CRM Turns Twenty Five


2018 will be a milestone for Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”) systems. Obviously, human beings have been selling things to one another since… well forever! But, in that long history, 1993 proved to be pivotal a year.

In 1993 Tom Siebel left Oracle to found Siebel Systems where he introduced the world to the concept of using specialized software to manage customer information. Before Siebel, customer information sat in databases, most likely in an on-site monster sized piece of iron. But Siebel saw the need to create a specific application that managed a unique data set, designed for use by marketers and not database administrators.

As we celebrate the 25th year of CRM applications and platforms the emphasis of CRM is no longer on emails and physical addresses. Today, mobile is where customers are and IoT devices are soon to follow. Are CRM systems prepared for an era that might focus on device IDs, Data Management Platforms, and inferencing engines?

There are some indications that CRM systems are beginning to catch on. In October 2016, Salesforce (the major cloud based CRM system) announced its intention to acquire Krux, a data management platform, for approximately $700. The addition of Krux to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud will enable Salesforce clients to perform advanced segmentation and audience management. It also strengthened Salesforce’s marketing technology stack compared to rivals Adobe and Oracle (Oracle purchased Siebel in 2005). The Krux acquisition may indicate the beginning of a new era in CRM. One in which CRM alone won’t offer email marketers all the tools which they need.

As we approach CRM’s 25th Anniversary, in a mobile first world, it is becoming less important for CRM systems to focus on email or customer data. More importantly, CRM programs should be capable of understanding their customers across a range of channels while also protecting user privacy, especially in Europe. But holding static customer data could become a relic of the past. Much can be revealed about customers through on-line behaviors and context, all of which can be captured and processed by the right customer data solution and an inferencing engine.

On the cusp of CRM’s silver anniversary, Personagraph has some ideas around what we should all expect to see for CRM in 2017.

 

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