Thursday, 11 August 2011

Social CRM. Good riddance. Next: Social ERP?

Paul Greenberg, dubbed by some "the godfather of SCRM" wrote a post on ZDNET about Gartner's 2011 SCRM Magic Quadrant. Paul is not pleased with the 2011 SCRM MQ, and he wasn't with the 2010 either.
I'm with Paul on all his points against Gartner's selection and evaluation process, yet against him on berating Gartner. Although I don't think very highly of Gartner, if they fail to understand your love child, you just didn't do your homework very well

According to Paul, SCRM is 2-3 years old and emerging. According to that same Paul, SCRM started back in 2007 - and even describes in the same article how a thought leader claims the discussion between Social CRM and CRM 2.0 has been going on since just about last century. Given the fact that Paul's end plea is about his claim that SCRM is an emerging market, those are important facts

So, what is it? Well, if you ask me, it's a solution looking for a problem. Social CRM is a content-free hobby, and according to its definition that shouldn't be a surprise:

“Social CRM is a philosophy & a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes & social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted & transparent business environment. It’s the company’s programmatic response to the customer’s control of the conversation.”

A philosophy? That's a hobby. A business strategy? That should have a business outcome. What is that outcome? "To provide mutually beneficial value". Uh-huh. Works well with the stakeholders I presume.
Supported by a technology platform? Ah that is an invitation to vendors, isn't it?
"The company’s programmatic response to the customer’s control of the conversation" - I doubt it. Since when is there a conversation? Sure we all speak now on social networks, but who's hearing? And who ever hears, to which do they listen?

For all these years, every single person or vendor having (had) a try at Social CRM has failed to provide a business case for it. Not even a flimsy one. I've had my doubts about Enterprise 2.0, and drove a nail into that coffin in November 2010, and I've had my doubts about SCRM as well - this might be their nail

I don't understand how people can separate their work lives from their private lives. Return on investment determines my entire life, every single second of it. Sometimes it's tangible, sometimes it's not - but I always make a choice based on ROI; that doesn't mean I always need an R for an I, by the way. I give freely of what I have in abundance, but what I don't have very much of, I think wisely before sharing that

So, Godfather of SCRM aka Paul Greenberg, honestly now: would you even invest a penny into something with a definition of this kind? Hell no. You could replace "Social CRM" in the above definition by anything else. Try Twitter. Try Sharepoint. Try Porn. Not much of a difference, is there?
I've never seen a worse definition of anything, and his refusal to make it better now bites him in the ass - officially

But SCRM's biggest mistake is being ignorant of the fact that one can't even make it towards the Peak of Inflated Expectations without a technology trigger. Sure there's a consumer technology trigger, but nothing near a customer one: a customer is someone who pays for your goods or services, a consumer is a potential customer. SCRM has failed to understand this for years. Traditional CRM is not about consumers, it's about customers. SCRM? 100% about consumers - what Dion Hinchcliffe calls Social Marketing is the closest thing to SCRM that will ever see the light of day

So, dear SCRM, I carry thee to the grave. Have a try at social ERP next: it's an equally blanket term to define everything, and mean nothing. Good luck!

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