Social CRM spend set to surge

Business-to-business spending on social CRM is growing fast

The worldwide social customer relationship management (CRM) market is forecast to reach over $US1 billion in revenue by year-end 2012, up from $US625 million in 2010.

According to Gartner analysts, spending on social software for marketing, customer service and sales increased by 40 per cent in 2010, but social CRM remained less than 5 per cent of the total CRM application market.

“Spending on business-to-business CRM use is growing fast and will account for 30 per cent of total CRM spending by 2015,” said Gartner research director, Adam Sarner.

“The market will continue its rapid consolidation throughout 2011.

“Until recently, many companies have treated social CRM as a series of experiments and tactical purchases. Few have a social CRM policy or established metrics to measure its effect on hard business results. Different departments, employees and managers implement different types of applications for different purposes.”

Gartner said research and development in social CRM will centre on five main areas: Deeper integration with traditional CRM processes; tools to measure ROI; deeper integration with social network services — especially Facebook and Twitter; increased use of analytics; and new use cases for CRM.

“The need for integration will favour more traditional CRM vendors that add social capabilities,” Sarner said.

“Integration did not matter much when enterprises were just experimenting with social CRM.

"However, now they are asking for integration of social data with other customer data within sales, marketing and customer service processes, which will require the integration of social CRM with applications such as a knowledge base for customer service, multichannel campaign management, sales force automation or e-commerce, Web content and Web analytic applications, master data management, and even back-office applications.”

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