Wednesday, December 8, 2010

CRM Trends 2011: Top 5 trends for the new year

Top 5 CRM Trends for 2011

The good news remains that US economists continue to predict an up tick in consumer spending in 2011. The challenge remains how to engage the post-recession consumer. CRM 5 new trends for 2011 translates into this new reality:

1) Branding is more important than ever. Brands have always been and are increasingly becoming a surrogate for value - making brand differentiation all the more critical as generic features continue to propagate in the brand landscape.

2) Value is the new black: Consumer spending, even on sale items, will continue to be replaced by a reason-to-buy at all. The era of "Because I said so" is over. This will more than likely challenge most companies.

3) The rise of the Datarati. Google's Chief Economist, Hal Varian once said that "Datarati are companies that have the edge in consumer data insight...Data is ubiquitous and cheap, analytical ability is scarce... The sexiest job in the next ten years will be statistician." How true. There has been and will continue to be an increased focus on data analysis as companies continue to invest in measuring social media, understanding customer value and modeling customer behavior. If you do not use your data to talk to your customers, others will. As such the investment in data aggregation and the hiring of "sexy" statisticians is a going to be a major trend in 2011.

4) Customer Experience: Customers have more choices than ever, and are more frugal. This affords them the luxury of demanding more. This is the year that the CRM Marketer will be charged with offering a consistent experience across all company touch points and developing the infrastructure that allows for knowledge sharing and smart communication. Smart marketers will identify and capitalize on unmet expectations. Those companies that understand where the strongest expectations exist will be the companies that survive and prosper. The customer's mobile and online experiences will begin to evolve and rival the customer's offline experience - attentive assistants and all.

5) Personalization and customization: In order to be effective in this new year, companies will seek to know more about its customers and use that insight to talk, engage and interact with their customers more often and more meaningfully in new and innovative ways (including dynamic content, blogs to other social networking). 2011 is going to be up close and personal, like it or not.