What Are the Biggest Social CRM (SCRM) Use Cases and Market Opportunities?

Altimeter Group has recently released a white paper in which analysts Jeremiah Owyang and Ray Wang have identified 18 use cases for Social CRM, based on conversations with almost 100 users, influencers and vendors.

Roughly, most of these uses cases can be classified across five business areas (Marketing, Sales, Support, Innovation, Collaboration) and four dynamics (Insights, Response, Proactive, and Crowd-Sourcing). I like this simple action-oriented classification better that coming up with names for each use case combination.

Social CRM Use Cases

Owyang and Wang have further classified these 18 use cases based on market demand and technology maturity. Market demand reflects the urgency by organizations to deploy a use case while technology maturity reflects the market readiness and maturity of the available solutions.

In this matrix, Evangelizables present the most immediate market opportunity, for both product and consulting company, while Early Movers presents the most important marketing opportunity for product companies.

– Evangelizables (high market demand and high technology maturity): Dominated by insights, response and proactive uses cases for sales, marketing and support.
– Near Tipping Points (low market demand and high technology maturity): Dominated by crowd-sourcing use cases in collaboration and innovation.
– Early Movers (high market demand and low technology maturity): Dominated by response uses cases in sales and marketing.
– Early Adoptions (low market demand and low technology maturity): Dominated by insights use cases in collaboration and innovation.

Finally, Owyang and Wang define the 5M’s, foundational processes that cut across all these uses cases:

– Monitoring: to track social media conversations.
– Mapping: to link up social graphs, including profiles and relationships.
– Management: to tie back systems to business processes and priorities.
– Middleware: to define workflows across social and enterprise platforms.
– Measurement: to analyze metrics related to business objectives.

Here’s the Altimeter report on Social CRM:

At 2020 Social, we spend a lot of time thinking about how the Social CRM toolkit is coming together and how it can help organizations design a talk-worthy experience ecosystem.

On one hand, we are trying to put together a toolkit for marketers who want to use social CRM, but we aren’t quite there yet, as the tools don’t quite connect with each other as seamlessly as they claim to.

On the other hand, we are speaking with the product teams of some Indian CRM solutions providers, to help them extend their CRM solutions by incorporating social and community elements in them.

The trick is that social is public, many-to-many and emergent, while traditional CRM is private, one-to-one and rule-based. Social CRM lies at the intersection of social and CRM worlds and I’m not quite sure if we have figured out how to use the best from both the worlds into Social CRM.

By the way, here’s a 70+ slide deck we use for workshops on Social CRM: Decoding the Social in Social CRM. Do share your feedback.

Here are some other useful perspectives on the Altimeter Social CRM report:

John Lovett, Prem Kumar Aparanji and Brian Solis praise the report for its pragmatic and thorough approach.

Clo Willaerts and Jacob Morgan point out that few, if any vendors, provide a solution that works across the 5Ms highlighted in the report.

Stefano Maggi, like myself, tries to reclassify the use cases in a way that is more action oriented, by linking them to the five objectives in “Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technology“, by Charlene Li (@charleneli, at Altimeter Group) and Josh Bernoff (@jbernoff, at Forrester Research): Listening, Talking, Energizing, Embracing and Supporting.

Cross-posted at 2020 Social: Because Business is Social.

As CEO of 2020 Social, I build and nurture online communities for Indian and international clients, connect their customers, partners and employees, and help them achieve their business objectives. Ask us how we can help you.

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