The King Of CRM?
I just returned from a very good conference, and on the second night of the event I found myself at a table sitting next to that most elusive but cocksure figure, the self-proclaimed “King of CRM.”
He knew all there was to know about CRM and the customer, by his own words he could have taught the entire conference and from his POV there was “nothing new” as it relates to customer connection. In his loose-fitting, West Coast style of practiced elegance, his khakis and expensive casual shirt gave off the vibe of success. The expensive sunglasses he insisted on wearing covered the eyes which I am sure were green as a reflective pool of the money he must surely be making from “knowing it all.”
It got me to thinking; have we really “learned it all?” Is this the home stretch of CRM? Are we truly seeing the road signs ahead signaling that we have reached the end of the internet and we must turn around?
The King of CRM dismissively panned our questions at the table and bowed his head into the tablet that was in front of him like a force field protecting himself from the rest of us plebeians that debated his bravado. I won’t say whether he was on the client side or agency side but, rest assured, this monarch of mail and dictator of database confidently bleated that he was not only a pioneer in the space but his current employer “courted him heavily” for his throne as the King of CRM.
As a disloyal subject to the King, I really find myself troubled by the notion that we know all there is to know about our customers. It can’t be true, can it? For the wide net we cast out there to find, hook, lavish, delight and hang on to as it relates to customers are we completely out of ideas?
At the conference, we discussed the emerging content frontier of video and advertainment mixed in with the latest in social media tactics that hit customers upon their most personal space -- mobile. We discussed the highs and lows of allowing the influencers to assume the CMO’s seat for the foreseeable future and, inevitably, the slow and painful death impression-based acquisition.
I sought to ask my liege, the King, for a gentle moment of his time to inquire as to whether he saw social media and dynamic content programming as a means to tie in CRM efforts. This “Pompous Pilot” never removed his sunglasses but I felt the cold, green eyes rake me over carefully before he replied, “What a silly question.”
As the breeze wafted effortlessly around our resort and ruffled the gentle flames of the fire pit in front of us, he swilled his cocktail in its glass for a moment and issued a proclamation that “shiny object syndrome” is what’s wrong in the digital space today. And while there is a kernel of truth to that deep inside its vortex, I place my poker chips at the feet of the consumer, who not only likes shiny objects but is actually responsible for helping us create those shiny orbs by their behavior alone.
I am hoping many of you will join me in running to the CRM harbor and dumping the sanctimonious tea into its waters as a means of protest to the King and his oppressive viewpoints. Innovation and exploration must continue in our space but we need to find bright, new frontiers in which to prosper. We cannot possibly have reached the shores of CRM yet only to dream what could be on the next stretch of land.
But in the end it bears the asking, is the King right or does the Emperor have no clothes?