As the holidays approached, I found myself thinking back on all the neat CRM toys we received this year. Technology vendors made great strides this year in developing solutions to accelerate, create and monitor CRM applications. The trend has been toward decreasing the development and deployment time of CRM solutions, allowing marketers to quickly reap the benefits of advancing technologies. Most of these new “gifts” are still evolving, which should make the next 12 months very exciting for proponents of CRM. Let’s take a look at the changes of the past year and where the industry will go in 2000.

Churn analysis, cross-selling, up-selling, lifetime customer value, promotion analysis and campaign management are among the many terms that came into vogue this year. New applications have brought targeted, one-to-one marketing to the mass market. On the decision support side, we’ve seen the development of off-the-shelf – or “canned” – data models, prepackaged reports, predefined statistical models and standard methodologies and workflow patterns.

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