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Who’s on First: Social CRM for the Asocial enterprise.

by Michael Maoz  |  August 17, 2010  |  5 Comments

Well, several countries and 18,000 miles later and I’m back. I got to visit quite a few clients and listen to their challenges. Real business leaders struggling with real issues is what keeps me grounded. It is also what can make me a cautious analyst when it comes to predicting the value of new processes and technologies. Change is incredibly hard for most of us. I, for one, do not like change. I still have a Members Only jacket. I’m not allowed to wear it, but I can’t throw it out, either.  Why is it hard to change as a business? A lot of it has to do with the multiple entities that control the levers of change.

Let me share the job titles around the room in a recent meeting with a client regarding embarking on a social CRM program: 

CFO of IT
Senior manager, enterprise projects
Chief Technology Officer
VP Customer Care
Head of Enterprise Management
VP, Workforce Management (HR)
Head of Customer Strategies
VP of Solutions Engineering
VP, Technical Services
Senior Technologist,  Enterprise Architecture
Chief of Customer Experience

There are cadres of people working for, with, or under each of these folks. They are all bright and eager and many are somewhat jaded by the term, “Social.” Some of them want to do a “Social Project” while others think it was social enough of them to just show up for the meeting and now their quota is filled. Check.

I asked the obvious question: How did you come to be at this meeting as a group? That elicited a lot of laughter, some of it genuine and some of it nervous.

“What are you tasked to achieve?” More smiles/smirks/anxious laughter.

Well, the CEO attended a forum and his/her cohort was crowing about their latest “Social” initiative, and now said CEO is feeling like an underachiever. They want one of their own.

I suggested that they not resist, but also not feel trapped in a box. Social might mean internal collaboration. It might be monitoring and responding to posts, Tweets, and forums. It might mean allowing more ratings of products and services.

This Fall we will be publishing an entire Social CRM Health Check Series to help you assess your “Social” readiness. We have 15 analysts working on this already. I’ll keep you apprised. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your initiatives, so keep the emails and calls coming.

Category: crm  customer-centric-web  innovation-and-customer-experience  it-governance  leadership  social-crm  social-networking  social-software  strategic-planning  twitter  

Michael Maoz
VP Distinguished Analyst
13 years at Gartner
26 years IT industry

Michael Maoz is a research vice president and distinguished analyst in Gartner Research. His research focuses on CRM and customer-centric Web strategies. Mr. Maoz is the research leader for both the customer service and support strategies area and customer-centric Web… Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Who’s on First: Social CRM for the Asocial enterprise.


  1. I can understand…change is frightening. The unknown is a hard thing for people to wrap thier minds around. I am curious as to why those people you mention in the post were at that table too and why there was not a communications representative. Of course, there are so many titles specific to each organization, perhaps one of those titles was representative of the PR/Mktg branch. When we discuss change or new programs, pr/mktg are often left in the cold until the execution stage. Internal education and awareness are key at the onset of any new project or change management. If we spent more time on readiness of internal functions, external functions would be more smooth. Keep up the great research…looking forward to the Health Check Series.

  2. I find it very interesting that your list of “job titles around the room in a recent meeting with a client regarding embarking on a social CRM program” had nobody from “marketing, sales or PR.”

    It’s very difficult to take an integrated 360 degree approach to CRM/sCRM without these people!

  3. @collsdad says:

    Lauren and Jim, you guys have nailed it! Where is PR/Marketing/Sales in this esteemed lline-up of talking heads. It sounds like the flaky CEO fire-drill which probably had the sub-text of – “it sounds a bit techy, get a load of guys in the room and figure it out, then get back to me and tell me how much its likely to cost”.

    Michael, your Health Check series on Social CRM seems an inspired initiative.

  4. Michael Maoz says:

    You nailed it! We all say a collective, Amen. While I agree, I don’t get to choose who our clients send to their meetings, but it is a fair reflection of a good percentage of businesses.



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