Digital marketers ‘to invest in CRM’

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Plans are afoot for further investment in consumer relationship management (CRM) processes over the course of 2014, according to a new report from Econsultancy in association with Responsys.

The Marketing Budget 2014 study found 49 per cent of firms to be planning a CRM investment in the next 12 months, making it the most popular area for spending, with business analytics (47 per cent) and new email platforms (40 per cent) following closely behind.

Digital marketers are increasingly needing to invest heavily in new technology simply to keep up with their counterparts as the pace of advances in the sector continues to grow, the survey suggested.

Furthermore, economic trends do not appear to be affecting this willingness to spend – around 70 per cent of respondents are planning to up their investment this year, the same amount as intended to do so when first asked in 2011, despite the fact that the overall business outlook is considerably rosier in 2014.

More than 600 companies, mainly from the UK, participated in this research. The number of firms planning to spend in the CRM field was up by four per cent since 2013, indicating that the technology is gaining further traction when it comes to forming relationships with customers.

Marketing automation also proved popular with businesses, suggesting that there is an ongoing trend among digital marketers to move towards more efficient, technology-driven processes – this can save cash, which is still important in straitened economic times, and also ensure that workers can spend their time on more productive or engaging tasks.

Only two per cent of respondents said they planned to decrease their technological spend in 2014, meaning this expansion looks unlikely to have hit its peak.

Simon Robinson, managing director with Responsys, said: “Overall, the report paints the marketing landscape in an interesting light. Technology will continue to challenge brands to interact with consumers in new and interesting ways.”

The biggest challenge will be capitalising on the opportunities provided by this innovation, he concluded.