The worldwide social customer relationship management (CRM) market is forecast to reach over $1 billion in revenue by year-end 2012, up from approximately $625 million in 2010, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide social CRM is projected to total $820 million in 2011.
Next to this monetary growth in Social CRM, there are challenges for the supply side of the industry.
Most vendors remain relatively small and unprofitable, although many grew 50 to 100 per cent in 2010. In order to thrive in the future, analysts said that social CRM vendors will need to provide clear benefits for companies and communities, demonstrating multiple use cases for sales, marketing and customer service processes.
Right now the the starting point is often one of these four:
– Hosting and supporting a branded or private-label community, and providing the surrounding functions
– Monitoring, listening to, surveying and responding to private-label or independent social networks
– Facilitating the sharing of B2B or business to consumer (B2C) contacts through communities
– Establishing community product reviews largely to facilitate online sales
Adam Sarner, research director at Gartner said:
“Until recently, many companies have treated social CRM as a series of experiments and tactical purchases. Few have a social CRM strategy or established metrics to measure its effect on hard business results. Different departments, employees and managers implement different types of applications for different purposes. This lack of consistency among buyers keeps the market fragmented into at least three segments — sales, marketing and customer service — with many small vendors taking various approaches to address one area, approach or use case. The majority of vendors that survive and thrive in the mid-term will offer tools that can address multiple use cases in more than one department.”