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As social networks become even more important for reaching customers, by the end of 2010 Facebook will be the No. 1 social networking site in all but 25 countries and will attain a total membership of 600 million (including inactive accounts and a small number of users with multiple accounts), according to Gartner.

However, Facebook will not be the No. 1 social network in Brazil, Russia, India, China, or Japan. 

Meanwhile, customer relationship management (CRM) will remain high on the business agenda in 2010 as the single most logical way to differentiate the business, according to Gartner.

Below, other Gartner predictions for CRM in 2010 and beyond.

Social Media

  • Marketers and customer service management will need to switch focus from the large number of social networks to the three or four that will dominate specific languages.
  • By the end of 2010, more than 80% of market growth in social applications will center around a business case for improving external customer relationships, rather than improving internal collaboration.
  • Among social projects evaluated by Gartner, those with a clear and direct mutual purpose (benefits for both company and customer) are the most like to show measurable results. Social application vendors that make a business case for social media, including with hard metrics and specific outcomes, will see double- or triple-digit growth in 2010.

Digital Marketing

  • By the end of 2011, more than 90% of Fortune 1000 marketing campaigns will include online marketing, up from 50% in 2009.
  • As a result of precise attribution metrics for campaigns, marketers will gain a 10-20% savings in marketing communications.
  • Online marketing will enable faster testing and campaign refinement, and help avoid the continued waste of funding a failed campaign, while engaging in more-thorough campaign testing prior to launch.

General Marketing

  • Through 2010, marketing budgets will remain flat in more than 90% of companies, despite a return to growth.
  • Marketing organizations will need to automate operational processes and learn how to leverage technology to measure areas previously left unmeasured, enabling them to do more for less and articulate business value.
  • Marketing resource management (MRM) will become a top priority for marketing organizations, and enterprise marketing management (EMM) will take on new meaning as a vehicle for strategic planning, collaboration and measurement.

About the data: Findings are from two Gartner reports, including Predicts 2010: CRM Marketing Is Building Demand on a Limited Budget and Predicts 2010: Customer Service Meets Social CRM.

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