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Subscriptions, data-driven business models are CRM trends in 2015

New data-driven models could be a key CRM trend in 2015 as companies try to find new ways to solidify customer relationships.

In part two of this podcast on customer relationship management trends in 2015, Brent Leary, a founding partner at CRM Essentials, outlines three additional themes to watch next year.

According to Leary, companies are now trying to find new revenue streams and business models in their efforts to satisfy customers while also adapting to changing business conditions. Among the final three trends Leary cites are new revenue models, the importance of digestible data and the new analytics-driven business. Check out part one of Leary's discussion on mobility and other trends.

New revenue models through IoT, subscriptions."This may be the biggest trend,” Leary said. "It's getting harder and harder to get the attention of the people we're trying to build relationships with and sustain it long enough to form real customer relationships. What you're seeing with the Internet of Things and subscriptions," he said, is that "companies are trying to leverage information from individuals or from products and services and … quickly turn it into opportunities to interact and extend [customer] relationships, to deepen them." It's an effort to turn data into engagement opportunities, he said.

Digestible data, predictive analytics. Another theme, Leary said, is predictive analytics and the ability to use that data to shape customer behavior. You have to understand your customers, but also know what they want in the future," he noted. "Amazon is saying that they're hoping to ship what you need before you tell them that you want it.

Video marketing. "What's that saying? A picture is worth a thousand words? It's probably worth more today -- we might have to look at the real-time value of that statement," Leary said. Leary predicted that using video as a marketing and engagement tool will be a key trend in 2015.

New analytics-driven business. Finally, Leary noted, new business models are emerging in which companies use fine-grained data to generate revenue. Leary cited Mofibo, an e-book publisher in Scandinavia whose business model is all about understanding which publications customers are more likely to read cover to cover rather than just browse because Mofibo gets paid more when customers read e-books in their entirety rather than just scanning a few pages. We're going to see the rise of companies with analytics at their heart.

Customers are changing quickly. The root of it is that customers' expectations are growing exponentially. All of that is in constant flux. What isn't and will always be the case: Customers want the vendors they select to value them. How do you weave all these new changes in while maintaining the core value of what customers expect?

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Analytics are the backbone to successful marketing in this day and age. With CRM, marketing automation, predictive analytics, and more, marketers are becoming smarter and more in tune with what customers really want. Companies need to become data-driven if they want to compete. Their entire culture needs to embrace data as a foundation and a tool to help build deeper relationships with their clients. Without technology companies can only develop and sustain very minimal relationships, whereas new platforms help close all the loops and fill all the holes, so no one slips through the cracks.