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Not Everyone Deserves a Trophy

by Jenny Sussin  |  April 3, 2013  |  Comments Off on Not Everyone Deserves a Trophy

First, I know I haven’t been blogging as much as I “should.” I’m not the first person to have trouble finding time to blog. I am not the best at balancing my personal and professional life and time. I am not the only person who has ever made the “I’ve been too busy” excuse. I am not one of a kind, nor am I best in class.


Alright, I came clean: social application vendors, it is time that you do the same.

Gartner follows over 150 vendors in the social for CRM space. I alone have 152 files on vendors I have been briefed by, many of them multiple times over the past 2 years…and there are multiple products under each of those vendors, mind you. And the point is: the likelihood that the product I am being demo-ed is the first, the only or the best is very, very minimal.

Jennifer Lawrence's impression of any analyst who hears the words "first," "only" or "best."

And so now, the constructive part of this post.

Vendors: it is okay. You don’t need to be the first, only or best to be different. When you talk to an analyst and when you pitch potential clients, be cool. TELL ME WHAT YOU DO. Don’t give me marketing lingo. Tell me what you do and hopefully you know what you’re doing well and can hone in on it. If you don’t know what you do well, because you couldn’t possibly have an eye on an entire marketplace because that isn’t your day job, guess whose day job it is?

That's right...

End users: I can only imagine how confused you are. I hear it every day from our clients. The irrational short lists. The pure confusion in people’s voices. If you look at any social application vendor’s web page, it’ll look like they all do the same thing. Sure there are some exceptions, but for the most part 80% of vendors are out there saying, “we’re a social media management system! We do it all. Marketing? Yes. Customer service? Sure. Sales? Of course, you can make millions in new revenue through social! Branding! Engagement! Analytics! Buzzzzzzzz” Here is the simplest advice I can give: know what you want and what you need. Shop around. If you’re a client, you can just call us. We’ve sat through a lot of briefings and talked to a lot of customer references (both happy and unhappy) so that we can let you know, what we know.

A message to all: know who you are as a vendor or an end user. Know what makes you unique. Understand that not everything is always going to be perfect and stay humble but emphasize your best features and where you are looking to grow.

Gartner clients, look at our vendor guides and top use cases research to gain a better understanding of what the differences between social use cases and the vendor’s that serve them. If you have some more questions, just set up an inquiry and we can talk through them.

Clients and non-clients: is there anything else that is confusing you that needs further definition? Tell me about it in the Comments section below. ¬†And now, because we all miss this…

Sheen is winning.


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Category: 360  marketing  social-crm  social-media  

Tags: gartner360  360  business  cool  crm  customer  customer360  gartnercrm  marketing  media  scrm  socbiz  social  social-crm  social-media  socialcrm  

Jenny Sussin
Managing VP
7 years with Gartner
8 years IT industry

Jenny Sussin is a Managing Vice President for CX and Sales Research. Read Full Bio

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