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Over the past two years Our Social Times has hosted social CRM conferences in London, New York and Paris.

It's a fast-growing industry with many specialist themes, but the first question the speakers always get asked is: "How does social CRM differ from traditional CRM?" 

With social CRM events in Frankfurt, Brussels and Paris looming, we've set out to pre-empt the "traditional vs social" question by publishing our answer in advance in infographic form (below). 

Inevitably, this is a simplistic representation of a complex issue, but it's also a good starting point for organisations seeking to integrate social media into their customer and stakeholder management processes.

Within the four uses of social CRM we've highlighted, Marketing, Sales, Feedback and Service & Support, the shift in thinking and approach required to capitalise on recent developments in customer behaviour (and expectations) is marked.

That said, best practices are emerging. American Airlines has a highly developed social CRM strategy and is implementing it effectively both for marketing and customer service. I've also seen excellent case studies from VistaPrint, Peugeot, Everything Everywhere, Citibank and SNCF. 

Examples like these are deepening our collective knowledge and encouraging more brands to shift from traditional to social CRM. We hope the image below helps in this process and, possibly, also saves us 30 mins of pre-discussion at our next events.

Traditional CRM vs Social CRM

Luke Brynley-Jones

Published 3 May, 2012 by Luke Brynley-Jones

Luke Brynley-Jones is Founder at Our Social Times and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

12 more posts from this author

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Michela Stribling (@mstribling)

This is a great snapshot of how the nature of CRM is changing. Your three key points
--brands need to respond to customers
--brands need to engage customers
--brands need to converse w/ customers
bring the "R" back to CRM.

That is, social CRM is about building true relationships with customers who expect a more meaningful connection than they've had with brands in the past.

Nicely done.

about 4 years ago

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Mark Stonham

I see customers moving towards self-service.

They will decide what they want and who they want it from through their social contacts. The company role increasingly becomes product management, order fulfillment and service.

Great if demand is high, like for Apple.

But if company loses traction with its buyers on any aspect (product, price, service etc) buyers will desert in droves. Traditional marketing is losing effectiveness as consumers have many other sources of information and influence.

Look at what Supermarkets have done to try to generate buyer loyalty, and extrapolate.

about 4 years ago

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Ines poemas

CRM is not like a Social Media the people use more social networks like another tool right now and this is an oportunity

about 4 years ago

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Martina

I much prefer social CRM over traditional even if it is still in its infancy. Most of our clients however are dead set against the idea of what they see as "discussing problems in the open". Rather than seeing it as an opportunity to right a wrong, most companies find it rather daunting and shy away from it.
Remains to be seen how these companies remain a competitive advantage in the future with a rising number of customers who prefer customer service over a lower price when it comes to product/service selection

about 4 years ago

Luke Brynley-Jones

Luke Brynley-Jones, Founder at Our Social Times

Thanks for your input. I agree Marina - there's an element of fear, rather than of seizing an opportunity, that seems to dominate decision-making on social CRM (and social media engagement in general) within large organisations.

Interestingly, as I posted last week on my blog at Our Social Times, Asian companies have a less risk averse approach and seem to be adopting sCRM faster than many Western brands. I found a bank in Malaysia with 500k Facebook fans and a clear strategy for social engagement - while most UK banks are still struggling with the issues you raise here.

about 4 years ago

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Beth Ingason

I always enjoy your infographics and find them a very useful way to understand the information. Thanks

about 4 years ago

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Mike Speranza

No wonder most customers are against social CRM seen as "discussing problems in the open". It's so easy to get it wrong, and when you do, it's difficult to recover from it. Once a CRM failure is in the open, it stays with you, it's used as case studies and your brand is forever associated with it.
It's very risky, it requires special skills to get right, but probably most importantly, it requires an openess which needs to be part of your company's DNA: in other words, it's not something you can fake and get away with it.

about 4 years ago

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Ric Pratte

I respectfully disagree with the assertion that sales is a by product of Social CRM. Pretty much every CEO will laugh at this.
Revenue generation is king. How you generate revenue is the key. In my opinion Social CRM is great at helping the business think lifetime value of a customer which thus helps generate more revenue. It's ALWAYS about sales.

about 4 years ago

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Don Peppers

The truth is, Martha Rogers' and my concept of one-to-one marketing (which morphed into "CRM" when IT vendors needed an acronym for the software they were selling) was ALWAYS about two-way, collaborative dialogue, and not about selling selling selling. But businesses just weren't ready for it, and interactive technologies weren't yet in everyone's hands the way they are today.

Today's "social CRM" has a lot more in common with the original concept of one-to-one than "traditional" CRM ever did. And now consumers are holding businesses up to a much higher standard of trustworthiness than ever before, as we've tried to outline in our new book Extreme Trust http://www.extremetrustbook.com/

Hooray for social media and anywhere-anytime-anyone interactivity!

about 4 years ago

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Erinn Curran

This diagram assumes that companies never engaged with customers before social media. They have always engaged with customers on the phone, face-to-face and always on the customers terms.

This diagram ignores complex businesses that gain little from using social media because their customers prefer to use private channels. For example a pharma company wishing to export is much more likely to score a deal using traditional CRM than Social CRM.

This diagram is wrong is so many ways, ignores so many kinds of business, over simplifies the customer needs and misunderstands how business has been conducted over many years. It reads as if those not using social media are stupid. Nothing could be further from the truth.

about 4 years ago

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Jeremy Taylor

I don't think the graphic says that one system is right and one is wrong. Companies using SCRM are using it to supplement - not replace - traditional CRM.

about 4 years ago

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Mark Stonham

Social Media is a channel which gives customers a voice into the marketplace, where previously they had limited reach, and the ability to listen to other customers.
I see this enables a 'customer community' into which others can be invited, including by existing customers.
So the SCRM acronym may evolve to become 'Social Community Relationship Management' as companies try to guide and influence what customers say about them and to them in the new social media environments, in the round of a community.

about 4 years ago

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Deniz Kayahan

Here, traditional crm definition is marketing 20-30 years ago, many things have been changed and smart companies are marketing better since long time before social media pops up. Seth Godin wrote permission marketing in 1999. Waste time to polish a new concept.

about 4 years ago

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