Looming Talent Crunch in Social CRM

Talk to senior or middle level executives in Marketing or IT about Social Media or Enterprise 2.0 and you will see their face light up immediately with excitement from perceived opportunity and with fear from perceived threat – all at once. Most executives will tell you that they want to leverage Social Media and Enterprise 2.0 tools and technology for engaging their customers and employees but don’t know what to do or how to go about it. There is real shortage of “talented” people who understand both – Social Media/Enterprise 2.0 AND existing marketing and IT systems/processes like CRM and ERP.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that there is a shortage of Social Media consultants or self proclaimed “experts”. They are dime a dozen (or should I say tweet a dozen). What I am saying is that we have a shortage of people who really understand the power and potential of Social Media/Enterprise 2.0 tools AND can relate these tools to existing marketing/IT processes. … Read more

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Loyalty Programs are Passé, what about Customer Advocacy Programs?

Customer Loyalty programs have been around for more than a century and marketing managers have used them very effectively for rewarding loyal customer behavior, especially repeat purchase. According to Gartner, U.S. companies spend more than $1.2 billion per year on customer loyalty programs. It is also estimated that more than 75% of consumers today have at least one loyalty card and number of people with two or more is estimated to be one-third of the shopping population (for more, see The Lowdown on Customer Loyalty Programs: Which Are the Most Effective and Why:) Knowledge@Wharton.

It is time for business to look beyond Loyalty Programs that reward repurchase and consider having a Customer Advocacy Program instead.

But given recent growth in Social Networking on the internet and our ability to precisely track outbound Word of Mouth (WOM) and its impact on customer behavior, it is time for business to look beyond Loyalty Programs that reward repurchase and consider having Customer Advocacy Program instead. … Read more

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Social CRM: Thinking Outside the “Call Center” Box

If one studies history of automobiles, the first cars powered by internal combustion engines running on fuel gas appeared as early as 1806. But early autos were little more than horse drawn carriage fitted with an engine. It was not until 1889 that Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach designed a vehicle from scratch to be an automobile, rather than a horse-drawn carriage fitted with an engine (for more on history of the automobile, see this link).

Something similar is happening with respect to Social Networking technology today when it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Instead of modifying and re-engineering their CRM business processes to take advantage of unique characteristics of Social Networks, companies are fitting “Social” engine to their existing CRM carriage and are expecting great results from it. … Read more

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Social Media and Future of Advertising

What is the future of advertising in Social Age?

Well, we may get as many different answers as the number of Social Media gurus and Advertising pundits out there, which by the way is not a small number!

“Nature of commercial message is not going to look like a display ad, it’s going to provide functionality and a different kind of interface for the user to act on something. People in Social context don’t want to be interrupted, instead want continue to be engaged and want functionality that eases a task they are about to engage in”.

Watch this excellent panel discussion and listen to what four real experts have to say on this subject. The experts are:

I like what Irwin Gotlieb says: “Nature of commercial message is not going to look like a display ad, it’s going to provide functionality and a different kind of interface for the user to act on something. People in Social context don’t want to be interrupted, instead want continue to be engaged and want functionality that eases a task they are about to engage in.”

Enjoy the video and do share your thoughts on what advertising will look like in Social Age.

Harish Kotadia

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Why Social Media will drive adoption of SaaS CRM

SaaS CRM ( Software as a Service) has been around for a while. Salesforce.com, one of the largest service providers in SaaS CRM space has been around for more than ten years and has been listed on NYSE for almost six years now. I can still recall the day Salesforce.com was listed on NYSE, having seen a giant banner with the letters “CRM” (ticker symbol of Salesforce.com) on NYSE building on that day on my way to work in lower Manhattan, where I was working as a CRM Program Manager for a Fortune Top 10 client (on how many occasions you get to see “CRM” banner on NYSE building!)

But inspite of the fact that SaaS CRM has been around for a decade, it is not as popular or widespread as what some might have expected it to be by now. I think this is about to change. As I noted in my previous post, four independent trends, namely Social Media, Smart Phones, Predictive Analytics and SaaS are now converging to bring about a Paradigm Shift in CRM. … Read more

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How IT Services Companies can prepare for Social CRM opportunity

In one of my earlier post, I highlighted the Social CRM opportunity for IT Services Companies. In this post, I want to elaborate further on it by explaining HOW they can leverage this opportunity.

First step is to understand how customers of clients are using various Social Media channels (like Facebook or Twitter). And since this varies by the industry, IT services companies will need to come up with industry specific Social CRM approach and solution. Domain experts in each industry segment (called Verticals) need to evaluate ways their clients can: … Read more

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Dear CMOs, Wake up to Social Media challenge

In my previous post titled What is Social CRM and why it is important, I have highlighted the phenomenal growth in number of Social Media users and importance of engaging customers through Social Media for building trust and brand loyalty.

Given statistically significant correlation between social media engagement and financial performance metrics – revenue and profit, one would expect CMOs to be busy making elaborate plans about engaging customers through Social Media, Right? WRONG! … Read more

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Definition of Social CRM – Explained!

In one of my earlier posts, I defined Social CRM as follows:

Social CRM is the business strategy of engaging customers through Social Media with goal of building trust and brand loyalty
. Loyalty is defined as attitude towards a brand that inclines a customer to repurchase it and/or recommend it to others. Social CRM and Social Media are more about building trust and managing loyalty with customers than about managing relationships or transactions, which are focus areas of “traditional” CRM.

I received a lot of great feedback on this definition and want to elaborate further on it to answer some of the questions raised by readers of this blog. … Read more

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Social CRM: Top Priority for CMOs

Not a week goes by without the publication of findings from another study or survey confirming the growing reach of Social Media channels. Latest in this series is findings by NielsenWire. As per this study, “global consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year”. This study further highlights that “Consumers in the U.S. continue to spend more time on social networking sites as well, with total minutes increasing 210% year-over-year and the average time per person increasing 143% year-over-year in December 2009. Year-over-year growth in average time spent by U.S. users, for both Facebook and Twitter.com, outpaced the overall growth for the category, increasing 200% and 368%, respectively” (for more see this link). … Read more

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