According to Aberdeen Group, by 2003 CRM spending will exceed $24 billion. Most of this money will be spent on hardware and software, which are major focuses of both CRM and database marketing. Much of this money will be wasted, however, because not enough attention is paid to the most critical ingredient in a CRM program: the data.

Major corporate initiatives develop from events as minimal as an executive hearing a single comment in one focus group or as massive as a data mining exercise on a terabyte-size CRM database. Ultimately, the soundness of these initiatives depends on the quality of the data.

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