Our session on Social CRM was an interesting panel. When you mix the view of the world from LinkedIn, Blue Sky Factory (an ESP) and two agencies (Rapp and Razorfish), you'll certainly get a few opinions about what digital social behavior is doing to our beloved industry.
I loved the opinions on my panel. Steve Patrizi of LinkedIn had an interesting view on corporate liability of employees on social sites. He feels the corporate world will have less and less patience for wild antics or the proverbial separation of personal and professional actions online. No more will you be able to act out on your personal Facebook page, as you are a part of the brand. Steve feels there will be a lot of movement around how companies use social sites to monitor employees and how employers look at candidates to hire.
Greg Cangialosi of Blue Sky Factory had interesting views of the world from an email service provider perspective. He essentially sees the platforms as enablers and feels there will be a much tighter coupling of tools used to enable social discussions, site experiences and direct response. He sees a multi-modal world where many channels are mixed to build an experience and the ESPs will have to accommodate the need for data and the need to integrate with blogs, feeds, sites, mobile and third-party data providers.
Andy Goldman of Rapp is perhaps the most articulate guy I know. I joked that anyone who uses the term "heterogeneous tribes" in a sentence is likely getting paid too much. But he made complete sense and had interesting views coming from a traditional CRM agency that has bolstered its digital chops. As such, they have a very unique view of the world; what I'd describe as "Lower End of the Funnel" strategy when it comes to social. Social Marketing is about connected experiences and we as advertisers and marketers must realize that social is not purely a channel. It's a connection between experiences and how we monetize these from a holistic customer experience.
There were a few things that surfaced in our chats as I concluded the panel with, "What do you think we'll be talking about next year this time?"
Several conversations stemmed from the PII (Personally Identifiable Information) discussions. This will be a critical subject over the next year and it's likely we'll have many more panels on this and how PII is used, legal restrictions and latest interpretations. I doubt it will be solved in a year, yet believe that Internet behavioral data is at the top of the list for many politicians and regulatory agencies.
Another topic that sprung up is Tort. We think there will be quite a movement around companies suing employees over misrepresentation of the brand and employees suing employers over freedom of speech in social forums. We anticipate this to be a hot topic.
Case studies will be the next hot area. While we have successful case studies popping up everywhere, next year, we'll have real results that help shape where the social Internet fits into the PR, advertising, marketing and CRM worlds. It will support all forms of the enterprise and I believe we'll see more of a separation of what was done well, what was the goal of the effort (aside from generating fans), that is more closely tied to organizational KPIs/goals.
Should be an exciting time!