I call it Football, you call it Soccer – We are still talking about the same thing!


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Well, maybe not totally true, but close!

It is World Cup time and I am sure that we will all happily put aside the debate on Technology versus Strategy, Social CRM versus CRM, Customer versus Social Customer and focus on the Americans winning the World Cup! Thanks for your support! Oh, you think they do not have a chance? Is that because of your sense of patriotism, or because your team, has better players, or a better strategy? I am sure, and it might even be fun to get a series of response regarding skill, discipline, philosophy, strength of one team or another. Talk about an abundance of experts, everyone is going to be a Soccer / Football expert come Friday! But, after some fun, it will come down to a subjective opinion of what you think and what I think.

Goals, Objectives and Strategy

The simple objective of any match played on the pitch of around 115 meters by 65 meters is to score more goals that the folks wearing the different color jersey. The strategy, well, that depends on the players available to the manager, no? Well, of course, different players on the field have a slightly different perspective. While, the goal keeper would love to score, his focus is actually on preventing the other team from scoring. Does this mean he is not in alignment with the objective? No, I do not think so. Even though their is a strong likelihood that all the teams on the pitch will have the same objective, the way in which they will attempt to reach that objective is likely going to be different? It depends upon what you have available to you!

People, Process and Technology

It seems simple, the people are the players, right? Well, kinda, works for now. The process; get me the ball, and I will score – ok, it is not that simple. The technology, boots, shin pads, goalie pads, the ball (which people are arguing about again this year), the pitch (natural or grass, lighting), diet and hydration. Ok, what is my point? The point is simple: If I were to spend an entire post talking theory, overlapping runs, playing from the back, set pieces, etc.,… I would get chastised for focusing on the wrong things. Someone would surely tell me that it depends upon my players, their strengths, the opponent, fitness…the list goes on an on. If I focused on fitness, diet, science of training, others would certainly point out that it is great for runners and track stars, but if they do not have the skills, who cares, why talk about it? That new striker who scored 12 goals in 20 matches, is he equivalent to the new shiny object?

All aspects are important

I have watched many a match with friends, at a bar, having a good time. Yes, we rib each other about one player or another, national pride takes over, we get louder as the match wears on (probably due to the locale).  Sure, as more people come into the bar, we want to make sure that everyone else knows which side we are for, and which we are against. For me, I mostly enjoy a good match, unless my boys are playing, then I am a bit more passionate. No, they are not international players :-) I have a love for the game, fair play and entertainment. I cannot stand extremely dirty play, not players who take a dive in the box. I have a love for the game, and all aspects play into the end result. Sometimes you are able to talk in generalities, sometimes you need to get specific. Sometimes, a new person comes to the table and they think Football is played by big guys wearing helmets, and we need to include them in the conversation as well.

The point

My request is that everyone stop beating up on people who choose to focus on one aspect or another. If I want to call it Soccer, because I grew up in the US, so be it. I do often try to call it Football, to make a connection with people I am speaking with, sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. It seems as though as opposed to trying to help people with what is right, and how different people are able to add to the conversation, too many people are focused on what someone did wrong. Talk about the strengths of your team, the strength of your approach not way the other guys is wrong.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mitch Lieberman
Finding patterns and connecting the dots across the enterprise. Holding a strong belief that success is achieved by creating tight alignment between business strategy, stakeholder goals, and customer needs. systems need to be intelligent and course through enterprise systems. Moving forward, I will be turning my analytical sights on Conversational Systems and Conversational Intelligence. My Goal is to help enterprise executives fine-tune Customer Experiences


  1. Mitch, the problem with SCRM is not that there are two names for the same thing.

    The problem is that SCRM is the same name for two different things – strategy and technology.

    You preach strategy, vendors preach technology. These are not the same “games” at all.

    A better analogy is “football,” which means one thing in the US (American football) and something completely different everywhere else (soccer). As an American if you went to Europe and started talking about football, you’d know exactly what you meant but no one would understand you because the word means something different.

    So, CRM=strategy in the group that preaches strategy. Yet most people see CRM as tools, like it or not. And SCRM=social tools connected to CRM. The fact that CRM=strategy in your mind doesn’t change that, any more than you can get people in Europe to start thinking “football” is something other what we call soccer.

  2. Bob,

    I apologize if my metaphor was too obtuse, and unclear, really. My point was exactly the opposite. The objective (winning the game) is a focus on the customer, some people talk technology some people talk culture/business. There is a difference between technology and product. A stack diagram is not always a “vendor preaching technology”.

    Here is what I wrote as a comment on Barry’s post:

    “Social CRM is a business strategy, as well as a technology strategy in response to something, to which your company needs an equal response (because the customers started using the tools first, this is new). A response to simple things such as where your customers hang-out, where they talk, what they say. As well as whether you, as a company are willing to engage on each and every channel. No one is suggesting that the strategy can be managed independently of tools and technology, they need to be top of mind, and active decisions made whether to use them or not to use them.”

    I believe that some mindsets can be changed because what is different is that the people now thinking about SCRM are a much broader / diverse group than those who began thinking about CRM in 1980 (or 1990). I do hope that I do not sound like I am preaching 🙂


    Mitch Lieberman
    CEO and Founder
    Comity Technology Advisors


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