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7 Top CRM Trends for 2017

In the dynamic digital marketplace, CRM technologies have become an essential component for marketing departments. Learn about what to expect for CRM in 2017.

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With the growing appreciation of existing customers’ role in today’s super-competitive digital markets, the CRM space is experiencing an unprecedented growth surge. CRM technologies have become an essential component for marketing departments, helping marketers in every vertical cater to their loyal customers. In the dynamic digital marketplace, this means that each year sees new trends and tendencies. Here is what you should look for from your CRM technology as 2017 approaches:

  1. AI-based bots will become essential for marketing insights. Marketers are faced with an overwhelming amount of data. The real challenge has become separating the wheat from the chaff – recognizing significant data, forging insights and creating relevant actions, all in real time. In a world of constantly connected customers, this has a direct impact of performance by creating a costly lag in time-to-insight-to-implementation, leaving marketers no time for creativity. Utilizing machine learning and predictive algorithms to take the guesswork out of marketing decisions will become essential for the perpetuation of creative, exciting, hearts-and-needle-moving campaigns.
  2. Contextual CRM will take center stage. Customers are becoming savvier and are better than ever at filtering their marketing messages. In an environment in which ads are a noise that needs to be blocked, becoming a “best-friend brand” is the only way to break through the marketing clutter and to gain customers’ wallet share. 2017 will witness a surge in technologies for real-time hyper-targeting, catering to micro-segments of customers and embodying the vision of contextual marketing: targeting every customer with the right message, on the right channel, at the right time. 
  3. Omni-channel CRM will take over. With the average adult connected to the web by 4.5 devices on average, marketers will no longer be able to ignore the multi-channel reality. Customer communications will increasingly be conducted through orchestrated multi-channel campaigns. As increasingly more traffic is directed to mobile, CRM on mobile will overtake all other CRM channels. The ever-connected user will leave marketers no option but to be always on, and their efforts will be directed to always-on channels. Robust mobile CRM backed by powerful multi-channel capabilities will be the name of the game.
  4. Social CRM will thrive. Despite the unsurpassed popularity of social platforms, CRM is yet to truly harness social media for customer marketing. 2017 may be the year of social CRM, with growing retention activities on all social channels and a deepening emphasis on social influence and sentiment analysis. The factor that may finally tilt CRM towards social may end up being customer support: Facebook, as well as other platforms, is putting its weight behind customer support, via both humans and bots.
  5. Predictive analytics will come into its own. The buzz of predictive analytics (PA) has been going around the CRM space for years, but most systems still incorporate only a semblance of PA, if at all. 2017 will be the tipping point of CRM PA. It will see the real indoctrination of predictive analytics into CRM platforms, allowing true future value calculations that will lead to more powerful monetization methodologies. 
  6. Verticalized CRM will set in. As users come to expect more from brands’ communications, and CRM Managers require more bespoke customization, verticalized customer marketing platforms will come into being, offering different solutions for ecommerce, gaming, financial services etc. These systems will cater to the radically different business and monetization models of each vertical, with more product-and cart-centric methodologies for e-commerce, longer time horizons for fin-tech customers, and so forth.
  7. The Integration / Best of Breed seesaw will keep swinging. On the one hand, brands are looking for integrated solutions. On the other hand, cloud technologies support best of breed platforms. There is a trade-off between these two ends, and CRM is still seesawing between them. 2017 will not provide a conclusive answer to this conundrum.

Data-driven retention marketing technology has become a must have for customer facing-brands. In 2017, customers will expect contextual, emotionally intelligent communications that acknowledge their preferences, wants and needs. This is the time to make sure that your CRM technology can deliver.

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