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Mobile Privacy Laws Are on the Horizon
June 25, 2013
This past May mobile app developers dodged a bullet when a California state court sided with Delta Airlines in a dispute over its mobile app. California's attorney general had sued Delta, alleging that the company violated the state's mobile privacy law, which requires a company to clearly state that users' personal information is being collected.
Intercom Connections Aid $6M Funding Round
June 21, 2013
Intercom, which offers businesses a tool to create personalized communications with customers, has secured some $6 million in a Series A round of funding. The Social+Capital Partnership, founded by former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya, handled the fundraising. Some prominent tech players have attached their names to Intercom, including Twitter founder Biz Stone and Facebook exec Paul Adams.
5 Places Customer Relationships Go to Die
June 14, 2013
Building a customer relationship -- the kind that lasts a long time -- is a not an easy thing. There are lots of occasions where things can go awry, touch points where signals can get crossed and communications that can unwittingly turn a customer off. In a lot of cases, the conclusion is triggered by something the business does that brings the relationship to a premature end.
2 Steps Back: The Social Revolution
March 20, 2013
We have this idea of modern computing that is closely tied to social media, and rightly so. Social media is a kind of glue that ties us together in new and bigger configurations than our own human capabilities. However, it is also the unspoken issue in the Yahoo brouhaha about working from home -- the idea whose name shall not be spoken. How else to explain the ultra retro edict -- anachronism, really -- that all Yahoos must report to the brick-and-mortar in person rather than "telecommute."
Subscriptions, Social and CRM
March 13, 2013
"Who is the customer?" It's a great question, one that my managers liked to ask when I was a young sales representative. Like all great questions, it got to the meat of the matter with an economy of words that were impressive as much for their brevity as for thir meaning. The customer's identity is often far from obvious, and it's why professional sales and marketing people obsess over it.
Secrets for Speeding CRM Time to Value
February 21, 2013
We all know about the idea of total cost of ownership and the concept of return on investment. Both have their place in business evaluations of CRM. There's another measurement, however, that should be considered -- one I like to call "time to value." The T2V test is simple.
3 Bad Habits to Unlearn for SCRM Success
February 14, 2013
For the better part of six years, we pundits have been urging businesses to get social. Social CRM even has its own Gartner Magic Quadrant, and while the entries in that document are all over the map in terms of what they do, vendors serving aspects of SCRM are well established. Gartner itself said that sales of software for SCRM topped $1 billion in 2012.
Chick-fil-A: Stop Trying to Control the Conversation
August 09, 2012
When people are under stress, many respond with remarkable grace, courage and decisiveness. Then there are those who, under great stress, become paralyzed, flail about, or lash out in unproductive and unprovoked ways. The social era is showing us that while corporations are not people, they are run by people. And choosing wisely when elevating people to leadership positions is critical.
Seeing Social Meet in the Middle
August 08, 2012
I'm just back from a week in the woods, trying to get my head around social media and CRM again. That means I'm in the middle of writing up a report on some research that uberanalyst Esteban Kolsky and I did over the last few months, and smack in the middle of CRM Idol judging. Everything's fine, and I see some interesting parallels, and without giving the store away, here is one interesting cross tab.
Do You Remember All the Cool Things Your CRM App Can Do?
August 03, 2012
If you mention a certain brand of lower-priced, assemble-it-yourself furniture of Scandinavian heritage, you stand a pretty good chance of getting a response that dwells at some length on how hard it is to put it together. I've never felt that way -- in reality, I actually like putting stuff together. It's not that I'm good at it -- I've just learned to follow the directions. If only CRM were as simple.
Learning the Social CRM Data-Management Ropes
July 23, 2012
Every time people post an update, "like" a page, or otherwise engage with social media, their movements are tracked, followed and recorded. For businesses, this data is a gold mine of information about consumer thinking, preferences and opinions. "Businesses should view social media as a treasure trove of data and insights," said Wilson Raj, global customer intelligence director with SAS.
Social CRM Evolution vs. Mobile CRM Revolution
July 13, 2012
CRM technology -- along with the way we use it -- is going through an interesting patch of development right now. In part because mobile devices are now delivering on their potential, there's a renewed vigor around mobile CRM. At the same time, social CRM continues to gain attention and energy.
CRM Symbiosis
July 11, 2012
I have always been interested in the similarities between biology and economics and ultimately business. In the last few years we've adopted some of the parlance of biology when we talk about business, especially social business. Perhaps the best example is the analogy we freely make between a vendor and its partners and supply chain, i.e. "the ecosystem."
Blame Change for Social CRM's Plodding Pace
May 24, 2012
I remember being an impatient kid when something I really wanted was on its way. The first time I was aware of my parents mail-ordering something for me -- I think it was a baseball jersey I especially coveted -- I can recall bombarding them with a chorus of the phrase, "when is it going to get here?" I realize now that hearing a six-year-old ask that question 300 times a day for three or four days was genuine torture for my parents.
3 CRM Traits Shared by Good People and Great Companies
May 03, 2012
I just wrote a note to a friend of mine thanking him for his participation at a conference I recently helped organize. It was a thank you note, and he's a CRM industry influencer; I won't divulge names, because it's not important to my point, nor do I want to seen like too much of a suck-up. In any event, I was grateful for his participation in the show -- not just for his session, but for his behavior at this and every other CRM event he goes to.
Automating Social: The Perils of Trying to Fake Sincerity
April 05, 2012
"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made." This quote, often bandied about, is attributed to Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944), who was a French diplomat, dramatist and novelist. And, judging by his best-remembered quote, kind of a jerk. I'm not saying this specifically as an attempt at character assassination of a 68-year-dead raconteur -- no, there's a reason that I bring it up, and it has to do with social CRM.
Social CRM vs. the Unimaginative, the Unmotivated and the Skeptical
March 29, 2012
When I go to CRM conferences -- and I go to many -- one of the things I relish is the opportunity to speak to leaders about thinking surrounding social CRM. That group is not limited to the pundits and authors most closely associated with SCRM; it also includes users at these events who have reached the decision to fully embrace it in their businesses. I leave these events filled with excitement.
5 Ways to Sell Salespeople on CRM
January 26, 2012
The way the concept of CRM is defined during the sales process can sow the seeds of its ultimate failure. Because the decision makers are often sales managers rather than actual salespeople, the pitch is usually made that CRM makes it easier for the managers to manage their sales staff. Which is true. But what's in it for the sales staff?
Worst Practices: 3 Ways Businesses Fail at Social CRM
July 28, 2011
By now, most people understand the power and the value of adding a social component to your CRM strategy. Perhaps you're not yet ready to go to full social CRM, but you no doubt recognize that there is a lot of value in engaging with customers in the ways they want to engage. As social media become ever more omnipresent, you'll have no choice but to engage with customers through those channels.

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