Saturday, January 28, 2012

Social CRM Needs Clarity

Brian Solis writes an excellent post on Social CRM and what is really happening in that area. Houston Neal converses with Brian on the state of Social CRM. Read more below, and in the link given below. The comments of the readers are of interest as well.

"As the headline implies, even though Social CRM exists as an official category, what it is and what it is not is blurry and hotly debated. No, it doesn’t need a new definition. And, no, it doesn’t need new leadership. sCRM, and now “social enterprise” as categories could however, benefit from clarity around what it is they’re solving for, which companies actually provide solutions against those objectives, and ultimately, how everything works together for the benefit of customer engagement and relationships.

Think about the vast array of vendors selling social media solutions for a moment. Many of them are positioned as Social CRM or sCRM tools, but when you examine true capabilities versus stated positioning , you will find that many vendors are in fact stronger players in social media management (SMMS), social CMS, listening, collaboration, intelligence, and conversation management.

If you think about this from a business perspective, it’s almost impossible to identify which vendor is truly qualified to deliver against the goals of a new social CRM system.  Decision makers have to spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to sort through what is true and what is simply good marketing. Often, they must recruit experts to help survey the landscape and qualify vendors.

Earlier in the year, I met with Houston Neal to discuss the state of Social CRM, where it’s headed and where it needs to go. As you can see, I believe that 2012 is the year when we finally start to accurately segment the market while better defining what Social CRM really is and how businesses need to think and rethink their approach to customer relationship management.

So, no. This is not a post to redefine sCRM. Nor is this a post to argue about nomenclature. This is an attempt to bring clarity and alignment around real world business problems and vendor capabilities. More importantly, in 2012, I hope to see greater movement toward solving for the business issues that software and social media cannot fix. It’s part technology and part philosophy. Because, in the end, it’s about relationships."

Some of the questions that the conversation touches upon are as follows:
  • Do you think a true social CRM suite exists in the market?
  • What type of applications do you think would make up a social CRM suite?
  • What trends are you seeing in the market, both in terms of product development, and general market activity?
Read more here

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