Bringing Social to CRM – OldSkool vs Social & mindset vs data

After touring the world Our Social Times  landed in Brussels (for the first time) to organize the Social CRM 2012 conference. A great line-up in a fantastic venue made it an interesting day. All day long different views on social CRM were posted and my conclusion is quite easy: a straight forward definition of Social CRM still isn’t available, but even more what Social CRM is all about tends to differ from person to person. Some people tend to stick to old-skool marketing in a social media surrouding (and calling this social CRM), while others talked about big data collection through social media to personalize the customer experience as being social CRM. Let’s try to round up this day and bringing social to CRM!

Phillip Weiss opened the day with a nice insight on social CRM. Social CRM is when you use and integrate all online tools with your CRM.  Off course true, but let’s put CRM in a funnel perspective. Wouldn’t Social CRM be a part of the bigger eCRM story (where indeed all online tools come are used for CRM purpose)? So this way social CRM would be about the social interaction/relationship trough social media (but social media in the biggest definition you can imagine, from blogs to Twitter over Facebook to Pinterest and in the end embedded on the company website).
Defining Social CRM is a hard job apparently!
Phillip Weiss also introduced his Hyperthinking theory. This 4 dimensional theory supports the fact that implementing social CRM has a huge impact on the company as such. Company culture needs to be ready to implement the social part of the game. Social CRM is best implemented end-to-end, so it’s a total shift for the company as a whole (that’s way company culture and mindset are so important!)
Besides the impact on the company, it’s equally important that your customers are ready for social CRM, because whether you like it or not social CRM involves big data collection.  Customers want to give up privacy and give you your data as long as they get something in return, a personalized relationship (web 3.0 theory put into action – let the semantics begin).  Customers will use their data as a currency to negotiate with a brand!

Both characteristics, company culture and data, are important if you want to implement social CRM into your company.  Social CRM is indeed a mindset and a culture within the company to work with your customers building a relationship with your community beyond likes. It was nice to hear that most cases where not about likes but about interactions (conversations) and conversions, because in the end you still want to sell your product or service. Social CRM gives you the power to give control to your customers, so you can embarque with your customers onto a great journey. Clelia Morales (head of EU social division) of eBay showed us nice way to build a trustworthy relationship (with big data) with your customers. With 3 simple buttons (Like, Want, Owned) eBay gains a lot of useful insights on this customer (and the customer didn’t need to share with his network if he didn’t wanted it too). So building data (=listening) and giving the customer tools to build a social customer relationship are key success factors.

And off course always be honest and authentic, a traditional agency (McCann), today, said that you should give your customers the perception of control but always stay in control as a brand.  If you’re implementing true social CRM then you need to give a way (part of) your control to work with your customers. Giving customers the illusion of control will always backfire on you in the end!

So what were the key take-aways of today?
Social CRM is a business strategy.
Social CRM isn’t about integrating tools, its about integrating around people relationships and giving them control.
Social CRM is about data (whether you like it or not).

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Posted in Flat Business
2 comments on “Bringing Social to CRM – OldSkool vs Social & mindset vs data
  1. Christine Hofstätter says:

    The social CRM concept is very interesting for some businesses. In my opinion it will work very well in the B2C segment, but requires a lot of effort in the B2B segment. Some customers are not willing to provide so much information about theirselves, as it makes them easy to control and they may lose power.

    Moreover there are industries which deal with a lot of secrecy in order to gain a competitive advantage. For instance, I can’t imagine that the big players in the automotive industry are willing to provide so much information.

    What do you think about Social CRM in the B2B segment?

  2. Magalie Descamps says:

    Building a relationship isn’t easy offline and isn’t easy online. Old school marketing isn’t the way to do it online. It would be perfect to combine the different ways of marketing (old =off, new=on) to get the conversation going. Make your brand an emotional brand so people can love it and talk about it. If they talk about your brand online, they are more likely willing to talk with you and share some of their data.

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