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February 28, 2013

European CRM budgets to stay strong in 2013

Research reveals that almost half of European businesses plan to increase their budgets for CRM initiatives in 2013.

By Tineka Smith

A recent survey by Gartner found that only 5% of companies in Europe plan to decrease their CRM this year, down from 9% in 2012.

The survey revealed that 48% of businesses plan to increase their CRM budgets as companies increasingly focus on their customer relationships in the shaky economic environment.

"The upward trend we are witnessing confirms organizations’ commitment to improving the management of their customer relationships, despite the volatile economic environment across Europe," said Jim Davies, research director at Gartner.

Gartner estimates that CRM software revenue in Europe will reach $3bn in 2013, an increase of 7% from last year.

"In 2013, investments in CRM will continue to focus on technologies that help drive loyalty, satisfaction and revenue growth. As a result, investment in technologies that drive sales and marketing performance, such as lead management software and digital marketing, will be complemented by technologies that can help deliver, and understand, a consistent cross-channel customer experience," said Davies.

The report revealed that customer data and information was a factor for businesses continuing to invest in CRM. Gartner says that a comprehensive understanding of customers has increased in importance while becoming the biggest challenge.

The research firm also reveals that having a "single view of the customer" was ranked one of the top CRM objectives in 2013.

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"Obtaining this single view is, however, complex and requires a master data management strategy that encompasses an increasingly diverse set of data formats and sources, including feedback from customers themselves," added Davies.


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