New generations of consumers don’t need a handshake and a smile to make large purchases. That’s not to say that sales will become less social. On the contrary, companies will need to be more socially engaged with customers — the age of the social CRM has arrived.
Social CRM Capabilities
The theoretical applications of social CRM are virtually endless. For example:
Markets are social constructs — what better way to research market conditions than with social software.
Social CRM enables ad, product, competitor and consumer research.
Promote brands by engaging customers by demographic, interest, industry and community.
Social CRM facilitates product development and sales planning.
Social technologies are emerging as commercially significant publicity tools.
Engage consumers on pricing — negotiate and determine price sensitivities.
Nurture relationships with existing customers and leads.
Crowdsource ads and deliver via social tools.
Social CRM engages customers on products, brand, loyalty programs, promotions and customer service.
A Better World?
Past technological advances in marketing triggered by cheap print ads and television were widely criticised for:
– creating a superficial consumer society
– manipulating people’s weaknesses, emotions and desires
– enabling propaganda
– targeting children etc …
Marketing driven by powerful Social CRM software has significant potential to drive sales — it also has great potential for consumer exploitation.