Social CRM


The Brass Tacks of Social Media

This week Esteban Kolsky and I launched a research initiative aimed at better understanding how businesses across the world are adopting social media for their business processes.

There has been anecdotal evidence over the last five-plus years about social’s efficacy as a business tool, and there have been about as many stories of companies that have failed to see any benefit. We say, enough of this, let’s get down to brass tacks!

Down to It

By the way, do you know where “brass tacks” comes from? You probably do. In the 19th century, people made most of their clothes, for which they bought material from the general store. Cloth came in bolts made up of a specific number of yards (some bolts are longer than others, even today), and the purchaser might order a few yards for a project. Storekeepers got to be pretty good at estimating a length of cloth. I would have been a natural at it because my wing span is six feet. At least I could easily measure out even numbers of two or more yards, but measuring three would present a small problem for me.

Every general store had a mark on the counter delimited by, guess what? Brass tacks! Measuring out a yard of cloth became nothing more than comparing a length of cloth to the reference on the counter. This might also be where the idea of a benchmark comes from, but I have no proof (but it would make a nice story, no?).

Your Turn

So our effort regarding social media follows an honorable and perhaps convoluted history. My casual observation has been that small or emerging companies like Zapatos have been better at adopting socialized business processes than larger companies, but then there are companies like Burberry’s and Toyota, which have gone whole-hog on the social enterprise vision of Marc Benioff.

So, enough with prognosticating, let’s get some answers.

Therefore, after all this time, getting the dope on social media adoption might be something that should be of genuine interest to all of us — Esteban and me especially. If this is something that interests you as well, then we have a small favor to ask. Take the survey we’ve put together and tell us what you see and think.

The questions are easy in that they don’t require special effort or math skills — just tell us what you think. There’s a prize at the end but you will need to answer the whole survey to discover it. So please take our survey. The future of western civilization does not hang in the balance, but your job might. Just sayin’.

Denis Pombriant

Denis Pombriant is the managing principal of the Beagle Research Group, a CRM market research firm and consultancy. Pombriant's research concentrates on evolving product ideas and emerging companies in the sales, marketing and call center disciplines. His research is freely distributed through a blog and website. He is the author of Hello, Ladies! Dispatches from the Social CRM Frontier and can be reached at [email protected].

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