• The State of Social CRM – Mapping the Vendor Landscape

    If you ask 10 people ‘what is Social CRM?’ you are likely to get 10 different answers.  Industry watchers like Esteban Kolsky and Mitch Lieberman have certainly helped to frame the discussion. And in dealing with customer interactions and all the related front-office processes, many people already know the basic concepts of CRM.  But how does the addition of social channels, analytics, campaign tools and even customer-to-customer interactions change what we know about CRM?

    In this series I’ll aim to break it down, and provide some perspectives on the various aspects of Social CRM based on what I’ve been seeing over the past few years, as well as my background covering the CRM space dating way back to the mid-90′s at Yankee Group and Extraprise (early Siebel partner) and perspectives as a marketer. Yes, my CMO role may color how I see things, but hopefully the way I look at things is relevant to other marketers and at least a useful starting point for others.

    In general, Social CRM combines the traditional roles of the call center, the marketing programs, and the support systems (and of course sales, but not as much as the other areas) with the social channels and social data to put a more personal, social spin on the role of CRM. In a way we are also combining the business side (traditional process-centric CRM) with the consumer side (social interactions and connections). With this in mind, when mapping the Social CRM landscape, it’s helpful to think of four main functions or categories:

    • Listening,
    • Support Communities,
    • Fan Marketing, and
    • Sales Automation.

    Check out the video below to see how these parts fit together and what vendors have emerged as early leaders in each category.  And next time we’ll start to drill-down into each category, starting with social monitoring and listening tools.

    Allen Bonde is the CMO of The Pulse Network and can be found on Twitter or email, abonde@thepulsenetwork.com.

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