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Social CRM - the new rules

There are changes underway across the worlds of social media marketing, social media applied inside business (what some people would call enterprise 2.0) and  where these tools connect (or not) to the business processes in (Cloud based) CRM and ERP systems.   Products like Salesforce are adding Chatter, and Twitter connectivity.  Enterprise 2.0 tools that started as wikis or forums are adding micro-blogging along with more and more social functionality.  Content Management Systems are adding or acquiring a social dimension.  Marketing departments are struggling with, or looking for tools to help with, brand  reputation monitoring and management.  One significant segment of this change just got much clearer with Altimeter Group's R “Ray” Wang and Jeremiah Owyang producing Social CRM: The New Rules of Relationship Management.

R told the Enterprise Irregulars earlier this morning that this report is the culmination of 6 months of research, collaboration, hours of white boarding, phone calls, and skype calls in the early morning and on weekends working with an ecosystem of 42 partners.  The document identifies 18 use cases for Social CRM, capturing the best practices of 100 customers.   They are providing this as open research free to all to use, and plan to build on it over time.  Supporting the report, there will be a series of 4  webinars, the first of which they plan for March 18th at 10:00 PT.  Check out their blog for details.

The executive summary says:
"Social CRM does not replace existing CRM efforts – instead it adds more value. In fact, Social CRM augments social networking to serve as a new channel within existing end-to-end CRM processes and investments. Social CRM enhances the relationship aspect of CRM and builds on improving the relationships with more meaningful interactions."
The report highlights that old style CRM is organized around the organization not the customer.  With social media, the customers have moved on and started talking amongst themselves.  Cluetrain tells us that "all markets are conversations", and so Social CRM is all about reconnecting organizations back to customers.  The report suggests you should avoid the hype and that:
"Social CRM programs must deliver real value, not buzz."
This diagram highlights the entry points to business value:


Then each of the 18 use cases are explained,  assessed in terms of market demand and technical maturity, and then vendors to watch are highlighted.   I recommend you download and read it:

The report concludes with a straightforward six step plan, including suggesting you act now, breathe social, encourage the right mindset  and find other pioneers to talk to.  It lays out a good roadmap and checklist of how to apply these social tools, backed up by real world evidence.