Gartner Puts Social and Analytics at the Center of CRM Trends


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gartnersummit Gartner Puts Social and Analytics at the Center of CRM TrendsI spent the last three days at the Gartner Customer 360 conference down in Los Angeles – an excellent event to really get entrenched in the trends around CEM (customer experience management) and CRM (customer relationship management) software and business trends and all of the “related” software trends (SCRM – social CRM, business intelligence, customer analytics, voice of the customer, feedback management).

Social Media Was the Star: The “star” of the show this year was super-clear. Pretty-much every talk and all of the buzz was either about social or mentioned social examples. How has social impacted the consumer? Why should companies care? How does social play into CRM? The event started off with a great keynote by Gene Alvarez, one of my favorite speakers in the Gartner crew, Gene spent most of his talk discussing the huge impact that social media has had on the consumer, the world. Statistics on social adoption, the advances in uses of social media – eCommerce directly in Facebook, customer support being taken care of by communities, the millions of people in the Girl Scout Cookie community! And great/fun examples were used to illustrate this:

Genealvarez1 Gartner Puts Social and Analytics at the Center of CRM Trends

Of course, the room was all abuzz about the Radian6/ announcement. radian6acq.png Gartner Puts Social and Analytics at the Center of CRM TrendsWithin the software industry, it represents validation that social is an important part of CRM and a requirement by companies. Our customers have been validating that with us for years now – so we were excited to see some movement in our industry and of course, in addition to the Gartner event – Twitter was abuzz about the news…..

Some of the great insights that were discussed around SCRM at the Gartner 360 event are below. Carol Rozwell and Bill Gasssman reviewed the Reasons to Analyze Social Networks – I thought this was a good list. I think I also liked it because they are all use cases that our customers have used our software for!

  • reduce support costs
  • better engage with customers
  • find influencers outside the customer base
  • detect opportunities & threats
  • replicate behaviors of high performers
  • ID fraud
  • discover new ideas
  • for SEO
  • to learn your customer’s lingo
  • brand protection
  • ID bottlenecks and underused expertise
  • ID & mitigate issues with new product launches
  • to manage change!

They went on to discuss the 5 levels of engagement – Monitor, Discover, Share, Participate, Co-Create. And how companies need to really think about social as an integrated part of a CRM strategy and that companies should think about the People, Process & Technology implications of it. A little “mom and apple pie” of technology adoption, but completely relevant to what is happening as it relates to what needs to get done around adoption. Check out our LARA methodology (Listen, Analyze, Relate, Act) for our take on it.

Many of the talks also discussed various aspects of social: Social Marketing Plan Impact: Changing plans to accommodate strong influencers online, using social to understand new product introduction issues (not waiting for the survey), driving social discussions into marketing automation applications and around Social Customer Service: Community providing customer service (what I’ve called Social Solving,) company response processes, building social into customer service processes, response expectations of the end consumer, etc. And the event was chock full of examples of these types of activities too. If you want to see them you can get the play-backs off the Gartner site. Here are my two fav tweets/and single favorite point on social customer service:

CustServiceGartnerTweets Gartner Puts Social and Analytics at the Center of CRM Trends

The next topic that was also very popular at the show was Context/Domain Based Analytics (instead of large-scale generic platform analytics, this is analytics about a specific topic like voice of the customer, or about an industry like Telecom or Pharma or on social media – again social was a big part of this discussion too.) The analytics discussions also emphasized the Convergence of Analytics and Engagement (using analytics to drive where and how to engage.) The Gartner stats said that developing a CRM strategy and customer- specific data, information and analytics strategy were the two biggest challenges cited by CIOs this year.

We see a lot of interest in our multi-channel voice of the customer offering both as a part of a larger BI strategy – but also as a separate strategy where the marketing and customer loyalty teams are looking to really understand customer sentiment, issues, opportunities and more and they find they aren’t able to get those insights from CRM alone, but need to also look at survey data, email, repair information and social discussions. We’ve seen most of our text analytics sales include social media analysis and of course, a good portion of our business last year was in social media monitoring that included deep analytics of social media (part A of our secret sauce) and then intelligent routing and response to social media – (part B of our secret sauce.) Related to the social media analytics portion of it all – this was my favorite quote from the Gartner event on the topic:

textminingiscritical Gartner Puts Social and Analytics at the Center of CRM Trends

Gareth Herschel, a Gartner analyst and business intelligence expert (I’ve known Gareth since my Blue Martini years, so that makes it over 11 years – we are both getting old!) discussed Context/Domain Based Analytics he also laid out a really nice framework that discussed the 3 vectors in which organizations could leverage context based analytics: Operational Efficiency – understanding operational flaws and opportunities and using the data to make rapid improvements, Customer Intimacy – understanding customer sentiment, issues, requests and behaviors and Product Leadership – understanding product ideas, issues and questions. Burke Powers, one of our primary users at JetBlue emphasized Gareth’s points (and gave a great presentation!) One of Burke’s most powerful points was about how listening, analyzing, understanding and acting on customer issues helps JetBlue actually move detractors to promoters. And as a company they understand the lifetime value of a promoter – so doing this is critical. It was great to see Burke up there.

OK- enough from me now. If you want to track the happenings of all three days – you can catch a lot of the gist of it all on Twitter – just search on #gartnercrm and you can see a really great summary of the event. Gartner said they will also post recordings of all of the sessions – so have a look at Gartner’s site too.

Did you attend the conference? What did you learn?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michelle deHaaff
Michelle leads marketing at Medallia, the leader in SaaS Customer Experience Management and has over 18 years of experience in marketing, branding, product management and strategic partnering in Silicon Valley. Michelle came to Medallia from Attensity where as Vice President of Marketing and Products she led the transformation of the brand and the products to be the leader in Social Analytics and Engagement. Michelle also led Marketing at AdSpace Networks, was a GM of Products at Blue Martini Software and worked at Ernst & Young as a CRM practice manager.


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