Chaikhana:Social CRM: It's Complicated

Firms today are using relationship management tools to leverage data from personal social content

<b>Chaikhana</b>:Social CRM: It's Complicated
Neha Singh works at a Fortune 500 company. She has two teenager kids; a boy and a girl. She lives in Greater Kailash, New Delhi. The family dines out once a week. They love travelling and prefer vacation homes to hotels. Neha goes for yoga classes. Her husband golfs regularly. They have a marked preference for Thai food. They shared their recent vacation pictures on Facebook. Neha has a birthday coming up.

It’s complicated and I am not talking about Neha’s relationship status. It is the digital exhaust that is proliferating the proverbial social universe. Disparate streams of information offered up by the consumer through various social channels but untapped, leaves money on the table for many businesses. More and more companies are seeking ways to understand, assimilate, predict and leverage the vast information being generated from personal social content. Remember the days of customer relationship management or CRM? Today, with the rapid increase of structured and unstructured data, companies are looking at social relationship management tools. With globally connected customers like Neha Singh, long term brand value and loyalty lies in managing and optimising the customer experience and providing additional utility by uncovering experiential insights.

Sprinklr, a social relationship platform provider, recently announced their intent to acquire Dachis Group, a brand analytics company based in Austin. The company just released a new ebook with contributions from 64 enterprise social practitioners covering 61 brands. According to Sprinklr, “Social relationship infrastructure enables brands to grow revenue and minimise risk by delivering superior end-to-end customer experiences that improve relationships. Companies like Pfizer, Cisco and Royal Dutch Shell are redesigning their approach to technology, organisation, culture and process to manage social experiences across teams, departments, divisions and locations.”

Paraphrasing from the ebook, the mandate for a robust social relationship management platform should be able to create and display a singular, unified view of the customer that enables internal teams to take immediate, relevant action. The platform should be able to handle all the social media profiles and integrate all relevant conversations. It should also be able to integrate with the existing infrastructure and employee management systems. Also, it should provide a framework to manage content, campaigns, conversations, community, and collaboration across business groups and divisions. It should be able to surface the right social data to the appropriate teams at the right time and preferred format.

“Everyone benefits when the smartest people at the best companies share what they know with one another. Sprinklr’s role is to facilitate that sharing, and enable organisations to thrive by delivering superior experiences to their customers,” said Ragy Thomas, the company’s Indian born CEO.

One of the contributors, Paul Michaud, SVP North America, marketing content and social says, “Citibank serves more than 100 million clients in 40 countries, with about half of their total loans, deposits, revenues and net income coming from the US. With more than a million of those customers following its multiple accounts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Citi needed a social relationship infrastructure (SRI) to monitor and respond to the thousands of messages streaming in daily.”

Social business and the CMO

According to the 2013 Social Business Global Executive Study and Research Project conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, “As social business initiatives become more successful, chief marketing officers (CMOs) are playing a larger leadership role by capitalising on digital technologies that enhance their oversight and leadership of social business efforts...Chief information officers (CIOs) face barriers and constraints in maintaining their leadership roles in social business initiatives. The ra­pid growth in influence of marketing on technology initiatives and static CIO budgets is prompting analysts to question how far CIOs will be able to take the lead in social business.”

This is moving the role of the CMO to centrestage when it comes to defining a company’s social business strategy. “One-third of survey respondents said a member of the marketing function leads their organisation’s social business activities; only 11 per cent said someone from IT was at the helm.”

Another survey from Gleanster Research, the Social Relationship Management Benchmark Report examined how successful marketers utilise social media technology. Over 300 respondents were asked why they used their SRM platform. 80 per cent of the respondents wanted to expand current capabilities around social and 75 per cent wanted to coordinate social with traditional marketing, while 52 per cent wanted to get real time data on social campaigns. Interestingly, 43 per cent wanted to identify and engage with influencers.

Successful firms are customer centric and focused on P2P (people to people) equations leaving the old B2B and B2C wallowing in the dust.

(Shaku Selvakumar is a US-based marketing and digital communications

expert; and founder of Coeuredge, a digital experience company)


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