Don Peppers and Martha Rogers wrote a post the other day about CRM, SCRM and VRM. The gist of their argument is that SCRM (social customer relationship management) is an oxymoron, and that VRM (vendor relationship management) is the next big thing in the expanding universe of relationship management.
It's a great post, but lots of us still have faith in the basic idea that SCRM is the logical extension of CRM. I think you can make a pretty good case that the convergence of cloud, mobile and social computing is simply enabling the "next generation" of CRM, and that some of us are calling that next generation "SCRM," perhaps for lack of a better term.
Then again, maybe the term "SCRM" is too silly, and we should just call it "CRM II."
I just finished reading a great column written by Andrew McAfee for Forbes.com about why social media pilot projects often fail. He's an advocate of social media, so I was interested in hearing his take on the subject. The column is definitely worth reading, especially if you are the manager of a corporate social media initiative. Here's my takeaway: Too many companies are treating social media like some new flavor of CRM, which is a serious mistake right off the bat. Next, it seems as though many executives expect social media pilot programs to show results after a couple of months. The best analogy I can think of would be if you were disappointed because your four-month-old child hadn't already been signed by a major league sports team or hadn't been admitted to Harvard. Imagine what it would sound like if you started complaining, "Hey, what's wrong with this kid? Maybe we should bring him back to the hospital and exchange him for a better model. Or maybe we should just rethink this whole kid thing and get a dog instead ..."
But sometimes I hear comments just as absurd by executives who ought to know better. Here is the stark reality: Social media is in its infancy. In fact, every aspect of information technology is in its infancy -- every platform out there is young! And social media is certainly one of the newest, and therefore one of the youngest. I think we need to give it a few more years before we begin judging the real "value" of social media to the enterprise.