A Few Question That I Would Ask SRCM Paradigm Supporters


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The access to Compuserve may have been limited, but we’ve continued to have this vehicle ever since. And it’s the same concept. The volume is growing but I don’t consider that a paradigm shift, just a change in strategy or tactics as any growing company would do to handle growth.

Here are some questions that come to mind:

– Will we all get to have 5 million listeners like “United Breaks Guitars”? Or is that just 15 minutes of fame re-packaged?

– Many consumers need immediate gratification, thus our current economic situation. Will they get immediate gratification by participating in this new “paradigm”? If so, tell me how the businesses are going to deliver it. Today’s consumer to consumer service suites are old stuff bundled in new technology, aren’t they?

– Will these new venues simply be new feeding ground for a breed of marketer that has seen great success in every evolution of technology? These people know people, and having them all in one place is going to be a target rich environment. (see my reference to Jim Novo and just think about infomercial and Internet market tactics).

– How will employees be incented to empower the social customer? Will businesses suddenly change to address changes in customer value that don’t necessarily correlate to a direct sale? How long will it take for this to happen?

– Do we know what Social CRM needs to look like? How will the justification be made for all levels of business to make the investment in this new “paradigm?” Can we demonstrate how it will benefit them in cold hard cash? Cuz we need to…

– How many middle market business will laugh at you if you use the term “co-creation” or “crowd-sourcing” in a PowerPoint presentation?

– Can we point to tangible examples of how the new “paradigm” has benefited a large business, a middle sized business, or a main street business? Were the results measure in terms they currently use?

– Can you convince sales organizations that they will see more sales? There is currently evidence to suggest that you cannot? These organizations have historically driven the CRM dollars spent. How do you intend to break that cycle?

Just a few thoughts that come to mind.


  1. You have posed quite a few questions and I will attempt to address two of them:
    1. “United Breaks Guitars” is not an isolated incident and not the first one that illustrates growing power of the consumer in Social Media. There are quite a few examples of product/brand reputation taking serious hit – you may recall Dell XPS fiasco that was probably the first well documented case study of company, first ignoring, then fighting and denying, and eventually learning to swallow it’s pride and fix the problem with the product and with bad publicity. These hits are very expensive, and getting more expensive going forward;
    2. Customer Reviews (full disclosure – I am a co-founder of Amplified Analytics that specializes in translating word of mouth into business metrics) is a part of Social Media/Social CRM landscape. E-commerce specialists, like Marketing Sherpa and others, have a good set of stats showing the significant impact of customer reviews on visit-to-purchase conversion ratio. Now we are talking about increased revenue.

    I do agree with you that many marketers are trying to play the same old game, dressed in a new uniforms. In my opinion they will fail and be exposed, like Belkin and DeLonghi marketing geniuses have learned. I am hopeful.

  2. United Breaks Guitars may not be an isolated incident, but neither is Joe the Plumber, or the string of finalists on American Idol. They each found their 15 minutes, but it’s not something we can all repeat. That comment was directly related to a blog post I read which used that as a justification. In other words, everyone with a bad opinion of your company is going to be heard by 5 million people.

    Frankly, most people on Twitter are talking and not listening so I find that one hard to swallow.

    Mike Boysen
    Effective CRM


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