It's gotten to a point where what people are calling Social CRM is what we called "social media" 5 years ago. So what's the difference? Now, aside from that tangent, what I can say is that this report from IBM is really a Social Media report, one of perhaps hundreds that we have seen. All of which should be taken with a grain of pepper (not salt).
It's an interesting report but one must remember that IBM is a vendor, and just like every other vendor pushing Social CRM software, they are trying to make money off of a new "market" which, ironically, is being driven and pulled by��vendors. A few key findings from the report, really none of which should come as a surprise to anyone:
* Getting closer to customers is a top priority for CEOs.
* The top reason consumers go to Social Media sites is to connect with friends and family followed by accessing news, then entertainment, sharing an opinion and onward.
* Interacting with brands is the 11th reason for why consumers go to social networking sites.
* Gen Y'ers have more accounts on every type of social site (blogging, media, wikis, ets) than Gen X'ers and baby boomers. Now for those that argue that this has nothing to do with age, well this might throw a bit of a wrench into their claims. (I don't know if this has anything to do with age or not BUT the numbers are interesting.)
* Decisions makers think Social Media will breed advocacy but many consumers say they have to be advocates about a brand before they even engage with that brand on social media.
Now while IBM clearly points out that most consumers use social sites to interact with each other and not with brands, what the report misses is that consumers can interact with each other as a result of brands and their communities. For example check out CF Voice, a community of people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. Know who created that? Novartis. Users aren't there to interact with Novartis, they are there to interact with each other but Novartis made that possible. In my opinion the IBM report focuses not on Social CRM at all but on Social Media as a channel. In fact what I read is the same sort of "fluffy" dialogue that is rampant in the space.
Enjoy Reading SOcial Media
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