By Julie Ogilvie
A new report from Accenture on the impact of social media on sales and marketing makes for interesting and provocative reading. Social CRM: The New Frontier of Marketing, Sales and Service, is a well-written overview that uses numerous case studies to illustrate how the world of marketing and sales is being transformed through social media.
The basic point is that companies no longer control communication about their products and services. Our customers are now “co-owners” of our brands, and we need to change the way we market and sell to them. Gone are the days of simple marketing tactics with a simple linear progression of awareness to consideration to purchase. Now every communication is a seed in a vast field of social learning interaction. Anyone, anywhere, with access to Twitter or any other social platform, can embroider your message with their own personal perceptions, good or bad.
While this terrifies many marketers, the truth is that this is great news for consumers, as companies will no longer be able to get away with shoddy service and poor quality products. For SkillSoft, customer focus and satisfaction have been driving forces since the company’s inception. We’re extremely proud of the results from our annual customer satisfaction and loyalty surveys, and we take feedback from customers very seriously.
We’re relatively new to Facebook and Twitter and blogging, but we’re already seeing the benefit and more importantly, we’re learning a lot along the way. Our customers are in a similar period of transition, as they begin to think about social learning (and we’re working hard to help them with new products like inGenius).
It’s a new territory, and at times it can be disorienting. But it’s our belief that the benefits of transparency, accountability and collaboration outweigh the negatives, especially for companies that have made customer satisfaction a cornerstone of their strategy.
What are your measures of brand success in the new social era? Let me know in the comments!