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March 08, 2010


A. Prem Kumar

May be, to put it crudely, Social Media integration is just the tactics, the strategy is Social CRM ... you could read some of the articles from the gurus, like Paul Greenberg's stake in the ground post on its definition or Esteban Kolsky's post pointing out the differences b/w Social Media & Social CRM. And from a technology perspective, you could consider my vision for the Social CRM IT landscape.

Please do join us on twitter on the #scrm hashtag for more debates & discussions around Social CRM, it would be great have your insights & perspectives too. :)

Tim Sanchez

The more I hear it, the more I don't like it. If there's such a thing as "Social" CRM, then shouldn't there be "Non-Social" CRM? Isn't CRM all-encompassing of the relationship with the CUSTOMER?

I have nothing but respect for folks like Paul Greenberg, Brent Leary, and Esteban Kolsky, BUT (you knew there was but right?) I think the divide between SCRM and CRM that's being propagated by the experts is just another bastardization of an already-overused TLA.

There's no doubt that CRM has many different facets, but I'd rather refine the definition of CRM instead of sticking another fork in the road.

Ok, rant over.

AJ Chen

Social CRM should have the monitoring function, which screen all necessary social channels for leads and contexts. A easy way add this monitoring function to traditional CRM is to connect CRM to a new social monitoring tool. For example, to add monitoring to salesforce CRM, you can use social2leads connector in salesforce cloud with realmon9 social monitor running in google clouds.


Interesting perspective - one that is ripe for debate, and one that I am not sure I agree with. I am open to the debate, but sense that it is bigger than just Social CRM is also about what it means to be a Social Business.

I believe that the concepts of Social Media are somehow being misconstrued. Social Media is a set of technologies (a little more than just a channel, I will agree), what people do with them is the real issue (which you do point out). In a previous post on Social IRM you try to make the case that Social Media is WOM, "everything social media enables is a new form of word of mouth", which I also agree with, Social Media is an enabler, and people need to be cautious with it. But, it is an enabler, because it is technology, it helps to amplify the message (good or bad).

Here is where I think things need further debate and clarification: " the principles of social media - respect, trust, and a true value exchange between brand and influencer." Social Networks are about trust, what is said in Social Media may or may NOT establish trust - they should and are part of it. Take this comment - it is on a blog, it is respectful, do you trust it? What if you did a couple minutes of research found out who I am, and what I have written before, does this add to the trust barometer? How about if you happen to know someone who commented on one of my previous posts, and you respect that person, that might alter the equation even more.

I am going down this path, because there are lots of reasons to make Social CRM or just Social Business part of the conversation. There are many that say that a Social Media strategy is about executing on an engagement strategy. Social CRM is about that - in reading the description of Social IRM I am left with not a relationship, but a score of that person. I read that post a few times, and I missed the part about the value in exchange, what do they get?

Respectfully - Mitch


As you put in your post, you are "... working with direct marketers, online advertising creatives, retail activation experts, and CRM leaders.", this leaves me to wonder about the way you "work" with your customers...shout a message and see if it and how it sticks? (or rather, how you go about understanding the customer jobs of your customer's customers ...).

Social CRM is not only about generating Word of Mouth and nurturing influencers (although this could be one of the outcomes), it is a "philosphy and business strategy designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment. (@pgreenbe)". Connecting datasources and making sense of what relations are there may help you better understand the link between the interactions and the moment of sale, but this is not the main benefit - this is not Sales Force Automation Revisited.

The conversation does not end when the sale is finalised, the experience does not end when the client leaves through the door. Your client may like what you have to offer but what happens when the widget breaks down and customer service is dismal. Will he still tweet in favour of your brand?

Social CRM Strategy is also about looking beyond the immediate benefits derived from the transaction - could also include sourcing and validating new ideas for products and services, which go way beyond WOM and can have a long-term impact on the sustainability of the company.

Have I misinterpreted your post, or am I just way off?

Just as a footnote, I am surprised as one of the vendors in this space is Lithium, and Ogilvy PR has just signed a contract to be its Agency of Record.

John Bell

@MarkTamis not sure if we really have a disagreement or - as my post states - have an important yet semantic issue to hash out. We have been angaged in social media marketing that starts with listening and remains committed to a true value exchange with customers since day-one. I am not sure you have any cause to try to position us as anyone who would likely "shout" at our customers. That's not how we roll.

Everything that is described in Altimeter's Social CRM use cases or what Peter Greenberg describes is what we do now. The question I pose is should it be called "Social CRM?"

Again, I am not questioning the approach of building and growing a long-term relationship based upon delivering value and collaboration with customers. There may be something going on here where some consultants want to label that as Social CRM to legitimize it with hard-core marketers who are used to running CRM programs based upon sales optimization. I dont think we are there yet. And I think those marketers will be disappointed when they do not see a disciuplined hard-line back to sales performance.

I have met a lot of hard core CRM marketers in my day and they continue to question how to demostrate the sales impact of social....

And we are proud to have Lithium as a client as they are super smart in this space.

A. Prem Kumar

@AJ Chen

Yes, it is indeed a good integration candidate, so does integrating twitter, facebook, linkedin to CRM or integrating a gated/branded community to CRM.

You can find these in my post from March '09 about the IT landscape for Social CRM.

I know, this is a bit reverse, technological possibilities being discussed first and then the business needs/benefits, but hey, the whole social media has been enabled by technology & as a technologist, it was easier for me to figure out what the integrations could be before how the businesses might use them. ;)

A. Prem Kumar

@Tim Sanchez

Tried to attempt to answer your questions in a post on my blog.

I apologize if I have not been coherent or simple, but thats my doom. :( May be better men will be able to explain it in a coherent manner & not go rambling around various topics. :)


CRM combines processes, people and software to achieve a simple goal: getting the most relevant information to the prospect or lead at the right time in the sales cycle to close deals faster.

Account Deleted

Great article. No doubt social networking is redefining CRM. For further reading, Intelestream has recently published a whitepaper about the subject. The whitepaper defines the concept of Social CRM, offers strategies that can help organizations better leverage social networking as part of their overall customer management strategy, and outlines steps that businesses can take to develop a tangible integration between social networking and traditional Customer Relationship Management. The paper can be read at http://www.intelestream.net/en/whitepapers/the-power-of-social-crm.html

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I find myself agreeing with the comments about why we seem so fascinated to define or redefine. Definitions are interesting of course and fun to talk about but what matters is what lies beneath. Whats really going on here.

It's just the acknowledgement that people and sales has always been social. This post explains that social business is nothing new, there are just new ways that we now need to engage.

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