Read an Excerpt
Social CRM For Dummies
By Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara
John Wiley & SonsCopyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
All rights reserved.
Implementing the New Social Business
In This Chapter
* Defending the new social media model
* Looking at the history of CRM
* Defining what it means to be social
Welcome to the new social business. Many of you may read this opening line with surprise, thinking, "What do you mean the new social business? We've been talking about being a social business for years. At least a decade!" Yes, businesses have been talking about being social for decades, but technology has finally reached a point where implementing social media is now part of the overall strategy. We can discuss the idea of being a social business until we're blue in the face; however, it's time to act, time to take charge!
The new social business represents a fundamental shift in business management that impacts both a salesperson who keeps track of consumer information using a technology and the management of customers' Facebook profiles via a database.
As a business owner, marketing executive, or professional, you're just now jumping into the world where you can connect the data, interactions, and customer information between sites like Facebook and your customer database. That's the new idea behind a social business. It's what this book is about: social media data and interaction married with business data that has been collected for years within different software and management technologies.
See, that is cool.
In this chapter, you look at what makes the combination of social media, marketing communication, and technology worth your investment.
Accepting the New Social Change
Many companies have issues with change, which could be associated with the speed at which technology changes or fear of making the wrong decisions. However, we believe that the issue with change management isn't the fear of a new strategy. The issue lies within a business's organizational structure. When hasn't a marketer enjoyed talking about a shiny new object?
Many organizations have trouble moving into the future of technology and marketing because of fragmentation. Their technology is isolated in silos, so to speak, and various systems don't always work together. Thus the company's marketing strategy tends to be associated with the specific channel, like social media and mobile. Instead, you want the technology change to be associated with the brand or company.
The issue? Businesses that want to thrive need to change by moving toward a new approach to marketing and organizational management. Given the new era of hyper-connected and empowered consumers, customers demand this change. Marketers must embrace the changing landscape to understand unique consumer needs and preferences.
Before we jump into the technology and strategy, we focus on making the case for this change, because acceptance is critical. Everyone in the business, from senior leadership to part-time customer service representatives needs to accept that this social change is happening. Without overall acceptance, you'll struggle to fully implement the social strategy within your business. After employees are on board, your business is ready to implement strategies and technologies that build social media within your database.
Defending the business side of social media
We all understand that "being social" is and always will be a staple to the success of any business. Whether you're talking in the town square or attending a meeting at the local bank, you're building relationships with individuals to drive interaction and sales to your business. Business structures, government regulations, product road maps, competitive environments, and sales pipelines are different from one business to another. However, the idea of being social remains the same. The social business is the one that will succeed in the generations to come.
To make the case for social business and the change that comes with it, you need to go beyond the superficial platitudes. People are tired of hearing, "Social media is the best thing ever! Social media will change your business and revolutionize sales."
To make the case for social business, we suggest you focus on changing coworkers' perception of the fundamental idea of sales and customer communication. This change happens when you use the data behind social media to drive interactions with customers.
To encourage acceptance of the new social change, start with the understanding behind the personal side of social, the human side of social, and then move on to the business side.
[check] Personal side: The personal side of the brand is the personality of the company. What are people saying about the company? How do you bring out the personality of the brand?
As humans, we are social. Well, the majority of us are social, right? The human race thrives from building and maintaining long-lasting relationships because of our ability to be social. We strive to connect. Period.
[check] Business side: After addressing the personal side of the brand, you're ready to tackle the business side. In the new social business, the business side focuses on the return on investment of social media and defines it by transactional information.
The following sections offer more details about these two fundamentals for acceptance and building a strategy around social change.
Understanding the personal side of social media
Marketing, as a concept, was and is built around the connection between two individuals — except for one difference. Marketing wants to use that same connection to build a relationship between a product and a consumer. Advertising executives of the olden days sat in smoke-filled rooms and tried to define what it means for a brand to be social and to see that branded product by using the personal side of a product. There's only one problem with that scenario: A product isn't human. Or is it?
The personal side of a product and brand is the complete set of interactions happening around that product or brand by the consumer.
You want to use this personal side of social, the human side, to drive interaction between customers and employees. Promotional items and coupons are for the business end of this deal. The personal side of social is between humans using technology to interact with each other.
Until recently, businesses haven't been able to fully understand the personal side of the social business. However, technology and concepts surrounding social CRM have helped define what it truly means to be social.
Defining the business side of social media
What do you value as a business? If you haven't formally listed a set of values, don't worry; you can determine what you value pretty easily by defining your strategy. However, it's an important question to answer before moving into the world of social CRM. The business side of social is defining those measurements in order to understand what you need to do to be successful. This side also determines the budget and amount of resources that you need to allocate in order to make a transition to the social CRM world a successful one.
