A recent study came out of Gartner saying that over half of enterprises waste money on Social CRM initiatives. That’s a crazy high number and quite scary if it’s accurate.
The scary part is that the numbers are most likely accurate.
“But Joey, how can that be!? You’ve been telling us lately how much of a good thing Social CRM and Social Business initiatives are. How can they be a bad investment and so wasteful?”
The truth boils down to an answer I don’t like to give, but applies in many situations: it really depends on your situation and the tools you decide to use. And I think Gartner would agree with me.
A Broken Hammer
In one area, the Gartner report goes on to say that “vendors that can assemble a full set of social CRM functions and make progress in two or more areas, such as marketing and customer service or sales and marketing, will be best-positioned for success.”
Well………..yeah. That’s pretty much the entire idea behind Social CRM and Social Business.
If you build a house with a broken hammer, you’ll end up with a shitty house due to the fault of the hammer, not the entire field of home construction.
Over half of enterprises waste money on Social CRM initiatives because over half of enterprises spend money on Social CRM initiatives that aren’t fully developed and are bought on the cheap. You know how I know? The Gartner study says that over the next few years, Social CRM platforms will have to incorporate multiple departments and ROI reporting analytics into their systems to truly show value to businesses and not rely simply on “number of fan pages and Tweets” – well the good Social CRM strategies already take that into account because to truly build a system, analytics and ROI have to be understood from the start.
It frustrates me when executives prattle off about “Social CRM not being effective” and them “not being able to accurately measure their business objectives with their systems” when they wafted on the decision to jump into Social CRM and Social Business initiatives for months, and finally agreed on the basis that it “can’t be too expensive or invasive.”
If you buy burnt styrofoam on the front end, don’t be surprised when it’s full of holes.
Do Social CRM platforms need to include ROI analytics and measurements? You bet your ass they do, but a lot of companies have already figured that out. A company that tries to simply sell you a social posting platform and calls it a Social CRM is a modern-day snake oil salesman, but you have the responsibility to know what you’re looking for as well.
There are a lot of people out there that know their stuff (Michael Brito, Peter Kim, and Paul Greenberg to name a few), but make sure you do your research before jumping into a platform to alter your business. Be smart about it.
So, do a lot of businesses waste money on Social CRM initiatives? Yes. Is it because Social CRM initiatives are a waste of money? The bad ones are, but how’s that different from any business platform?
I think it’s time we approached this a little bit smarter.
What do you think?
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