Paul Hanrahan
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As technology continues to progress and innovate, we take a look at recent developments in Customer Relationship Management – or CRM – technology.

Even if you’re not in the market for a new system, keeping up with the development curve is worth it so you can work with your current supplier to make the most of your investment.

At their heart, CRM platforms store information about your audience and supporters, from demographics to contact history. But beyond this, rapid advances in technology mean that they can be so much more than just databases.

CRMs for arts and culture

Whether you’re looking to understand more about your ticket sales, connect up different methods of communication or simply store everything in one place, a CRM is the way to go.

Solutions tailored to the cultural sector are on the rise. Platforms offer ticket sales, but build in extra features to enable a more complete customer journey. This level of functionality means you can send a series of tailored and relevant messages from the first welcome, through to pre- and post-show emails.

What other recent evolutions in CRM technology are theatres and galleries latching on to? We looked at Arts Management and Technology Laboratory’s recent paper on the future of CRMs, here’s what we learned.

New developments – 3 useful areas

Can your CRM do this?

  • Culture organisations spend a lot of energy on making an impression and reaching new audiences online. CRM platforms are now able to integrate with Google Analytics or Facebook’s Ad Exchange to measure how your supporters react to content.
  • A lot of CRM solutions are now cloud based, meaning that you can access them anywhere. It also means updates and maintenance are thankfully taken out of your hands. Cloud-based systems bring down initial costs and spread them over the course of your history with the software.
  • Finally, it may seem sci-fi, but CRM technology is branching into artificial intelligence. Salesforce already offers ‘Einstein’, which learns to predict when an enquirer is going to make a purchase, or when they might be considering a competitor. It’s exciting to see how other developers will implement this kind of predictive technology in the coming months and years.

If you’re looking at the basics, don’t miss our summary of cultural business systems and make sure you’re nailing the fundamentals.

Main image credit: Database by Nick Youngson (CC BY-SA 3.0)