Social CRM 2011 – London (overview)

On Friday (May 6th) some of the Liberate Media Team went to Social CRM 2011 in London.

The event was developed by the team at Our Social Times, headed by Luke Brynley-Jones, to explore the latest tools and techniques for implementing a successful Social CRM strategy.You can read the official overview with presentation links here.

The day kicked off by trying to answer the question that was challenging us all: `What is Social CRM?’ Having discussed this issue with a number of attendees at the event there seemed to be some agreement that the term Social CRM may be one of the key issues effecting its development. Many do not understand the term, but most want to do it and in fact some already are, with varying degrees of success.

This is perhaps the perennial problem for social media, in its many forms and guises, all of which come with different titles and definitions.

So what of the speakers? The first was Brent Leary – Co-founder, CRM Essentials LLC who kicked off trying to explain The Social Contract: Realising the Promise of Social CRM

He began by identifying how the changes in web usage have led to Social CRM, highlighting that in 2005 Eric Schmidt – Google CEO announced there was 5M Terabytes of web information, this was before Facebook, Twitter and the new generation of mobile devices.

At that time, there were 20 million blogs, which have since grown to 200 million, with 1.2 Zettabytes of web info. This is predicted to grow to 35 trillion gigabytes by 2020.

He described current CRM as CIM (Customer Information Management), and highlighted that ‘organisations must provide content that builds trust, and helps customers do what is important to them.’

The issue is that Consumers believe that companies are not going the extra mile (AMEX quote) and that ‘2011 will bring an impressive increase in the amount of customer service delivered over social networks

The second presentation, ‘Three reasons you will do social CRM‘ was given by Esteban KolskyFounder, ThinkJar who is very passionate and knowledgeable on this subject.

He stated that: “Companies tend to start using social media to talk at their customers not to listen to them” and defined CRM as a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a system and a technology, designed to improve human interactions in a business environment.

Esteban highlighted four key functions of Social CRM, and confirmed SocialCRM is merely a new way to translate social activities into CRM:

1. Community management
2. Social analytics engine
3. Actionable layer unit
4. System-of-record integration layer

He also offered the following key reasons why organisations should engage in SocialCRM:

1. Your customers are talking
2. Big data is coming – analytics engines will be crucial (not just about the amount of data, it’s about what you do with it)
3. It is about collaboration

Kolsky, brought us back to the bigger picture, saying Social CRM is just one step, the evolution is social business and then a collaborative enterprise.

He warned that `Companies must have social infrastructure inside that reflects, reinforces and develops external social customer links.’ And ‘Success in social media for business as it relates to customers can be considered social CRM success – for now.

I also noted Kolsky’s generational slides, which can be seen using the slideshare link:

10 year generational focuses
1960s – loyalty economy
1970s – service economy
1980s – personal computes
1990s – internet www
2000s – social evolution

Evolution of social deployments
1990 – CRM collaboration
2010 – SCRM E2.0
2015 – Social business
2020 – Collaborative enterprise

Up next was Mitch Lieberman – VP Strategic Marketing, Sword Ciboodle who presented on Coordination or Collaboration, and started off with a David Meerman Scott quote: `Nobody cares about your products, people care about their problems’ - and added `Customers do not want a relationship with your business, they want the benefits a relationship can offer to them’‘.

Lieberman made an important point that `Community is not only external – it’s internal as well.‘ And `You are traditionally the most Social part of the organisation – that has not changed.’

After a short break we went into the first of the monitoring services, and Catriona Oldershaw,  of Synthesio UK who spoke about implementing enterprise class Social CRM offering case studies of tool usage, specifically for Accor Hotels.

She also highlighted the Synthesio tool by looking at the conversation around Prince William’s balding head during the recent Royal wedding, and suggested an opportunity to Regaine, while also identifying Pippa Middleton‘s Facebook and Twitter profiles, which sprang up from the coverage of her bottom at the same event – e.g. @pippasass

We then went into a Discussion Panel on Implementing Social CRM for Brands.

Chair: Mark Tamis (Net-7), Esteban Kolsky (ThinkJar), Mitch Lieberman (Sword Ciboodle), Eric Stahl ( This included some nice one liners such as:

’95% of social data is noise. Stop fighting fires and focus on your most important customers.’

‘We need to connect the dots! How well do you know your customers? You may have their email address but do you have their Twitter ID or Facebook?’

Following lunch, Giles Palmer, Managing Director, Brandwatch who is always a great speaker, presented on How to Identify Social Media Mentions That Matter, with case studies on Nissan and redefining Social CRM as Web Based Customer Issues/Relations.

He also told us that ‘Google alerts finds less than 5% of the social media mentions that Brandwatch does‘, which will come as a shock to many that rely on Google Alerts alone as part of their social media monitoring.

We then heard from, who spoke about `how to grow your internal corporate Network to leverage collective knowledge and experience, featuring Eric Stahl & Xabier Ormazabal – who did a live demo of’s Chatter. This is a Facebook-like platform that allows organisations to internally follow colleagues, docs, opportunities and campaigns in the newsfeed.

Luis Carranza, Head of Social Media, Chemistry Communications Group presented Hit Me Up: Managing Multi-Channel Relationships for Marketing, in which he told us about hyper-connected networks and the need to focus on human interaction.

He confirmed that Content works best with the right context, and ‘finding someone’s passion points is essential.’

Luis gave us the run down on how Facebook rates content, looking at Affinity, Content Weight and Time’.

Richard Hughes, Head of Product Strategy, BroadVision, then offered 5 reasons Why Companies Need Their Own Social CRM Platform

1. Control the conversation –   or at least some of the conversation, with the ability to steer the conversation. You have to accept people are going to say bad things about you, accept this then you get started!
2. Control the Platform
3. Complexity of relationships
4. Depth of Engagement
5. Connect your social ecosystem

Finally, Mark Tamis at Net-7 offered us an insight on the Future of Social CRM, confirming broadcasting and not listening is ineffective, and collaboration is the missing piece of the puzzle.

The last session was a panel debate on SCRM & The Customer Perspective: Privacy, Ownership & Expectations. Featuring Chair: Richard Sedley (Commercial Director, Foviance), Richard Hughes (BroadVision), Chris Butler (COO, WeCanDo.Biz) and Brent Leary (CRM Essentials).

This was a great way to finish off the session, with some good audience conversation around:

- Humanising the conversation. It’s not about the technology/data, it’s about the person using it.

- Encouraging us to avoid automated monitoring and interact with your followers

This session ended on a question from Luke Brynley-Jones about what the panel thinks about LinkedIn potentially going into Social CRM as an end game? Probably the best answer was: ‘what do they mean by social CRM?’

Congratulations to Luke and the Our Social Times team on another excellent event with a strong delegate list that offered really insightful conversation, not just during the sessions, but also throughout the networking elements and breaks.


One thought on “Social CRM 2011 – London (overview)

  1. Pingback: Social CRM 2011 – London (review) | Online PR and social media … » Veille CRM

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