Connecting CRM History to Today
CRM (customer relationship management) became part of the business world when business leaders decided they needed a better way to manage their contacts and customers through software. The idea of CRM is pretty straightforward: It's the management of customer interaction with a brand or company. Many of you may think of CRM in the context of sales; however, CRM now touches almost every aspect of your business.
Traveling dirt roads to the computer screen
Imagine yourself owning a small store in the wild, wild West. You have customers, and they love to buy hard tack and flour. How do you keep track of their purchases? In the past, store owners used the ledger system to track purchases, and they remembered certain points about their customers. In a small town with a small group of people, it was easy to remember that Marge's husband was Bill. But what happens when the town grows? You expand your business and offer more locations, with more products and more customers. The mind is a powerful thing, but it's hard to manage the names, faces, and relationships of thousands of customers.
The mind turned to notes and, beginning in the 1950s, the Rolodex. Ah, the trusty Rolodex. Spin through the names and find the next customer; add more customer information as that becomes available. It made remembering customer information easier; however, the elements of the earth (fire, wind, water, dirt) weren't kind to the paper Rolodex, and the desktop computer changed everything.
Welcoming the power of computing
The business world started witnessing the first hint of the CRM revolution in the late 1980s. This was based on the introduction of the server architecture and wide adoption of the desktop computer (fueled by major players like Apple and IBM). Simply put, the computer offered much more power and memory than thousands of Rolodex cards. Can you imagine sorting through all that ink and paper? No way.
The computing revolution brought forth companies like ACT! and GoldMine that released their own software platforms that helped individuals and large businesses manage hundreds of thousands of contacts.
The early nineties witnessed many companies such as Siebel Systems and Oracle building massive databases and ushering in the term SFA (sales force automation). SFA helped sales organizations streamline their sales processes and increased productivity. Think Rolodex on major steroids. The computing and software revolution led to the adoption of a data and networking strategy called CRM (customer relationship management).
Crafting the CRM Definition and Philosophy
As witnessed from this chapter, it's the power of computing that truly drove the innovation within companies all over the world. The software provided by ACT! and GoldMine would change the very nature of customer relationships. This revolution eventually laid the red carpet for future companies, including Salesforce, Marketo, ExactTarget, and Nimble. Before we get into the future, let's break down the philosophy and definition of CRM.
Optimizing customer relationships
The year was 1995, and the research firm Gartner coined the first definition of CRM: "Customer Relationship Management is a business strategy with outcomes that optimize profitability, revenue, and customer satisfaction by organizing around customer segments, fostering customer-satisfying behaviors, and implementing customer-centric processes."
Gartner also introduced the Eight Essential Building Blocks of CRM, a list that gives us an excellent starting point for this book.
[check] Vision: What's your company's vision? Are you including your mission statement and goals in your marketing strategy? They also apply to the CRM philosophy of driving customer-centric data and communication.
[check] Strategy: What's your strategy for reaching the customer? How do you manage the relationship before and after the sale?
[check] Valued customer experience: In this customer-centric world, experience is paramount to everything else. By using CRM to manage your contacts, you're creating a truly valuable experience for your customers. You're remembering their needs and wants!
[check] Organizational collaboration: Do your employees work together and share data? Collaboration is the key to success in many organizations.
[check] Processes: Are your sales processes streamlined? Do you use software to manage the data and development of prospects?
[check] Information: CRM allows you to store information that would otherwise be lost to paper, trash cans, and spilled milk.
[check] Technology: Do you build technology into your overall marketing strategy? Allowing great technology behind CRM is essential to success.
[check] Metrics: Data is king in the world of CRM. Are you managing your metrics effectively?
These eight building blocks are just the beginning to developing the CRM strategy. You must also take into account the social and business side of CRM, which (as discussed earlier) allows your company to truly be customer centric. A customer-centric strategy involves using computing power to optimize customer relationships. Remember Marge? Imagine managing sales data for five thousand different Marges?
Predicting the future of CRM
At the time of this writing, many experts were coining the future of CRM as social CRM, otherwise known as CRM 2.0. We still have a long way to go as far as perfecting the idea of customer relationship management is concerned. The future will be owned by the individuals, companies, and software platforms that focus on the idea that customers are the center of all strategies. That's what social CRM is truly about.
In this book, we touch on many subjects, from customer service to marketing; however, every aspect of your business is now involved in the future of CRM. The social business and an evolving CRM platform is just the next evolution in this customer-centric world.
Excerpted from Social CRM For Dummies by Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Excerpted by permission of John Wiley & Sons.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.