Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Consumers Using Social Media To Manage Brands
By Joe Marchese Not familiar with BRM? Perhaps you are more familiar with its cousin CRM, or Customer Relationship Management. As technology has improved CRM tools and functionality, it has changed the way marketers connect to people by helping to organize and filter information about buying habits to better serve customers going forward. But with people connecting more and more to brands on social networks, the next wave of marketing may be providing people the information they need/want through social media, making it a "Brand Relationship Management" (BRM) tool.
People may not be thinking about using social media to proactively manage their brand relationships -- but then again, that's sort of what people are doing already. Connecting to brands through social media is a much more tangible connection, allowing for an increased flow of information from brands to consumers, and offering consumers a better way to organize and filter information about the brands they are connected to.
This may be another way to think about the social media buzzword "dialogue:" if your brand communications are going to be sorted and filtered by consumers for relevance, it can help inform your practice of social media communications. What is too much noise? What is not enough information? And the big question: When a person connects to your brand through social media, what type of communications and information are they expecting?
It's just thinking about social media connections from the consumer's perspective, instead of from a corporate communications or media plan perspective.
Now, let's address the inevitable "this has been going on forever, stop acting like you/social media are discovering the wheel." People have been managing the amount of information they receive from brands since the beginning of direct mail, email and most recently, do not call lists. But marketers have been practicing Customer Relationship Management since long before salesforce.com. What caused the revolution was technology making the practice far more scalable and efficient.
When people connect to brands over social networks like Facebook, this has the potential to offer that type of scalable, efficient control for people to manage their brand relationships. It gives consumers the ability to research brands, beginning to assign personalities to brands based not just on their appearance, but on a brand's behavior and interactions.
What are your thoughts? Drop me line on twitter @ www.twitter.com/joemarchese and/or leave a comment below.
This commentary is insightful. I recommend it to others.
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Joe Marchese is President of socialvibe.
Online Spin for Tuesday, May 12, 2009: