I like this competition for a number of reasons. First it is a labor of love. Paul gives many many hours to this event. It's his way of saying 'Thank You' to an industry that has recognized his outstanding contributions over the years. It also provides some of us lesser mortals with the chance to do our bit. It attracts some of the finest minds in the CRM space. People I count as valuable colleagues like Estaban Kolsky who I consulted with early on in the build up to launching diginomica and who provided e with valuable counsel on what not to do.
This is what Paul has to say on his ZDNet blog post:
There is no question about the market for customer facing applications being substantial. Taking into account traditional and social CRM, and calling it all CRM here, we are speaking of an estimated $18 billion market in 2012 — up 12.5 percent from the year before, according to Gartner Group's Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2012 report published in April 2013. That's a lot of bucks.
CRM Idol provides a superb showcase for those looking to gain attention. Over the course of the competition, participants gain valuable mentorship from some of the best brains in the business. this helps them hone their pitches and, in some cases, modify their softwares to better serve their chosen market segments.
If you think it ends there then think again. From the announcement:
In the 2 completed years, eight of the participants have been acquired, several others gone on to a great deal of success and many others far more visible than they had ever been before they began. Many have ongoing relationships to the CRM community that wouldn't have been possible without their participation.
For buyers, CRM Idol provides a unique resource into which they can tap to gain insights into what the innovators are really up to. There are also tips on hot topics like the much talked about social dimension. Past winners provide their advice on what it takes to reach the top.
I have been a judge and mentor for this competition the last two years and am delighted to be doing so again this year. But there is more.
Diginomica has agreed to provide two winners with a year's RSS feed placement in our partner channels. The feed provides participants with the opportunity to show off their story telling skills. We believe that story telling is the best way to explain a position, demonstrate an understanding of customer needs and connect to conversations of interest to both the buying and user communities. Done well, it can be an extraordinary force multiplier. We also want to actively encourage the best of the best and so we're also including some specific storytelling mentorship sessions.
We know what it's like to be a small startup business and this is our way of giving back.
I'm sure this year will be a great competition. Come join the fun.
Image credit: © [alphaspirit] / Fotolia