Marketing is never a zero sum game. Companies don’t have to lose for customers to win and customers don’t have to lose for companies to win. In fact, marketing is the art and science of finding a win-win approach to business transactions in which both the company and customers win.
Social Media can play a major role in finding this “win-win” equation between companies and customers, by helping companies better understand their customers’ needs (not wants or desires) and customers can better collaborate with companies using social media channels to design and co-create products or services that fulfill their needs. One key challenge facing all large and medium sized companies in this regard is how to engage tens of thousands of customers across the world on social media channels.
Well, solutions to this problem is to “Go Local”. Meaning, companies must engage their customers on social media channels at a “local” level. So if a company segments or classifies customers “geographically” or at a “store” level, they should engage their customers on social media channels at a store level. This means that companies need to have a Social CRM team for engaging customers at every local unit (like geography or store).
Unlike traditional CRM, which was all about centralization of information into a database for decision making at the top, Social CRM is all about engaging customers at a “local” level and empowering front-line managers for decision making where it matters the most – at the local level in a decentralized way. Because companies cannot collaborate with thousands of customers in a centralized way.
Here’s an example of this approach: Retail giant, Walmart recently announced that any one of Walmart’s facebook fans can get information from their “local” store by clicking on the Local Walmart tab on the Walmart’s Facebook page. “Liking” a local store will enable customers see local promotions for that particular store and a map of the store with exact location of advertised specials (for more, see this and this).
This strategy of “Going Local when it comes to Social CRM” is applicable to companies across all industries, be it retailers, restaurants or banks. Companies need to form Social CRM teams at a “local” level to engage customers and build win-win relationship with them.
What do you think? Do you agree that key to Social CRM success is Going Local?