• August 2, 2010
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Social CRM Gains Social Acceptance

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A lot of changes are taking place in the CRM industry. And many organizations—potential CRM buyers—have cash and are facing the decision of how best to allocate those stockpiled resources. That confluence of events helped shape the results of this year’s CRM Market Awards, the ninth annual edition put together by the editors of CRM magazine. 

One of the year’s most significant trends has been social CRM—no surprise to readers of CRM, of course, but what’s interesting is that this trend’s not just hype. Organizations are actually buying these tools. In fact, Gartner says the growth rate for spending on social CRM applications—though still a small share of the total CRM application market—will outpace that of traditional CRM spending. No doubt that’s why the firm for the first time applied its famous Magic Quadrant methodology to the social CRM marketplace. (You can find our coverage of this story in the online article “Jive and Lithium Top Gartner’s First-Ever Magic Quadrant for Social CRM” [http://sn.im/dcrm070910b].)

Gartner requires that any firm in the Leaders Quadrant “demonstrate support for multiple CRM processes, not just one domain.” If more vendors move in this direction—and they likely will—Gartner suggests we’ll begin seeing social CRM suites of applications by the end of 2011. 

Before this happens, though, we’ll likely see some more consolidation among pure-play vendors specializing in social CRM, social media, and traditional CRM. (Two early deals were RightNow Technologies’ acquisition of community-platform provider HiveLive in September 2009 and Salesforce.com’s April 2010 deal for crowdsourced-data company Jigsaw.) To be successful, social and traditional CRM vendors each need to understand the value that the other brings. In the aforementioned article, Gartner Research Director Adam Sarner says, “Traditional CRM needs to figure out the care-and-feeding with customers—less of, ‘What’s in it for us as a business,’ but ‘What’s in it for them?’ And, in general, the vendors specifically dealing with social need to understand what that means for business.”

What it means for our business is that social CRM vendors and tools have already had an impact on the outcome of our CRM Market Awards. For instance, social CRM is breathing new life into the relatively dormant sales force automation category. Social CRM thought leaders and companies are well represented in this year’s Influential Leaders and Rising Stars  awards as well. 

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2010 CRM Market Awards. Their efforts to innovate in a way that improves experiences and relationships will serve them and their customers well. 


Allow me to introduce our two newest editorial assistants—Koa Beck (kbeck@destinationCRM.com) and Juan Martinez (jmartinez@destinationCRM.com). Koa recently worked at The Huffington Post and New York Moves magazine, and will cover customer service and contact centers for us. Juan was at Publishers Weekly prior to joining CRM, where he’ll write about marketing, business intelligence, and analytics. I’m happy to have these multiple-award–winning writers on our team and I look forward to working with them.


David Myron is editorial director of CRM magazine. He can be reached at dmyron@destinationCRM.com.


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