CRM has always purported to be about relationships, but it's often used primarily for sales. That's kind of a good news, bad news situation. The bad news first: CRM got a bad rap when it didn't become a sales panacea (mostly for adoption issues). The good news: It exposed a void in the mix that mark...

Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a set of Microsoft Dynamics CRM features that will be generally available in the second quarter of this year. There are three main areas of change in this latest iteration: new marketing functionality; enhanced customer service options; and the introduction of a unified...

INSIGHTS

The 3 Ages of CRM

I have written often about the connection between CRM and economics, almost as if one explains the other. While I still believe it in part, my thinking has evolved and become more nuanced over the last 15 years to the point that today I want to discuss my evolution. Social science is for me the obvi...

INSIGHTS

Marketing Automation Report Card

After two years of fairly hectic activity in the marketing automation space, it might be useful to ask where all the commotion has gotten us. Once a captive of finance, which was concerned with reeling in marketing's costs and rationalizing expenses with known -- or at least knowable -- benefits, ma...

INSIGHTS

Your Employees Are Rock Stars

I go to a lot of conferences. Usually they're a combination of customer user group meetings and analyst days, and we all hear more or less detail about product futures, new functions and features, and policy rollouts. If you know how to look at these events, you can see a certain scene repeated: A c...

It is difficult to overstate the importance of social CRM to retailers given the almost tailor-made suitability of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest et al. for reaching out and engaging with customers. What's less clear, however, is exactly how retailers should use social CRM to talk with those customers...

EXPERT ADVICE

Analog Marketing Strategies for a Digital World

Do you remember walking by telephone poles at downtown intersections 10 or 20 years ago and seeing them covered in fliers, placards and notices? If it was a really popular intersection, there were probably several layers of paper pinned, tacked, taped and stapled on top of each other. If the telepho...

PRODUCT PROFILE

Zozi: It’s All About the Experience

Zozi, which connects customers to activity-related adventures or trips -- say sailing lessons or rock-climbing tours -- rolled out a CRM system earlier this year that is an offshoot of an acquisition the startup made at the end of 2012. The name of the CRM system is "Zozi Advance," and it is a build...

This past May mobile app developers dodged a bullet when a California state court sided with Delta Airlines in a dispute over its mobile app. California's attorney general had sued Delta, alleging that the company violated the state's mobile privacy law, which requires a company to clearly state tha...

Intercom, which offers businesses a tool to create personalized communications with customers, has secured some $6 million in a Series A round of funding. The Social+Capital Partnership, founded by former Facebook vice president Chamath Palihapitiya, handled the fundraising. Yammer founder David Sac...

Building a customer relationship -- the kind that lasts a long time -- is a not an easy thing. There are lots of occasions where things can go awry, touch points where signals can get crossed and communications that can unwittingly turn a customer off. In a lot of cases, the proverbial "customer lif...

INSIGHTS

2 Steps Back: The Social Revolution

We have this idea of modern computing that is closely tied to social media, and rightly so. Social media is a kind of glue that ties us together in new and bigger configurations than our own human capabilities. However, it is also the unspoken issue in the Yahoo brouhaha about working from home -- t...

INSIGHTS

Subscriptions, Social and CRM

"Who is the customer?" It's a great question, one that my managers liked to ask when I was a young sales representative. Like all great questions, it got to the meat of the matter with an economy of words that were impressive as much for their brevity as for their meaning. The customer's identity is...

OPINION

Secrets for Speeding CRM Time to Value

We all know about the idea of total cost of ownership and the concept of return on investment. Both have their place in business evaluations of CRM. There's another measurement, however, that should be considered -- one I like to call "time to value." The T2V test is simple: From the time you begin ...

OPINION

3 Bad Habits to Unlearn for SCRM Success

For the better part of six years, we pundits have been urging businesses to get social. Social CRM even has its own Gartner Magic Quadrant, and while the entries in that document are all over the map in terms of what they do, vendors serving aspects of SCRM are well established. Gartner itself said ...

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