Social listening: a $17.92 billion market by 2019?

20th Mar 2015

The social listening/ monitoring tech market is set to explode in the coming four years, according to research from Markets and Markets.

Currently worth $2.2bn (2014), global spending on combined social monitoring, social listening, social mapping and social management tools is predicted to rise to $17.92 billion by 2019.

The research references the increasing focus on customer engagement among top brands, emerging SMEs, social platforms and the recognition of sharing ideas on a real time basis as the core reasons for the expected surge.

It also cites a recent rush to implement more advanced social listening tools in sectors such as financial services, insurance, telecoms and retail as reason for a likely increase in technology use in other sectors.

Social listening tools are fast becoming a necessity for marketing and customer service leaders, especially within contact centre environments, where the philosophy around how to deal with customer queries and support is shifting dramatically.  

Major brands including Gatorade, Salesforce and Mastercard have recently invested in social command centres to change their customer support and marketing from a reactive to proactive environment, with social media monitoring placed at the heart of fostering new insights about customers.

Customer service expert and managing director of Brainfood Consulting, Martin Hill-Wilson recently spoke about the need for more brands to follow suit, and cited increasing consumer expectations around customer experience as the main reason for building more integral social listening platforms.

“Our customers really are rapidly changing in terms of what they think is important, and how they expect us to respond,” he stated, during a talk to CCMA members in November.

“So the question is now regularly being asked: as an organisation, what are we going to do to restructure ourselves to serve that level of expectation?”

“We’ve got to completely rethink how we involve both customers and the frontline…we built businesses 150 years ago based on specialisation, which we now call silos. The reality is, systemically speaking, there’s a ton of issues with that.

“So this is a big change that has to come from the very top of an organisation. The culture. This whole thing - it starts with monitoring and data analysis...but the exciting thing about this is we’re mostly talking about organising existing competencies. It is a transformational plan, but at the core what we want to do is arrange things in a more effective model.”    

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