Best of CRM: August 24th


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Every week, we recount some of the best buzz around CRM and data integration. We’ll review our favorite articles and share the most pressing findings or key takeaways from each.

The Age of Asymmetrical CRM
By: Denis Pombriant (@DenisPombriant)
This piece delves into the present and future of CRM as PC sales continue to plummet. The rise of mobile devices over PCs is leading to a shift in CRM catering to mobile users, but Denis goes beyond that, writing about the fact that “we are rapidly moving toward asymmetry in not just CRM but in all forms of computing.” The bifurcation in computing of server farms and mobile devices tapping into server processing power means that the capabilities of the device itself aren’t what’s important – any internet connected mobile system can use a variety of sensors/inputs to capture information, then utilize servers to engage in intensive number crunching. For CRM, this ubiquitous computing power has the potential to destroy information siloes, yet many larger corporations have yet to take advantage. As Denis describes, we need better information to deal with customers rather than consumers, where “consumers bought what they were told to by Madison Avenue in the manufacturing age, (and) customers subscribe to things and can be gone before you ever register a profit from them.” The nature of CRM has become two-tiered with mobile and server farms, where mobile devices capture data and the server farms make this information actionable, and successfully enterprises will use this change to gather and analyze more useful information than ever before.

Why your Social CRM is Failing
By: Maria Minsker (@mariaminsker)
In short, about 50 percent of companies are unsuccessful with social CRM. This is largely due to an issue of poor organizational culture, and to fix it companies must clearly communicate with employees on social media goals, then train them in the use of social technologies. Additional challenges impeding the success of social CRM include “The absence of managerial support, insufficient staffing, and an unwillingness to listen to customers are also contributing to social CRM failure.” This adds up to an inability to effectively use social CRM, both for handling negative comments and rewarding or incentivizing users who post positively about the company. Of course even after successful implementation, companies must monitor and measure social initiatives to allow for cumulative improvements moving forward, combining relevant data with the organizational shift towards adopting social CRM.

A Board Director’s Perspective on What IT Has to Get Right
By: James Cash, Jr.
James draws on his extensive experience to narrow down IT’s future value proposition to four distinct use cases. In short, IT must generate top-line growth, improve operational efficiency, ensure effective corporate governance and controllership, and participate in strategy formulation. This means that IT has to beyond increasing efficiencies and reducing costs to engage in growing revenues. At the same time, IT must identify cost savings and headcount reductions, then reallocate the savings into innovative projects. Moreover, IT-based management-control systems will play a role in ensuring effective policy and governance implementation in the midst of corporations’ globalization efforts. And lastly, IT personnel need to elevate their involvement from tactical to strategic, claiming a seat at the table to bring technical strategy to planning for better business outcomes. These four areas point to the fact that “the challenge of closing the gap between emerging IT and the ability of companies to exploit it requires two new capabilities: the Distributed Innovation Group and the Enterprise Integration Group.”

The Hidden Risks of Mobile CRM
By: Erika Morphy (@emorphy)
Mobile CRM continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, drawing companies with benefits including more use-cases and flexibility to access systems anytime, anywhere. However, companies must also remain wary of hidden risks, including inconsistent content, maintaining the “right level of interruption”, the danger of inconsistent messaging and security concerns. Mobile CRM brings the challenge of inconsistent content that may be replicated over mobile channels versus traditional channels, and from a usability perspective, the small form-factor of mobile presents significant challenges in ensuring productivity. Maintaining a consistent marketing message across various devices and entry points brings yet more challenges to mobile CRM, and security concerns as mobile content moves to the cloud also pose potential risks. In essence, mobile cannot ignore the precedent set by previous media, meaning “the same rules that apply to ads in newspapers, radio and television apply to mobile devices — and social media too, for that matter. All disclosures must be clear and conspicuous.”

CRM Comes of Age in the Age of Moneyball
By: Leonard Klie (@lenklie)
At the recent Destination CRM “CRM Evolution” event, the closing panel dealt with the rise of CRM systems in helping sports franchises drive customer interaction and purchases. In the past, the majority of sports franchises treated CRM and ticketing as one and the same, limiting the total potential for CRM to drive the fan experience, largely due to the easy nature of selling out games. However, for teams who don’t win every game, and with increased competition with high definition home entertainment systems, sports franchises have turned to CRM to convert casual fans into die-hard advocates. “Regardless of the sport, teams need to get away from looking at CRM as a tool to sell more tickets, all the panelists agreed. ‘[CRM} has got to be much broader. It’s got to be about the whole fan experience,’ Shin said.” A surprising session takeaway was the agreement that competition should not extend past the field into marketing, but rather operational CRM best practices should be shared between teams to improve results for everyone.

We hope you had a great week! We’ll see you again soon with a roundup of all the movers and shakers in CRM and data integration news.

Peter Chase
Peter founded Scribe Software along with Jim Clarke in the beginning of 1996. As Executive Vice President, Business Development, Peter is responsible for establishing and growing partnerships with other leading technology companies in support of Scribe's overall market and product strategy. Prior to founding Scribe, Peter held senior positions in sales, product marketing, and finance at SNAP Software, an early pioneer in CRM software that was acquired by Dun and Bradstreet. He has published numerous articles and whitepapers and is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events.


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