I sent a tweet to Hootsuite yesterday to ask how I could make some changes to my default settings. The support rep was extremely helpful and resolved my issue right away. Then this morning I get an email with a sales proposition with these choice value propositions.
“I hope you don´t mind I write an email to you directly but changing the way we act in social media today is too important to leave this until tomorrow.”
“Today we sign new staff and make sure he/she has an email account and a phone number. Do we care about having them a social media account? Does SAP look after this? Today we all are social. We all act in social media, and we all have social media accounts already.”
Then two paragraphs on explaining why managing social channels is important to me and to SAP and how it should be done.
Instead of trying to learn about me, my background and engage me, an almost-canned arrived almost instantly. A little more research even just on this blog would have showing that I’ve been part of the Social CRM conversation and community since its inception and I manage a social software product portfolio for a living. If they had only done a little more research to learn how SAP has actually been a pioneer in Social Media Communities and Marketing under CMO, Jonathan Becher, they would realized that a Your-House-Is-On-Fire email probably isn’t the right way to start this conversation.
I’m not advocating that engaging me differently is the right thing for their business – its their business, not mine. But that’s what the original thinking around Social CRM would insist on.
By Social CRM definition standards, this amounts to an abject failure on Hootsuite’s part with respect to anything that’s remotely what Social CRM proposed. But objectively putting on my business hat, I have to stop and wonder whether if it’s in fact Social CRM that failed Hootsuite. Could it be that given the one-size-fits-all nature of social data and the current set of one-size-fits-all Social CRM tools and processes, either the costs or process latency to get to know me is just not economically feasible? And ultimately, good old spray and pray marketing, albeit with a little more context than a mailing list, is still the most practical way to bring home a sale? My belief is that it’s the latter.
Social CRM, part two
The Social CRM stack, if you will, has consisted of 4 elements today:
1. The “big data” on social networks and multi-purpose communities
2. The process intent and hard customer records in our systems of record
3. A single standardized tool stack to disseminate content, measure, engage and close many processes by integrating the two.
4. A hope that consumers of this (sales reps, marketers, support) could figure out how to use this new data set.
What’s clear is that in the first rev of Social CRM, we just cobbled together the social data on social networks and online communities and each functional group just went after this data and did what they needed to. That resulted in this super fast attempt to “convert” me from an individual seeking help to a corporate buyer. New data sets with basic connections into systems of record but really, age old marketing and selling behaviors. To be fair, we did have one meaningful, measurable outcome from this first version and that’s Customer Support. But as we see in my personal example above, except for a few pioneering companies, Social Marketing and Social Selling have a long way to go.
Going forward, what we will see is a re-sizing of this stack:
1. Purpose-built networks where the intent around the community is foundational.
2. Purpose-built publishing, engagement and transaction applications as available extensions to your networks.
3. Consistent network analytics that go across social and non-social channels and data sources as part of the native design.
4. A re-thought paradigm for learning and enablement networks. Knowledge will be the new Marketing.
- Purpose-built Networks, either organically (e.g. SAPs own Community Network is an example, as is Yelp and LinkedIn). These were created with 2-3 extremely narrow purposes in mind to start and the inherent community analytics that emerge are super focused, enabling meaningful action. The intent is super clear. More on this topic, here.
- Network Extensions: Purpose built tools to be able to engage on this data set, to analyze and engage each channels that can effectively tap into (1) above but also apply that single purpose knowledge to mining public social network data: Not at a uber CRM level, but at a brand awareness, campaign management, prospect collaboration and so on. See what Russ Fradin is doing at Dymanic Signal in the area of brand marketing, or what Jon Ferrera is doing at Nimble for sales, or how ThisMoment looks at publishing and brand analytics. I could go on and on. These tools will become extensions to your network and given their narrow focus and yield outcomes that matter to your business KPIs.
- A more congruous understanding how you drive analytics and drive behavior across systems or record , commerce and social channels to consistently understands and influence customer and employee intent. Today, the use of tools such as reputation and gamification are mostly insignificant when it comes to measuring KPIs. I don’t talk about SAP much here but one thing we are doing with reputation and gamification is to rethink its applicability across both social platforms and systems of record applications holistically. This allows us to deliver on established CRM KPIs, vs. nebulous social engagement metrics.
- A vibrant, verticalized learning, training and enablement mechanism for prospects and customers to educate them. This is sorely lacking in everything we have called “social collaboration” from day one. “Knowledge is the new Marketing” will become a driving force. Follow Esteban Kolsky’s thinking on one slice of this, here.
This is a set up post to frame network-first concepts. More on this going forward in bit-sized pieces.
On a side note, this week is CRM Evolution that brings together the best minds in the industry such as Paul Greenberg, Esteban Kolsky, Mike Fauscette and Brent Leary, and my own colleagues Anthony Leaper and Jamie Anderson who are CRM experts in their own right. I wish I could peel away and be there but I’m hoping that this sheer brainpower convening in one room can debate and question the path forward on network-first CRM.
(Cross-posted @ Pretzel Logic)