2012 will be a turning point in helping to clearly define Social CRM, during which time we will see three technology enhancements:
- Leading CRM vendors (e.g., Salesforce.com, Oracle, Pivotal) will offer new technology that more tightly integrates social media community insights from both public (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and private company communities with customer profile functionality held within their CRM application.
- Leading Social Media platform vendors (e.g., Mzinga, Jive, Lithium) will provide CRM vendors with enhanced integration points into their platforms. This will allow the CRM vendors to more easily harvest social insights from private communities directly into customer profiles held within the CRM system.
- One or more third-party vendors offer ‘filtering” tools that helps organizations make sense of all the free-form data that currently is found on social media communities and that needs to find its way into CRM customer profiles so that this data can be made actionable in sales, marketing and/or customer service efforts.
In 2012, in addition to these enhanced technologies, we will see:
- Many more, pragmatic Social CRM examples that help drive home the value-add of Social CRM in its ability to introduce social medial insights into CRM customer profile information.
- Additional case study write-ups of organizations that have opted to “try out” social media first within their organizations by using tools like Chatter from Salesforce.com prior to opening up their communities to external audiences.
- Clarity regarding what is Social CRM and where it is heading that respond to skepticism noted in several recent research papers (e.g., Gartner’s November 11, 2011 research paper titled “Predicts 2012: Social CRM Remains an Immature Area”).
As noted, 2012 will bring increased clarity and visibility into the world of Social CRM.