Despite rapid growth in adoption of social applications by sales, marketing and customer service departments, only 50 percent of Fortune 1000 companies will receive a worthwhile return on investment (ROI) from their social customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives by the end of 2012, according to a recent report by technology research firm Gartner.

For the 50 percent of Fortune 1000 organizations not determining, or even measuring, ROI, ignorance will mean failed projects, said Adam Sarner, research director at Gartner. Among the companies who will not see a worthwhile return, only 20 percent will even have the data to evaluate where their social strategy is falling short. These organizations will be unable to justify future funding.

Gartner said that by the end of 2012, three-quarters of new social CRM initiatives that receive funding would have a business case incorporating measurable ROI.

While many organizations have already established a form of social presence for themselves, there are some others that lack a clear business performance objective for social CRM, being at early stage in their measurement of its business outcomes.

According to Sarner, social data, such as numbers of fan pages and weekly Tweets, is not enough to correlate with the contribution of top business objectives. ROI, measurable business value and budget justification for social projects are becoming unavoidable topics for many organizations.

As per the expectations by Gartner analysts, the worldwide market for social CRM software licenses and subscriptions to total $2.1 billion in 2012, up from 850 million in 2011, and that social CRM revenue will represent 10 percent of the overall CRM market.

Analysts also predict that business-to-business applications for sales use will have the fastest growth and will account for 30 percent of social CRM spending by 2015, up from 5 percent in 2011.

Gartner analysts will discuss the development of social CRM at the Gartner Customer Strategies & Technologies Summit 2012, which is scheduled to be held from June 11 to 12 in London.