Esteban Kolsky wrote a very good post titled The Three Realities of SCRM Right Now. I think he makes some very good observations and projections for 2010. Apart from those I like best the sentiment of the post: being pragmatic and realistic about what the (near) future will bring.
The post also made me think: on one specific trend: (SCRM) Market Consolidation. My thoughts are not about the trend itself. I think Esteban is right here. My thought is about consolidation of (Customer centric) strategies.
Definitions and Debates
We have Customer Experience (Management), (Social) Customer Relationship Management, Managed Customer Relations, Social Relationship Management, Social Business Strategy and many alike. Most of these have the Customer’s interests at the core of their definitions and approaches. There are also numerous debates going on about these definitions, the approaches, what comes first etcetera etcetera…Some, from the outside, may even look like people’s lives depend on having these discussion. I am probably guilty myself there too.
I think (wishful thinking maybe ;-) that in 2010 we will begin to see a growing awareness that all these strategies do not contradict. It is never one solution nor one strategy that makes a company successful and growing beyond its competitors reach or even completely redefining markets. It is, as it’s always been (#realitycheck), multiple strategies and tactics that, in the right combination, for that specific company in that specific market place and with (most importantly) that specific group of Customers with that specific set of desired outcomes, that will make the difference, for that specific company. This is also why companies like Apple, Nike, Zappos and alike are being discussed as best practices in different functional areas from marketing to sales, to service, to HR, to Business Process Management and what have you.
Be Unique, with small or capital “S”
Despite the discussion tending towards a general construct, I for one think that all strategies, known by their acronyms, should not merge into one big Social Customer Experience Business Relationship Strategy or framework. For me it just doesn’t make sense to think in terms of “either – or”. It also doesn’t make sense to discuss it from a “one-size-fits-all” perspective.
In 2010 we should and will discover (new) companies that have combined or are combining elements of all these different strategies into their own unique mix, their own Customized Strategy, with a small or capital “S”. Being successful is not about being the same, or even similar. It is about being unique.
In 2010 it is our job to seek, describe and help these new best practices get real. Not for others to copy, but to serve as inspiration to create their unique mix of strategies, to find their own unique voices in this already crowded marketplace of commonalities (and acronyms ;-).
For 2010 I wish all the Customer Centric strategies to consolidate, on a company level. I wish us to have hundreds or even thousands of Customized strategies to explore and learn from.
I’m looking forward to 2010. Are you?