Backtracking Your SCRM Vision as a Strategic Tool


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(I know I have been lagging publishing lately, but been reading, researching, thinking and trying to put together the SCRM roadmap.  Coming soon)

These are some thoughts I had today while talking to Allen Bonde, exceptional marketer and great thought leader for the CRM world.

We were trying to figure out a way to create a path for Marketing to become Social Marketing.  We tried different ways to move it from where it is today to where it should be tomorrow, mostly talking about function evolution and conversion, social customers’ characteristics and similar information.  Then we started talking about clouds, infrastructures, data, and data flows.  And this model crept into the conversation.  Tell me if it makes sense…

You need to make two assumptions (yes, I know what assuming does – work with me here):

  1. All your services (execution logic) are already deployed (in premise, hosted, SaaS, cloud-based, etc.) and accessible.  In other words, whatever automated computer process you need for your organization to function is already working
  2. The data you need for those services already exists and is reachable by these services

This is not a futuristic vision of an uber-perfect enterprise system, it is a generalization of what you have today and how it will move into the cloud eventually in the next 5-10 years.  Alas, it works today — this is how you deploy your solutions.

Then your imagination and picture what Social Marketing means.  Or Social CRM, Social Service, etc.  Just picture your customers belonging to the communities you want to cater to (Twitter, Forums, Blogs and RSS — these are all examples of communities, right?), and segmented in some form that makes sense to you (no, not financial – remember that social customers are not measured by financial terms only) like influencers, advocates, neutral, promoters, etc.  Your definitions of the segments that make sense in your social picture of the world.

Finally, imagine what they need to be what they are.  Your forum super-users may need access to a knowledge-base and priotity access to feedback management.  Your advocates may need access to marketing content systems.  It really changes and varies from organization to organization and strategy to strategy (of course there is a strategy of what type of communities and members you want to have, and how you intend to serve and leverage them  – you got  that, right?).

Once you figure what your communities and their members will do for you, then backtrack it.  Start going back following the data flows, the process flows, the actions and functions used – even if they don’t exist today.  Document that backtracking and voila! You’ve got yourself a beginning of a strategy for taking on Social Marketing, Social CRM, etc.

It is a good visualization exercise that allows you to picture what you are trying to do, and why – and those are the first steps towards building a strategy for Social CRM.

What do you think? Would you do something like this? Does it sound interesting? Crazy, but just crazy enough to work?

Esteban Kolsky
ThinkJar, LLC
Esteban Kolsky is the founder of CRM intelligence & strategy where he works with vendors to create go-to market strategies for Customer Service and CRM and with end-users leveraging his results-driven, dynamic Customer Experience Management methodology to earn and retain loyal customers. Previously he was a well-known Gartner analyst and created a strategic consulting practice at eVergance.


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