etc.) to that information. The result is a far richer customer profile. These services provide the foundation for intuitive offers, which are promotions or up-sell opportunities based on customer interactions and behaviors.

Ray Wang suggests that in the next five years, we will see tremendous growth in context services and the data they provide. A key source of this context data will be from mobile devices."

Real-time Customer Intelligence Will Become a Reality

'The variety and sources of customer data is exploding, and companies understandably want to leverage it in their sales cycles, marketing campaigns and other customer-facing processes as quickly as possible. Before they can do that, however, they need systems with substantial processing power that can analyze vast amounts of customer data and make actionable recommendations based on it in real-time. This is something that even current data warehouse technologies struggle with. Esteban Kolsky explains…

"We still don't have the analytical tools to make sure we can deliver value in the instances described,' says Kolsky “We need to build the infrastructure to make sure there is value in the technology. Analytics and Cloud are leading the charge there."'

TV Will Become the Next Big Channel in Customer Engagement

'Though it’s been around for decades, the popularity of television isn’t declining relative to newer social and mobile marketing channels. In fact, its prevalence and importance is increasing.

Brent Leary predicts that the TV will be added to the mix of channels used to engage customers. 

"When people are at home with access to a big screen, they will want to leverage that for their interactions and rich content experiences,” says Leary. “Companies that begin developing engagement strategies with this in mind should be in line to see some competitive advantage in terms of customer engagement."'

Virtual Meetings Will Change the Way People Do Business

'For years, companies have attempted to scale back travel budgets in the face of escalating airline ticket prices and instead conduct business by WebEx, Skype, video  conferences and similar means. In the next five years, this trend will likely continue with the growth of unified communications (UC) and the integration of multichannel capabilities with location services and even social media tools. According to Greenberg, "Technologies around unified communications will be not only hot, but game changers."

Denis Pombriant suggests that this will increase the need for enhanced content management systems, as well as spur demand for video production tools that lightly-trained people can use to create animations and conventional “talking head” broadcasts. We will also probably see CRM systems evolve to track these virtual interactions.'

Gamification Will Go from Buzz to Business Strategy

'Gamification was mostly a buzzword in 2011, but in five years, we’ll see it becoming a pivotal business strategy within the enterprise. To date, gamification has been relegated mostly to the marketing sphere, and companies such as Dell, Samsung, Deloitte and NBC are getting on board.

Brian Solis explains what we can expect:

"In five years, we will see gamification extend beyond marketing to improve loyalty through integrated social rewards programs, social graph data, and a more community-focused effort on expanding the company's reach through influence and advocacy programs."'

Read the entire article here.

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