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Demand for chief customer officers has surged 240 percent from January to June 2003, compared to the same period in 2002, according to Morgan Howard, an executive search firm. Alister Piggott, chairman and CEO of Morgan Howard, says companies are realizing that CRM initiatives should create a window onto how to continually tweak and change a business, and that they should not be "just the compliant department online." Piggott says companies need CCOs to bring "the right use and measurement of CRM." The CRM market may be seeing some growth in the next year, according to a recent Meta Group poll. According to the poll, 75 percent of the organizations queried will spend the same or more on CRM in the next 12 months. The remaining 25 percent is expecting to spend less. Spending patterns will be focused around small investments that show quick results, not large-scale, across-the-board CRM systems, the report indicates.
According to a study of 500 European marketing directors from financial services, insurance, banking, and telecom companies, 66 percent claim that inaccurate or incomplete data has negatively affected their company's profitability, according to a study by BI firm SAS. But firms are serious about getting their dirty data cleaned up. Seventy six percent said data quality was a top-tier issue, and nearly 20 percent said they were already making strides to fix the problems. Technology spending by North American banks will remain flat for 2003, based on a recent survey of banking CIOs by Giga/Forrester. Allocation of IT budget dollars for planned initiatives will concentrate on improving regulatory compliance, better risk management, and curbing needless spending increases. "This does not mean that CRM is by any means a low priority; these top-tier priorities are just very close and easily segmented," says Penny Gillespie, an analyst at Forrester and the author of the survey report. "Financial institutions are all looking for that customer-centric view where they can consolidate transaction data with the ultimate goal of upsell and cross-sell opportunities," she says. "Of course, every company is on a different plane on just how to get there." Mobile access to CRM solutions, not wireless connectivity, will see the most attention from systems integrators, according to a new Yankee Group report. According to Andrew Efstathiou, technology management strategies program manager at Yankee Group, mobile CRM projects are currently more "mobile" than wireless initiatives are. Efstathiou said that companies rarely rely on always-connected wireless communication. More often companies use wireless technology on an occasional basis, for synchronization, real-time alerting, and messaging.
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