CRM or Customer Relationship Management has become an integral part of any successful business, significant as much as marketing and sales. With the advent of open markets, real time interactive broadcast platforms, new age mass communication tools and digital social media handles that blur the boundaries of geography, time, age and language, the consumer and its relationship with the brand has never been so delicately personal yet strongly public. This sudden expansion of communication tools, cutting edge technology and larger stage to communicate and influence, it is the sophistication of the CRM tools that make a major difference in the brands valuation in the minds of its customers, it is thus not a surprise that a concept that took seed in the 90’s has, over the past 15 years, undergone tremendous changes and evolved as a single, most powerful tools to win through competition, recording a 70% growth in implementation over 1st 10 years. The technology has today become a vital tool to connect with the new age consumers on a more personal level.
As the markets evolved, the CRM too has grown from being a single tool on one medium to a multi-faceted tech boom operating across platforms and modified to suit unique needs of consumers across domains, from financial services, healthcare, logistics, travel & hospitality to even pharmaceuticals, education and HR. The key developments, though commendable, are only a tip of the iceberg, given the vast potential and opportunities in store for the future. Here is a brief insight into the future of CRM and its significant effect on business.
CRM: The growth potential in numbers
According to Gartner forecasts, CRM market in India was valued at around INR 18 billion in 2014 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of around 20.9% over 2014-19*. A CAGR of 14.8% is estimated through 2017 alone. While the global market for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is expected to grow to INR 2,639.7 billion by 2019, the Asia/Pacific has recorded tremendous growth of 18.7% in 2014.
Key trends that will lead to the massive number and redefine the entire brand consumer relationship, are as listed below:
1. CRM strategies for the intelligent consumer
In the era of the well informed and tech-savvy consumer, who is self-assured and consumes content through effective filtering of marketing messages, 2017 will see a surge in intelligent CRM technologies, created to strategically target the right consumer at the right time, through the right platform. Additionally, the CRM will also be a significant tool that will offer real-time targeting/analytics and insights into the ever evolving mind of the modern consumer.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) to uncover market insights
With the boom of content, fast paced communications and real time exchange of thoughts, marketers today are faced with a challenge of massive data. The use of Artificial Intelligence techniques will play a vital role in analysis of this huge chunk of data, and help generate intelligent insights to further shape an effective CRM strategy.
3. Social & Mobile CRM for sentiment analysis and influence
Despite the growing popularity of social media and mobile channels, CRM has so far not been well integrated to fully harness the power of these platforms. A strong growth in this area, with a focus on sentiment analysis and social influence will be dominant in the integration of CRM technologies in the social realm of consumers, becoming a key to consumer engagement and emotional analysis.
4. Integrated & Best in class suits
While integration has been considered one of the critical aspects of the CRM trends through years, it is only now that it has been seriously gaining momentum as a valuable catalyst. With tools now available to connect CRM with the expanding platforms of cloud, mobile, social media, marketing automation, and other applications, including the cloud and IoT, integration is set to be the key differentiator for brands while creating and implementing effective CRM strategies.
5. Big Data and predictive analysis
Lastly, big data analytics have been helpful in providing insights and effective direction to the CRM strategy for years, there has been a steady increase in need of smaller, more acute and in-depth analysis of smaller pockets of data, to generate a rather specific set of understanding. Thus a growing trend of smaller, predictive reporting players will help set the pace of a more effective and cheaper support to CRM strategies, helping brands highlight the particular sales opportunities and determine how to move prospects through the funnel efficiently.
The future of CRM in India is set to be driven through intelligent data analysis and efficient market insights, spreading across social, mobile and cloud platforms. With a more mature approach to the intelligent consumers, the CRM will generate effective emotional connect, while enhancing business processes through well targeted and tailor made execution, key to the 21st century marketing tactics for consumer retention. While consumers can delight in emotionally intelligent and contextual communication from brands, the businesses embracing the finer nuances of AI and Integrated CRM tools are set to achieve and maintain a high level of business and consumer retention.