Anaytical CRM to Grow Steadily

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Analytical customer relationship management (aCRM), the practice of collecting, organizing and analyzing data on consumers and their contact with businesses, has been around for a few years now, but if you haven’t heard about it yet, then it’s new to you. A new study conducted by London-based research firm Datamonitor shows that the market for aCRM will grow from about $2.3 billion this year to more than $3 billion in 2009, an increase of nearly one-third.


The report serves two purposes: sizing up the aCRM sector and explaining it as a concept. “This particular report is in some ways educational,” said Tom Pringle, author of the “Analytical CRM” study and technology analyst for Datamonitor. “Analytical CRM is a subsection of the wider business intelligence (BI) market. People have talked about BI for quite a while now, and there are a lot of companies out there that do BI. Analytical CRM is a little bit newer idea. It’s one of those things that we’ve actually been doing for a while, but because it’s been part of a larger market, it doesn’t necessarily get the same type of attention as, say, the BI market would.”


According to Pringle, aCRM is a logical offshoot of operational CRM, which entails sales, marketing and service automation. Adoption of aCRM has increased as more and more companies seek to reduce customer churn and build brand loyalty, he said. “In the larger corporations, operational CRM has become essentially the accepted standard. If you’re not doing operational CRM, you’re probably not serving your customers as well as you could. I see analytical CRM as being a natural evolution of that. You’ve got all this customer data. It’s time to start thinking about how you use all of this data. It’s not just about generating benefits and revenue for the enterprise.


“One of the most interesting features is that operational CRM vendors are looking to move into this analytical space,” he added. “Other vendors are looking to add analytics on top of their other CRM offerings. Of course, you have traditional, well-established BI vendors who have a role to play and have been doing so for some time.”


Many observers have noted that the growth projected in Datamonitor’s Analytical CRM study does not seem incredibly substantial, Pringle said. “There are a couple of things I’d say to that. First of all, at that number, it’s not exactly a small market to start with. Secondly, it’s an interesting market, because in some ways, it displays signs of maturity.”


The report also maintains that while places already strong in aCRM, such as North America and Western Europe, will maintain their dominance in this market, regions like the Caribbean and Latin America will see the fastest growth. Pringle said larger countries that have relatively developed finance and communications industries within this geographic area—Brazil and Argentina, for example—will have especially rapid aCRM development.


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