CRM Blogs: My Top Picks

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My good friend Paul Greenberg and I discussed the best CRM Blogs at the recent CustomerThink Retreat in Santa Cruz. Although both of us have been in the CRM business for over 20 years, we come from different parts of the business spectrum. I am sure Paul will smile when I suggest that he comes from the CRM technology side. In contrast, I come from the CRM strategy and change management sides.

These are my top customer business blog picks from the 75 that I monitor each day through the free Newsgator Online blog aggregator service.

Church of the Customer Blog
Ben O’Connell & Jackie Huba’s blog has always been one of my favourites. The same goes for their two books, Creating Customer Evangelists and Citizen Marketers. They have almost single-handedly created the new marketing discipline of customer generated media.

Communities Dominate Brands
Tomi Ahonen and Alan Moore’s blog is the definitive source for all things about mobile marketing. Both have long pedigrees in the mobile telecoms industry and their writing, presentations and numerous books on the subject provide the most authoratative source on what is one of the most powerful forces in tomorrow’s marketing.



How To Change The World
Guy Kawasaki isn’t a CRMer. He is a successful VC instead. His blog isn’t about CRM per se, but it does contain lots and lots and lots of really useful stuff of value to every CRMer out there. Each and every one of us can benefit from adopting much of his tried-and-tested VC business approach in CRM projects. I have recommended colleagues read his The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint and The Art of Bootstrapping posts literally hundreds of times.

Logic+Emotion
David Armano isn’t a CRMer either. He is a successful designer. His blog is about how design drives successful business. If you are involved in designing effective customer experiences, David’s blog is a valuable source of design inspiration.

Modern Marketing
James Cherkoff is one of the pioneers in Open Source Marketing. His blog is an iconoclastic look at how marketing fails do what it says on the tin and how involving customers in the marketing process reaps dividends. Together with Johnnie Moore, James gives highly sought after Open Sauce Live workshops for marketers looking to understand what tomorrow’s marketing will look like.

Outside Innovation
Patty Seybold has been in CRM even longer than I have. Her earlier book Customers.Com was one of the bibles at the start of the online customer revolution. Her newest one, Outside Innovation is one of the bibles for the coming customer-driven innovation revolution. Her blog provides a fresh perspective on customer business.

Seth Godin’s Blog
What can you say about Seth Godin? He is one of the icons of modern marketing. His book Permission Marketing is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it in 1999. And his free eBook Unleashing the Ideavirus pre-dated the current focus on social marketing by almost as many years. Seth’s posts are short, pithy and almost always cause you to stop and think about what you are doing.

Think Customers: The 1to1 Blog
Where would a list of CRM blogs be without Peppers & Rogers own blog. Ginger Conlon and her team post tough questions on their blog almost daily. Go and have a look for yourself and post a response.

Although these are my top picks today, it was a really tough choice and may well change over time. With millions of new blogs appearing almost daily, it is pretty sure that new contenders will inevitably appear to challenge these champions. I will let you know when the next great CRM blog appears.



What do you think? Do you read these blogs? Or do you have other favourites yourself?

Post your favourite CRM blogs and get the conversation going.

Graham Hill

3 COMMENTS

  1. Paul Greenberg
    Author: CRM at the Speed of Light, 3rd Edition

    These are excellent choices especially the final two. CRM blogs about CRM aren’t even close to the only way to go when defining customer-centered business approaches and their blogs. I think I’ll do the list of Best Customer Focused Marketing sites. I’m inspired now. Great stuff.

  2. “CRM” means many different things in the market, so good luck coming up with a list of the best CRM blogs. This is precisely why I wrote Why “CRM” Must Die early this year, which eventually led to changing our site name from CRMGuru.com to CustomerThink.

    For example…
    [quote=Graham Hill]
    David Armano isn’t a CRMer either. He is a successful designer. His blog is about how design drives successful business. If you are involved in designing effective customer experiences, David’s blog is a valuable source of design inspiration.
    [/quote]

    Hmmm. So Armano’s blog is for people interested in customer experiences, but he’s not a “CRMer.” Well, Graham, that speaks volumes about what you think CRM is. And, sadly, most people agree with you that CRM is not about customer experience, so that’s why we now have Customer Experience Management to fill that void.

    This site is about customer-centric business strategy, so rather than compile a best list of CRM blogs—and I do like the ones that Graham and Paul have selected so far—we’d be better served with lists of blogs that are great for customer-centric CEOs, marketers, sales people, customer service managers, and even IT professionals.

    Then we could present these in the leadership categories that help structure the content of this site.

    Let’s start with CEOs. What customer-centric blogs should they be reading? I’m afraid too many CEOs think being customer-centric is something they can delegate to someone else to do.

    Bob Thompson, CustomerThink Corp.
    Blog: Unconventional Wisdom

  3. Bob

    I believe that you are right. CRM does mean many different things to many people. To far too many it means systems & technology. To most it means some combination of sales, marketing & service. To too few it means anything that influences the customer overall relationship. All are probably right to some degree.

    Customer Experience Management (CEM) doesn’t yet suffer from the same ‘naming of parts’ problems that CRM does. This is partly because nobody yet knows exactly what CEM is, although that is fast changing! And the situation for Customer Co-Creation, the next evolutionary step of customer busness, is even less clear. Customer-centric business is a nice catch-all in the absence of a robust, all-encompassing, universally agreed definition.

    Until this definition has been developed, it don’t think it really matters too much how we classify the best blogs, as long as we put them in front of CustomerThink’s readers so that they can decide for themselves using their own personal definitions of CRM, CEM or Customer Co-Creation. As my own list shows, not all of these blogs are really what could be categorised as customer-centric business blogs at all. But that doesn’t make them any less relevant for customer-centric business.

    And it is not as though we are going to bombard them with hundreds of blogs (that would require some sort of classification beforehand). It is not as though there even are hundreds of relevant blogs!

    As The Bard himself said in Romeo & Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.

    Graham Hill

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