Old Spice: The best Social CRM campaign till date


Share on LinkedIn

In one of my earlier posts, I defined and explained Social CRM as “the business strategy of engaging customers through Social Media with goal of building trust and brand loyalty“. Loyalty being attitude towards a brand that inclines a customer to repurchase it and/or recommend it to others. Social CRM and Social Media are more about building trust and managing loyalty with customers than about managing relationships or transactions, which are focus areas of “traditional” CRM (for more, see this and this).

Old Spice Social Media campaign that has generated tremendous buzz, not only in Social Media but in traditional media channels as well, is a great example of Social CRM campaign where Procter & Gamble, the company that owns the brand, has very effectively engaged customers (and prospects) through Social Media with goal of building trust and brand loyalty. Watch this excellent CNN video on the subject:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.
Dr. Harish Kotadia has more than twelve years' work experience as a hands-on CRM Program and Project Manager implementing CRM and Analytics solutions for Fortune 500 clients in the US. He also has about five years' work experience as a Research Executive in Marketing Research and Consulting industry working for leading MR organizations. Dr. Harish currently lives in Dallas, Texas, USA and works as a Practice Leader, Data Analytics and Big Data at a US based Global Consulting Company. Views and opinion expressed in this blog are his own.


  1. There seems to be some debate about whether this is really Social CRM.

    On the one hand, the campaign was more than a PR campaign blasted out. P&G went to some lengths to actually engage with people on social media, and published 200+ new videos in response.

    But it’s questionable how much this insight is integrated into the enterprise.

    Prem says “this is an example of a brilliant social media marketing campaign, just not social CRM” and that “SCRM entails the involvement the whole organization, not just Marketing/PR.”

    Hmmm, then if the whole organization needs to be involved that would pretty much disqualify all the SCRM use cases that I’ve seen so far. Because they are point solutions.

    Another slant is that if Social CRM is really about being collaborative and co-creating with customers, as Paul Greenberg, Wim Rampen and others have proposed, then you don’t need social media or CRM to qualify. In this case, I’d say P&G went beyond one-way PR and really did engage with people, and as a result created new content.

  2. Hi Harish,

    I do agree with you that this is a Social Media campaign done very well. I just think this is not Social CRM for several reasons.

    CRM, which is still the bases of Social CRM, is all about tailoring your approach towards specific Customer segments, because it is clear that not all Customers desire the same thing. This requires an understanding of who your (best) Customers are, and more so what their specific needs are.

    To me it looks like Old Spice has started this campaign not to increase or create Customer Loyalty (as per your own definition of Social CRM). It merely aims at increasing brand/product awareness across all Customer segments.

    Another important element of Social CRM that they seem not to use, is an understanding of which Customers are most valuable to them, not in terms of Customer Lifetime Value nor in terms of referral or network value. Old Spice is targeting “influentials” based on their reach.

    Last, but not least, I’m missing any form of value created for the Customer (other than entertainment value, but that’s not what makes Customers stick around with your product for imho).

    I think it’s safe to say that the Old Spice campaign will go in the books as a very good social media / viral campaign. I don’t think it qualifies for a Social CRM campaign though. Not that it truly matters to Old Spice, unless of course they were actually trying to connect with their Customers and develop long lasting and sustainable relationships with their Customers..

    Please take a look at my post on Why the Old Spice Campaign is not Social CRM, for some more arguments and background information.

    Let me know what you think.


  3. Thanks Bob for sharing your thoughts on the subject. Much appreciated!

    IMHO, CRM is all about Relationship and in Social context, this means Engagement on Social channels.

    This is the reason why I have defined Social CRM as “the business strategy of engaging customers through Social Media with goal of building trust and brand loyalty”.

    I don’t agree that whole organization or value chain needs to be involved to call it Social CRM. That will be the subject matter for Social Business and Social CRM is just a small component of Social Business.

    Thanks again for your comment, much appreciated!

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  4. Thanks Wim for your insightful comment. Much appreciated!

    Regarding Customer Segments – You are engaging/responding on the basis of Social Profile/Social CRM Analytics, not randomly – this takes care of segmentation. As I have indicated in response to Bob’s comment earlier, CRM is all about Relationship and in Social context, this means Engagement. The emphasis here is on Engagement and this translates into Trust –>Loyalty –> Advocacy.

    It is also important to remember that this was a small campaign spread over few days. This is a great first step in the process of Customer Engagement. Like any other relationship, this is not one time affair! Customers need to be constantly engaged and we can expect to see more in future from P&G.

    Hope I have clarified some of your points. Thanks again for your comment. Much appreciated!

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.


  5. Yes, Harish, that’s what the “R” means after all.

    * Marketing is a relationship starter. Like asking someone out on a date. Just a beginning. Not always targeted. May lead to something else, may not.

    * Sales is like asking someone to get married. Becoming a real customer by buying something. Obviously a deeper commitment.

    * Customer Service is keeping the relationship going. Never forgetting that there needs to be value in both directions for the relationship to endure.

    It seems that as time goes on, the CRM in Social CRM is getting stronger and stronger. And the most important word in CRM to CRMers is not the “R” but rather the “M” — Management.

    But customers don’t care about management, they care about the value they get, which includes the experience interacting in the marketing phase. So if we focus on “R” and not “M” then I’d say Old Spice is an example of SCRM.

    I’m puzzled why SCRMers want to exclude these sorts of examples, but I suppose that’s why we need Social Business — to bring together the worlds of social media marketing, sCRM and Enterprise 2.0.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here