Friday, December 4, 2009

The Darwinian evolution of CRM in "socialized" marketing

Just read a piece (see link at the end of this post) claiming that the CRM is dead and that with the advent of the "social customer" there would be a new way of seeing marketing through 5 Ps, the most important of which would be people. The article titled "CRM is dead: Do You Know the Five Ps of Marketing?"claims that CRM is for the dustbins of history. I respectfully disagree with that.

In fact CRM is more alive than ever with ZohoCRM, Salesforce and Siebel powering an increasing number of commercial groups in established companies as well as start-ups worldwide. From sales force automation to marketing campaigns to cross company project teams and integrated marketing analytics, these platforms are providing the means to an end: building rapport with customers who are increasingly social.
In fact:
(1) you need a clear objective in terms of quality, reach, intensity, frequency and intimacy in customer relationships,
(2) you have more than just customers and prospects to deal with especially if you embrace a vision of influencer marketing
(3) you need the technical means to achieve the above and these technical means are CRM systems

Bottom line: today's marketing and sales main challenge is to distinguish between means and ends, using the former to achieve the latter. Increasingly social customers create new requirements in terms of goals and imply the use of older as well as emergent tools and practices. No point in being too categoric about the dustbins of history: the new never fully eradicates the old but rather amalgamate to create something stronger than either of the initial components. That's Darwinian in its truest form and it applies to technology as well.


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