IMC Intuition

Thinking out loud about all things IMC

What does Customer Relationship Management (CRM) have to do with social or emerging media?

with 2 comments

One of the breakout sessions at last week’s IMC weekend at WVU was with Professor Bryan Bennett who is also President of the Insight Data Group.  He presented a talk entitled, “Customer Relationship Marketing:  Tales from the Front.”  

What does Customer Relationship Management (CRM) have to do with social or emerging media? 

The answer is that advanced systems are web based, global, and according to Prof. Bennett, “CRM describes a fundamental business strategy to deliver services and products consistently across an entire customer relationship rather than just within a particular product or business.”  The challenge is for companies to recognize customers as individuals satisfy individual requirements with personalized products and services and deliver based on what has been learned from customers.”  This idea of continually learning about customer preferences in a dynamic environment is what differentiates CRM from previous strategies. 

Arguably, one of the most effective channels for listening for the true voice of the customer is through social media channels such as Linked In Groups, Twitter and Blogs.  

Prof. Bennett has given me permission to reproduce one of his most important slides that contrasts the differences between direct marketing, data base marketing and CRM.

If an organization is still based in the database marketing  cycle, social media has no place.  For an organization with CRM, social media plays an important role in the continuous learning aspect of CRM strategy.

Comparison between Direct Marketing, Database Marketing & CRM

Comparison between Direct Marketing, Database Marketing & CRM


 Link to Insight Data Group:

 Link to Biz Insights Blog:


2 Responses

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  1. How many dollars and how much energy is wasted promoting products or services to potential customers who may have identified a need but the requirement is a year off or the budget won’t allow at the current time. Imagine if you could promote the solution at the time of the need? I think Prof. Bennett’s slide “Right promotion at the right time to the right customer” is certainly a huge benefit and the slide certainly provides a convincing comparison. Of course the plan of execution has to be appropriate and the information that is drawn from the CRM system must be correct and continuously updated and monitored. The utilization will also differ drastically from industry to industry due to different sales and marketing activity and customer dynamics.

    Mike Jacobs

    June 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm

  2. Great graphic which shows how CRM is still a vital piece of the marketing puzzle, even though many businesses will need to update how they think of CRM and its usefulness. I found a great blog article on Mashable about new CRM software, BuzzStream, that behaves like the social media many users may be familiar with. Check it out:

    This software allows the user to add contacts and media outlets while they browse, and I assume they can do so without logging into a separate page, so it seems this is a minimized application that takes up a small space on your browser or in your toolbar.

    It also features a browser-based bookmarking device, like, and allows you to track your interactions with contacts over time. You can also save their Twitter account info, email and add tags or notes for each contact. This sounds like a very cool way to integrate old tools, like email and CRM with new media outlets!


    June 28, 2009 at 1:20 am

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