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2013: The Year of Mobile CRM, Part 1

2013: The Year of Mobile CRM, Part 1

2013 will be the year mobile messaging -- SMS, MMS, push notifications -- becomes integrated into enterprise CRM strategies, said Julie Novack, SVP of mobile solutions at Vibes. "Messaging will graduate from a standalone and spray-and-pray channel to one that is smart, targeted and relevant based on the individual consumer's behavior and profile."

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
01/08/13 5:00 AM PT

Mobile CRM is decidedly one of the hot trends for 2013, but just what new permutations can we expect as the year unfolds?

CRM Buyer informally surveyed a number of executives in this broad space and came up with a wide range of predictions -- from the specific to the overarching.

Data Plus Mobile Equals Happy Customer

In 2013, we can expect companies to sharpen their focus on the customer through a combination of better data and greater use of mobile communication technologies. Customer intelligence will move into the forefront for companies deploying mobile CRM, said Marchai Bruchey, chief customer officer at Thunderhead.com.

"Combining better analysis of metrics and use of your customers' knowledge and feedback will allow organizations to successfully open up a two-way dialogue," she told CRM Buyer.

"This in turn will promote enhanced personalized and relevant customer experiences through a better understanding of how your customers -- and potential customers -- would like to be communicated with, and via which channels, all in real time," Bruchey said.

Knocking down silos between mobile apps and engineering a transparent consumer experience across apps will be the emerging focus, predicted Dennison DeGregor, worldwide customer executive with HP.

"From the perspective of the customer experience executive, the shift of power to consumers has fundamentally changed the way we must engineer the interactive, two-way customer engagement model," he told CRM Buyer.

"The shift in consumer behavior has made the concept of "channels" less relevant to prospects and customers," DeGregor observed.

"In order to reach Generation X, Generation Y and, most importantly, Generation C (for connected), the 21st century company must become adept at collecting Big Data from these sources," he explained, "using sophisticated analytics to create unique, one-to-one proactive and reactive business rules and then return these rules to the access point -- human or machine -- to create a truly differentiated consumer experience."

The Tech Driving It All

Respondents also touched on the technology that makes up -- or will make up -- mobile CRM campaigns.

For example, 2013 will be the year mobile messaging -- SMS, MMS, push notifications -- becomes integrated into enterprise CRM strategies, said Julie Novack, SVP of mobile solutions at Vibes.

"Messaging will graduate from a standalone and spray-and-pray channel to one that is smart, targeted and relevant based on the individual consumer's behavior and profile," she told CRM Buyer.

"Up until now, marketers have poured money into testing mobile advertising with mixed results," Novack continued. "In 2013, they will begin to see that building a mobile opt-in database combined with effective targeting and content strategy will drive foot traffic and sales."

There will be a larger investment in analytics and optimization to leverage data to ensure the right message is sent at the right time, Novack also predicted, and digital marketers will link to third-party consumer data to better segment their database.

Focus on Geolocation

Geolocation technology and strategies is how Shivesh Vishwanathan, senior mobility consultant for Persistent Systems, sees mobile CRM flourishing in 2013.

"Location will become a key piece of information for brick-and-mortar retail businesses to engage customers," he told CRM Buyer. "2013 will see merchants in retail segment luring and engaging customers with integrated loyalty apps, check-in features, location-based promotions and ads on mobile devices."

Adoption of Mobile CRM will be driven closely by the adoption of Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP), "which provides the building blocks for enterprise mobility like security, authentication, access, data filtering etc," Vishwanathan also predicted.

"Most companies struggle with the decision between building their own proprietary mobile middleware platform and using an off-the shelf solution," he pointed out. "In 2013, the trend will continue, and companies will need to align their mobile CRM strategy with their entire Enterprise Mobility strategy."

Stay tuned for 2013: The Year of Mobile CRM, Part 2


Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.


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