Three big changes marketers will see as brands explore and invest in marketing programs and social communities that attempt to build relationships.
Imagine a world where consumer activities across your various communities could be used to help identify and communicate with your brand's most powerful influencers. Once identified, marketers could then invest in building those relationships and driving advocacy. Well, that world is here today thanks to social media, and brands are increasingly investing in the strategies, tactics, and tools necessary to bring that data to life.
While CRM is tried and true, adding social interactions into the mix is just emerging under the social CRM banner. In fact, a recent study conducted by Altimeter Group indicates investments in building a scalable social CRM system that connects the social web to your customer database is not only growing (nearly doubling from 2010 to 2011), but essential to the future success of every brand - making it an Altimeter top 2011 priority. But why?
First and foremost, social communities allow us to not only identify consumers who are actively engaging with our brand, but they also give the opportunity to empower those consumers to become advocates for our brand. And in a world where consumers are increasingly turning to others for the things they need - that's crucial. "Engagement" is more than just the new buzzword of the moment, it's the new yardstick. Therefore, it's not a surprise that "engagement" ranked on top when it came to assessing which measurements were most important in evaluating the success of a program among social strategists in the same Altimeter study. However, true success is achieved by not only assessing and measuring engagement within social communities, but across various touchpoints, and using that intelligence in new and powerful ways. But before we get there, I suspect we'll see a deeper exploration around valuing engagement and what it truly means for brands. One study on this front was conducted by analyst firm Aite Group with an industry association I founded, which looked at Gen Y'ers' relationships with their banks. The findings concluded:
While these stats are likely to vary by industry and brand, I think they are important measurements for brands to consider as they explore and invest in marketing programs and social communities that attempt to build relationships and drive engagement. Additionally, I suspect over time we will see a significant shift in the way brands allocate their marketing dollars and plan their strategies and tactics. Specifically, the emergence of new channels/communities and how we measure them will redefine the way we market and drive sales. Some of the changes we will see as marketers will include:
Big changes for sure, but the emergence of social communities is a radical sea of change that requires new thinking. Marketers who can connect the dots by implementing social CRM and surround that effort with the appropriate strategies and tactics will be well-positioned to grow brand advocacy and marketing success. Social CRM - the future is now.
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Michael Della Penna is a seasoned marketing professional with a long, proven track record of launching successful marketing, branding, and sales strategies for leading public and private companies. Most recently, Michael was the senior vice president of Emerging Channels at Responsys. His responsibilities included spearheading the overall strategic direction, partnerships, and solution offering across key emerging channels including social, mobile, and display for the company. Prior to Responsys, Michael founded SuiteDialog and Conversa Marketing, a full-service email and social CRM agency that helped brands ignite conversations and cultivate relationships with customers across the social web. Conversa Marketing, was acquired by StrongMail Systems in 2010. Before branching out on his own, Michael served as chief marketing officer for Epsilon, a leading provider of multichannel, data-driven marketing services. Michael's other key marketing leadership roles include CMO at Bigfoot Interactive, vice president of strategic development at CNET Networks, Inc., and vice president of marketing at ZDNet. Michael received a B.B.A. and an M.B.A. from Hofstra University.
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