Monday, May 31, 2010

Social Media a CRM perspective

Social Media lends itself to Customer Relation Management. Infact Social Media enables CRM to increase the brand and customer connect, get interactive and be more receptive. Thus increasing the brand awareness, creating a positive brand perspective and thereby encouraging loyalty. This then leads to more sell and up sell. It also encourages the existing customer to become the brand ambassador and introduce new members to the system.

Those organizations willing to invest the time and resources required to develop and support a strong virtual presence are gaining practically unlimited access to consumers' steady outpouring of raves and rants, toward favorite and disliked companies and products. Tying this invaluable data into a CRM solution generates sales leads, ideas for product direction and strengthens a company's image and brand. As a result, those companies that use the strongest social CRM integrations should increase revenue; expand market share; improve their corporate image and, maybe, even fine-tune product development to offer items with the most wished-for features or capabilities.

Unlike traditional CRM, which creates vast internal databases of clients and prospects, social networking sites are external repositories of direct communication and indirect comments about businesses, products, people, experiences and an array of customer sentiment. Therefore, CRM software developers are creating tools that allow companies to locate, absorb and use the thousands or millions of messages about their company, products, advertising campaigns or reputation.

At little cost or effort, a business now potentially can reach far more customers or prospects. Opinionated social networking users become a virtual focus group, praising or complaining about a company's offerings, and coming up with suggestions for improvements or new products or brands. Social CRM also allows a company to track - and interact with - those who are vocal in their displeasure with a given product, service or brand.

Service calls may drop, too, as consumers reach out to their personal networks as the first round of contact for a technical question or how-to query. Savvy responders also become a company's asset, perhaps becoming thought-leaders or go-to resources in product developments.The goal is to build on the success of CRM solutions, adding the 'social' capability and enhancing the overall customer experience and revenue-creation opportunities. To accomplish this, companies should create customer-focused online communities with well-established components like blogs, forums, chats and wikis. Businesses also need to monitor social networking sites, recognizing and rewarding - often with badges, stars or other low-cost measures - those who are most proactive and communicative about a company's products or services.

In addition, social CRM should incorporate the strong workflow capabilities of traditional CRM software systems, otherwise all this important data may be relatively useless. Businesses must ensure all relevant departments and individuals have access to the information streaming into their computers via active social networks. Likewise, executives want results, they want to see if their investment has a direct correlation with the goals of increased revenue, decreased support, expanded market share and enhanced brand. So it is imperative that social CRM includes business intelligence or analytical tools that measure success and help guide any corrections or enhancements along the way.

Unlike a strong corporate website, businesses should tap the boundless, less structured and uncontrolled world of social media. Those communicating about a company or brand may never visit the company's home page, preferring to disseminate their comments, opinions and suggestions from LinkedIn to FaceBook. Social CRM then, must go to the source, not try to bring the source to it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Social Media Challenge

Many companies think of the internet like television: consumers are expected to sit patiently and absorb the branded message, and then act accordingly. Now, with the rise of a combination of technologies called Web 2.0, the internet is much more than a broadcast channel.

With the ever-increasing social use of the web, websites are becoming venues for discussion of ideas, opinions and transactions. Social networking is the framework in which these conversations happen. The challenge is to leverage the power of these new social networks to create innovative brand experiences.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Social Media Strategist

Develop comprehensive social media strategy, leveraging the major social networks (LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace), blogs, video, stand-alone social newtorks, social commerce and more.
Define ROI and success benchmarks and methods to ensure business objectives are met through social media engagement

Understand how to implement digital strategies in a marketing environment, knowing the parameters and KPIs that are unique to certain industries/clients.

Author creative messaging and content for social media communications

Awareness of latest social media developments, online behavior and trends.

Research existing and emerging social / professional networking channels, platforms, blogs, and applications for new ways to reach and engage in conversation with consumers.

Energize and train account teams and clients on social media best practices

Identify new opportunities to drive revenue, and organic growth, by fully leveraging capabilities of social media platforms

Develop and distribute regular client reports regarding campaign status and social media metrics

Expert in all things digital, including: blogging/microblogging, podcasting, video sharing and streaming, widgets and gadgets, viral campaign management, mobile marketing, social networking, etc.

Provide strategic counsel to clients and account team members on day-to-day issues.

Develop results-oriented strategic plans; develop creative, interactive ideas and concepts to expand new and existing programs, resulting in superior client engagements and an increase in agency revenues
Monitor projects to ensure that deadlines and quality assurance standards are met

LTV, LC and RFM connection

LTV is a measurement of net financial value contributed by a customer, and Lift measures are like a "time slice" of the overall LTV curve expressed over time.

LifeCycles are a management framework for programs designed to affect LTV, and models using Recency, Frequency, and Monetary are used to look at a "time slice" of the LifeCycle.

LTV can generally be increased in two ways: by creating more value during the existing LifeCycle, or by extending the LifeCycle. Marketing (including Product) is typically used when doing the first, Service and Operations -customer experience and
satisfaction -are largely what can affect the second.

So it is completely appropriate to establish a unified approach to the measurement of customer programs intended to increase the value of a customer across all these disciplines, in order to ensure the allocation of scarce resources to highest and best use.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Social media marketing in India

With the penetration of broadband in India, various Indian companies have started exploring ways of marketing their products online. The market for e-commerce is growing at a rapid pace, according to NASSCOM. Companies have realized this and hence Internet marketing now forms a significant part of a company’s annual marketing budget. However, most Indian companies till recently were taking the search engine ppc marketing route to market their products online. Only recently have they realized a more effective and cheaper online marketing technique – social media marketing.

Social media marketing involves, marketing a firms products through social media sites such as offering product sampling to a target group, buying reviews from leading blogs and review sites and so on. The delay in companies taking up the social media marketing route to effectively market their products was because of a lack of a quality and reputed intermediary which would be a one stop shop for all social media marketing needs of a company. But with the emergence of companies like IZEA which specialize in blog marketing, all this has changed for the better. No wonder more and more Indian companies have now started breaking the traditional boundaries of marketing and are trying out new and non conventional online marketing and advertising models.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Email Marketing could be on principles of Social Media

The great thing about social media is that everyone can participate. People can share their opinions, ask questions, and offer advice. Everyone likes to feel like an expert. You can incorporate this into your emails by using customer-generated product reviews, customer questions, or even featuring the products that are most highly rated by customers.

  • Some companies put a face on their social marketing by revealing the person behind the tweets or blog -- the same tactic can work in email
  • Limiting your content to a specific audience creates ambassadors who will share your content for you
  • Incorporating games or interactive applications into email can drive engagement through the roof