This is a guest blog post from Ashley Verrill, a market analyst at SoftwareAdvice.com.
Technologies that leverage data from mobile, social and other sources will evolve how businesses manage and optimize customer relationships in the future, according to a recent report.
My company – which publishes software reviews and buyers guides – interviewed five thought leaders to garner their ideas about what technologies will change CRM software during the next five years. I wanted to see if any of their predictions had changed from a similar project in 2012 called CRM’s Next 5 in 5. The major themes didn’t change much, but the way each is applied varied greatly.
The experts included Beagle Research Group LLC CEO Denis Pombriant, CRM Essentials Owner Brent Leary, ThinkJar Principal and Founder Esteban Kolsky, Initium LLC / Innovantage Founder Brian Vellmure, and 56 Group LLC Owner Paul Greenberg.
Here’s summary of their predictions for the future of mobile, social and data as it applies to customer relationship management.
‘Curated Data’ Services Will Proliferate
Big Data offers unparalleled opportunity for businesses to find prospects faster and interact with them at the moment it matters most. The problem is knowing what data to leverage, when, and for what purpose. Our experts predict a proliferation of technology services that cull data from various providers – including social media and mobile – than analyze that information for a specific purpose, such as onsite lead scoring or social prospecting.
Services Will Crowdsource Marketing
Most often, businesses don’t interact with customers after the deal closes, unless they have a problem. Our group predicts technology developers coming out with products that leverage these contacts for word-of-mouth marketing. The service might, for example, use social data to identify influencers and brand advocates, then empower them with tools for advocating on behalf of your company.
Improving APIs Will Monetize Facebook, Twitter and Other Channels
Social media could be a huge source of lead prospecting – imagine if you could instantly be alerted if someone in your marketing sweet spot just wrote on a friend’s wall, “Do you have any suggestions for (your product or service class)? My manager just asked me to find a new provider by Friday. I’m stumped!”
Social APIs enable developers to capture such interactions, but these are evolving so quickly the data is unreliable and not in real-time. Services for leveraging social information will explode once these API challenges are solved.
Voice-Enabled Technology Will Truly Mobilize CRM
Nobody likes tapping out emails, notes, and tasks on tablets and smartphones. But we love our mobile devices and still do plenty of work out of the office. In the future, experts see more CRMs empowering mobile apps with voice. Currently, early innovators in this space face a lot of challenges with comprehension – think about Apple’s Siri – but once this technology is perfected, such navigation will become commonplace in mobile business applications.
Predictive Analytics Will Automate Personalized Marketing
Personalized marketing is one curated data service where innovators are already making headway. Think of Netflix’s suggested movies, or Amazon featuring suggested titles next to your shopping cart based on what other buyers like you have liked. These predictive analytic technologies will be applied to a variety of new settings, such as personalized marketing for Web visitors based on who they are as a customer, or other factors such as what they searched or tweeted.
What other technology advances do you see evolving how we use CRMs today? Chime into the conversation here.
About Ashley Verrill
Ashley Verrill is a market analyst at Software Advice. She has spent the last six years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has appeared in myriad publications including Inc., Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal. Before joining Software Advice in 2012, she worked in sales management and advertising. She is a University of Texas graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Image by Daniel Voyager