By Jean Young, Vice President, ISM Inc.
“There was a 50 percent increase in attendance from last year,” bragged one of the busy Gartner staff at the recent Customer 360 Summit in Orlando. She and a hard-working analyst and executive staff had every reason to feel good since the topics — CRM, Social CRM and Social Media Communities — were the draw.
I was there with one of the few non-Gartner speakers, ISM’s founder and president, Barton Goldenberg, who helped lead the CRM industry from a software vendor environment to the customer centric focus of today. “This feels a lot like the late 1980’s and 1990’s when every company knew they couldn’t compete without CRM,” he observed.
Goldenberg, one of the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame, also knows there is a new face at the ball that everyone wants to dance with: “Social”. Social CRM, Social Media Networking, Social Media Communities, Social Media Analytics – the list went on and on, one session after the other.
The workshops and small user groups were the place for the doers to express concerns, ask questions, and admit there is a long way to go before CRM and Social CRM are truly integrated and produce predictable and reliable results.
Goldenberg, who led such a workshop, examined the issues challenging many of the attendees: privacy, ROI, analytics, and the pull of a cross-functional team (e.g., customer service, sales, marketing, legal, and PR). But there are also success stories, and Goldenberg discussed several of ISM’s clients, including Kraft, Marriott, Macmillan and AAA. In a well-attended session co-presented with a Macmillan executive, he gave his formula for success. “Get the mix of People-Process-Technology right and go for it. A toe in the water does not work with Social Media.”