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Salesforce Commerce Solution Guide

CRM Idols Pave the Way

By Erika Morphy
Nov 8, 2011 5:00 AM PT

The CRM Idols have been announced. The goal of the contest was to identify the best corporate video developed by an up-and-coming CRM company.

CRM Idols Pave the Way

In the Americas, the winning firm is Get Satisfaction. In the EMEA region, it is BPMonline.

The companies were chosen by popular vote of subject matter experts in the CRM space, with judges applying a scoring algorithm to the totals. If it sounds as though making the selections was a complicated and serious affair, that's because it was, said Denis Pombriant, principal of Beagle Research Group, and one of the contest judges.

"These were hard-fought races, and the contestants put a lot of work and energy into it," he told CRM Buyer.

Other judges of the contest: Paul Greenberg, Brent Leary, Esteban Kolsky, Jesus Hoyos, Silvana Buljan, Mark Tamis and Laurence Buchanan.

Sorting Through the Details

The judging involved close attention to a plethora of details, a requirement that occasionally became arduous, as reflected in a post by Paul Greenberg.

There were "a lot of interactions, mentoring programs, a lot of questions that had to be answered," he wrote. "We had to learn some things on the fly -- like incorporating a semi-final round before the finals. It turned out to be absolutely necessary and important to have so we could learn more about the companies that were (and weren't) ultimately chosen for the finals."

Assistly, Crowd Factory Social Marketing Suite and Stone Cobra's Apps for the Service Cloud were among the runner-ups.

"They were all good companies," Pombriant said.

"CRM Idol," named after the popular entertainment shows in the U.S. and UK, is a crowdsourced-version of Beagle Research's Short Tale contest, in which companies submit corporate videos for judging.

Importance of Corporate Video

Both acknowledge the same trend, Pombriant said -- the growing importance of video in the corporate sales and CRM space.

"Video expertise in the B2B space is getting better with each year," Pombriant said -- no doubt influenced by similar consumer trends typified on YouTube and other online video venues.

There were a few ground rules all CRM Idol contestants had to follow. The videos were limited to 10 minutes, and they had to highlight or explain what the company does and what business pain point it solves.

The contestants took it from there with some dramatic -- for corporate video -- results.

"The videos were aimed at connecting with the general public while explaining these firms' mission. So, yes, they were very interesting and visually appealing," Pombriant said.

Stone Cobra, for example, used half of its allotted time to demo its product. Other contestants, in contrast, went lighter on product demos and instead highlighted the solutions they could offer a company.

That was the approach used by Get Satisfaction, with a video featuring its CEO Thor Miller.


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