BrainTrust Query: How the Rapid Rise of Social Media and Social CRM Impacts Customer Loyalty
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Loyalty 360 blog.
According to the 2010 Colloquy/DMA survey, two-thirds of respondents were unable to express what the most important measure of social media success would be. All new media seems “promising,” but consumers and brands have a hard time defining what the promise is and what it should be.
To quote a CMO at a large Fortune 500 brand, “We realize there is potential in all of these new technologies and media and there is a need for us, but how do we define it? It seems to be a moving goalpost.”
The technologies that can create, engender, and enhance loyalty marketing, specifically, as well as CRM, CEM, and marketing/engagement in general, are very interesting — such as Social CRM and its ability to follow numerous web/mobile-based conversations and give meaning to them for their “additive attributes.” I do not look to these new technologies as a replacement for loyalty or CRM, but rather as a complementary technology that can increase the efficacy of existing infrastructures.
However, my question is, with this rapid proliferation of technologies, how can the individuals who run marketing programs for brands, merchants and banks of all sizes better understand this? How can they tell if the product (new media or packaged good) is going to be the next new Coke or Red Bull, the next My Space or Facebook?
I think this space is even more challenging with respect to bandwidth. We live in a day and age of increased responsibilities, opportunities and time constraints. I know most of my friends and colleagues are short on one resource: Time. How does the average individual have time to engage all of these new products and technologies given their lack of time?
According to the 2010 Cone Consumer New Media Study, more than 80 percent of consumers say they follow only five or fewer brands online, whether through Facebook, Twitter or an RSS feed. Marketers now have to question not only what the next new, breakthrough technology is going to be, but “How do you get to be one of those five?”
Companies, in my view, will be challenged with regard to where to next look for actionable data and how to quickly identify the new sites where dialogues are forming and can be measured and monetized in this quickly evolving social landscape. It will be challenging to not only keep up with Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, Living Social, Gowalla, Facebook, the company blog, communities, etc., but also to keep up with the quickly evolving social media (not to mention mobile) landscape. The opportunity lies in the ability to get a comprehensive and consolidated perspective of the conversations happening across this landscape and to give it insight.
Discussion Questions: If most consumers follow five or fewer brands online, what loyalty marketing strategies should brands use to make sure they’re among them? How does social media bolster and perhaps complicate existing customer loyalty strategies?