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July 11, 2012

Pioneer Talks Social CRM and Beyond

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC has transformed the way businesses look and manage their customers. With that, the rise of mobility and social media – and the fact that TMC this year celebrates 30 years of covering customer interaction – means it couldn’t be a better time to look at where we’re at and where we’re going with customer management and the customer experience at large. TMC is also rebranding and retooling its customer care and customer experience coverage.

In this installment of our CUSTOMER coverage, we talk with Michael Peachey, director of solutions marketing at Peachey has more than 16 years of experience in the IT industry, having held a variety of product management and marketing roles at Pareto Networks, Juniper Networks, Peribit Networks, and Lucent Technologies before coming to 

How and when was established?

Peachey: was founded in 1999 with a vision to bring about the end of software. When the company was founded, we asked why business apps weren’t as easy to use as (News - Alert). Now with more than 100,000 customers, is asking why business apps aren’t more like Facebook, and today we are leading the shift to the social enterprise. Social enterprises leverage social, mobile and open cloud technologies to revolutionize how they interact with their customers and employees.


Who uses these solutions?

Peachey: Already, organizations like NBCUniversal, Electronic Arts, and Burberry have embraced the power of the social enterprise to build customer and employee social networks to put customers and employees at the heart of their business. Start-ups and SMB organizations like Grooveshark, Spotify (News - Alert), and Bonobos are also leveraging Salesforce to become social enterprises, to reach a global customer base in a personal and impactful way.


We’re celebrating the 30-year anniversary of TMC’s Customer Interaction Solutions magazine. What has been the most important development in the past 30 years related to customer interactions?

Peachey: Today, we are in the midst of a social revolution. The business world is moving faster and the use, interpretation, implementation and analysis of social networking is at the center of that revolution. Today, people are spending more time on social networks and mobile devices than any other type of web app or computing device, and companies are awakening to the reality that it’s no longer possible to stand on the sidelines of this revolution – they need to act.

Thanks to this shift, more consumers are turning to the web to get answers and talk directly with brands — this is giving companies a massive opportunity to engage with and delight their customers like never before. CRM tools that are built for the social enterprise enable brands to meet customers where they are – on social media and mobile devices. These social and mobile CRM technologies are helping companies transform into social enterprises that put customers at the heart of their business. Social enterprises realize huge benefits, from increased sales, to increased brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

Tell us more about how CRM is changing and what’s meant by social CRM.

Peachey: CRM is changing thanks to companies like that are making social CRM – a term that’s been tossed around for years – a reality with social enterprise solutions. is the only vendor to take all the pieces of social that touch the customer and deliver them as one unified offering across marketing, sales, and customer service. also encouraged the industry to think about how making internal processes more social impacts the customer. This shift to the social enterprise is transformational for CRM.

Social enterprises leverage social, mobile and open cloud technologies to revolutionize how they interact with their customers and employees. In fact, a 2010 McKinsey study stated that social enterprises have greater market share, increased revenue, and improved productivity. is helping companies transform into social enterprises with three key steps.

Customers today expect that the companies they work with know what they ‘like’ on Facebook, what they are saying on Twitter, who they are connected to on LinkedIn (News - Alert) and more. In the social enterprise, the social customer profile captures all of this publicly available information, empowering every employee to delight customers by knowing who they are and delivering an entirely new level of service, only possible in today’s social world.

Through employee social networks, people at work can rapidly collaborate on ideas and information. Using the social features popularized by Facebook and Twitter (News - Alert) – such as profiles, status updates and real-time feeds – employee social networks let employees ‘follow’ documents, people, business processes and application data. The result is a new level of productivity that crosses departments and organizational barriers because the insights are pushed to employees in real-time.

By connecting to social channels like Facebook and Twitter, companies can delight customers by listening, analyzing and engaging with them. Customer social networks allow companies to collaborate on marketing, selling, and servicing their customers, making every interaction more strategic than ever before.


How is marketing changing?

Peachey: Organizations now need to cater to a market segment size of one. Each customer is unique, and as such, each customer’s experience needs to be as personalized as possible to increase brand loyalty. Social tools like’s new Radian6 Social Marketing Cloud are letting companies turn millions of social conversations into dynamic engagements that strengthen customer relationships. This technology enables businesses to monitor on a social scale by capturing 150 million sources of social media conversations across the web, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (News - Alert), LinkedIn, blogs, online communities and more. Social marketing tools like Radian6 help enterprises adapt to the new world of social marketing with innovations like social insights, social engagement, and social workflow.

Insights tools provide intelligent dashboards and sophisticated analytics to filter through the noise, identify relevant conversations and perform marketing campaign analysis. These tools can dive deep and provide an additional level of information like demographics, influence, geolocation, sentiment and topic categorization to conversations, allowing marketers to understand the impact of a campaign and have the flexibility to respond to customer sentiment and reaction in real time.

Engagement tools enable companies to engage with customers directly where the conversation is taking place – whether on Twitter, Facebook or other social channels. They can also utilize third-party data to provide a comprehensive view of social conversations as well as the ability to see Trending Topics from Twitter, statistics to determine the reach of shared links and more.

By applying sophisticated analysis and rules, companies can use cloud marketing tools to organize massive amounts of social media conversations. These action streams can automatically route relevant social content for quick engagement and response, as well as populate social customer profiles, helping marketers create relevant campaigns based on what the consumer likes.               

New social site development tools like Salesforce are also changing marketing. Salesforce empowers marketers to deliver fresh, relevant content across websites, portals, landing pages and public social networks with a cloud content management system that’s built for the social enterprise. Now marketers can quickly and easily deliver a consistent brand experience to their customers and prospects.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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