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May 3, 2012

Fortune 1000 companies may miss the mark on Social CRM

Research says only 50% of Fortune 1000 companies will see a worthwhile ROI from Social CRM initiatives in 2012.

By Tineka Smith

social crm
Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

SCRM is a strategy that can actively engage customers and optimise their experience. It looks past managing customers, money and transaction and concentrates on customer engagement and building personal relationships.

SCRM is also important to sales organisations for lead generation along with cross selling and up selling capabilities.

Businesses can leverage social data gathered to improve their products, services and ultimately revenue. Yet, Gartner research suggests that many companies will fail with Social CRM projects.

"For the 50 percent of Fortune 1000 organizations not determining, or even measuring, ROI, ignorance will mean failed projects," said Adam Sarner, research director at Gartner."Among the companies who will not see a worthwhile return, only 20 percent will even have the data to evaluate where their social strategy is falling short. These organizations will be unable to justify future funding."

Many companies have realised the importance of social media and have established some type of social presence. However, Gartner research says that companies are not setting clear business performance objectives for SCRM.

"Social data, such as numbers of fan pages and weekly Tweets, is not enough to correlate with the contribution of top business objectives," said Sarner. "ROI, measurable business value and budget justification for social projects are becoming unavoidable topics for many organizations."

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Gartner predicts that on a global scale the SCRM market will total to $2.1bn in 2012 up from $850mn in 2011. Revenue from SCRM is expected to represent 10% of the CRM market.

Yet, over the next two years the overall success of SCRM will rely on the ability of companies and SCRM vendors can turn SCRM projects into measurable business objectives instead of just social objectives.

SCRM vendors will need to give more than offering analytics and basis of functions to stay ahead in the market. As the ROI question increasingly pops up amongst businesses implementing social media, SCRM vendors will be driven to show quantified business cases.

Vendors will need to set themselves apart by offering Social CRM services that are not yet widely available.

"Vendors that can assemble a full set of social CRM functions and make progress in two or more areas, such as marketing and customer service or sales and marketing, will be best-positioned for success," said Sarner.

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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