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What do Microsoft, Google and Salesforce’s acquisitions tell us about CRM?

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Posted by David Monk over 1 year ago

As far as acquisitions go, last week was a busy seven days. Salesforce, Google and Microsoft all made sizable acquisitions (Tableau, Looker and PowerAI respectively) – all keen to try their hand at what is broadly referred to as business intelligence.

These acquisitions suggest change is afoot. Where once we had human capital and financial capital, we now also have data capital.

Big data is essential if businesses are to remain competitive. Every business recognises the importance of data – when used properly it helps them better understand what their customers need. There was a time when the only time customers’ contact details were used was when invoices needed to be sent out, or marketers were doing a spot of demographic segmentation.

These days, things are different. AI models are being used to make predictions on customers’ behaviour and the media is intent on telling us that businesses have far too much data about us.

Of course, plenty of customers are happy to engage in conversations with their preferred brands. The key is how those organisations achieve the right balance between effective engagement and GDPR compliance.

A good starting point is to reduce the volume of unsolicited emails, text messages and phone calls. But what if every business only had a limited number of chances to contact their customers? They would need every opportunity to add value.

At a time when privacy is front of mind, B2C companies do only have a limited number of marketing opportunities, so each one needs to count. A wasted attempt to convert a customer could mean lost potential revenue.

So how to make every opportunity valuable? Companies need to make sure they stop spamming and start sending marketing content when customers are more inclined to buy.

Big software vendors are loading up – getting in place the tools that address the widest horizontal markets. But there’s also room for specialist vendors that focus on specific verticals.

In recent months, businesses have become more aggressive in their quest for analytics and AI-based software. They want to know if a provider is offering AI-based solutions as well as analytics. And they know they have to tread carefully. Analytics and AI technology are two very different beasts. Analytics is not AI, it tends to be rules-based. To think an analytics solution automatically offered an AI-driven solution would be a grave error. One to avoid.

The fight over cloud computing and big data is starting to intensify and we can expect to see more consolidation as companies mark their territory and wrestle for market share.

At a time when everyone is a data scientist, AI talent is in demand. Cloud computing and big data analytics are still in their early stages of development, but are expected to grow as tech and AI continue to grow.

 

Are you looking for new ways to optimise your IT team? Speak with the team at Hunter Charles today to find out how we can help you better use your data and stay competitive.

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