Social CRM to soar, says Gartner

Over 80% of growth in enterprise use of social networking tools will be driven by customer engagement projects, analyst forecasts

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Enterprise adoption of social media will occur primarily in the context of customer relationship management (CRM), according to Gartner. The analyst has predicted that 80% of all market growth in 2010 will come in this field, as organisations struggle to find a clear business case for leveraging social media as a tool for internal communication and collaboration.

Gartner says that it is those which use the technology as a platform for improving customer relationships and interaction that are most likely to see the greatest return on investment.

For most organisations, the single most logical way to differentiate the business is through great customer experiences, rather than having the lowest cost or most innovative products and services,” explained Ed Thompson, vice president and analyst at Gartner. “However, gaining a clear understanding on which specific customer-centric initiatives will prove decisive and merit investment will require coordination across departments.”

Subsequently, social application vendors will increasingly tailor their products in accordance with the market shift towards CRM use, Gartner suggests.

Earlier in February, the research group claimed that business-led social media initiatives had a greater chance of succeeding than those spearheaded by IT departments.