We’ve published the updated “Concise Social CRM Vendor Guide, 2012,” and if you are a client you can find it here: http://www.gartner.com/resId=1867115 . If you are not a client, here is the scoop: we are tracking over 100 vendors in the space. The loudest hype around social CRM is over, and now organizations are rolling up their sleeves. Those who wanted to ‘listen’ to Tweets and posts and forum answers have done it. Those organizations left the hype of social media monitoring behind two years ago.
Where have we gotten and where are we going? From a market perspective the wave has crested. The vast majority of vendors are niche players: they don’t own an operating system, or a database, nor are they a development platform or infrastructure platform. They are not the system of record for a large enterprise. Bottom line: that likely makes them outsourced R&D for larger software companies that possess those elements, and not the most compelling stories for large growth companies with a 15 year lifespan.
Where are clients from an enterprise perspective on ‘social?’ Well, in our CEO Survey, #7 of the top ten priorities is, “Becoming more open and collaborative with customers,” and that can be seen as a vote in favor of ‘social.’ Boards of Directors do not mention “Social” or collaboration in their top 10 priorities. But when we drill down into Customer Service and Support, and into Marketing, Social and Social CRM are very much a part of the dialogue. The vocabulary has changed in the past 24 months from high level and conceptual to more granular and wrapped around top-line revenue growth and lower costs. Another way to say this is that “The Business of Social” initiative that folks on our team like Carol Rozwell and Sue Landry are overseeing is right on the money – it’s about data, facts, and measurable outcomes.
We are going to be fleshing out our ideas in presentations, Case Studies and Workshops at our Gartner Customer 360 Summit, 14 – 16 March in Orlando, FL. (http://bit.ly/rw6WON ). I’ll be running guiding two of the conference tracks in our program on “Differentiating the Customer Experience.”
Track A: Customer Service and Support
Track B: Customer Experience Management
You’ll have 18 chances to learn how to make the customer experience world class. But just as important, and fun? You’ll have a chance to network with your peers and share experiences on how to go from good, or great, to even better. If the past 12 years are any indication, I know I’ll see a lot of you there.
Keep your stories coming – they are always wonderful to hear.