European customer relationship management (CRM) budgets remain strong, despite economic uncertainty, according to a survey from Gartner. About half of those polled intend to increase CRM spending this year at an average increase of 2.5% over last year's budgets.
While plenty of them don't yet know which way they're going to go with their budgets, and more intend to keep them the same, as you can see from the graph below, very few plan to decrease. Less than any of the previous three years, in fact.
Gartner research director Jim Davies said, "The survey findings highlight the continuing trend for organizations to commit to improving the management of their customer relationships. We are observing an increasing number of large, transformational projects being undertaken as organizations look to embrace social and mobile interactions for sales, marketing and customer support."
"Organizational commitment to the customer experience continues to rise, as business leaders appreciate the benefits of providing differentiated and consistent cross-channel experiences," he added. "A new objective added to the list of options this year was "increase customer engagement," which jumped into the No. 2 position and further demonstrates the growing desire of European organizations to get closer to their customers and have a more mutually beneficial relationship."
The firm projects that the CRM market in Western Europe will grow at over 9%, hitting $5.5 billion by the end of the year.
The poll was conducted in Q4, and included organizations from 20 industries and 30 countries. According to the firm, both B2B and B2C companies were represented, and were evenly split between those with a business and those with an IT focus. There were 102 respondents in all.
Image via Gartner