Why the Old Spice campaign is not Social CRM

It’s been hard to oversee or even neglect the Old Spice viral campaign lately. Harish Kotadia states that this is the best Social CRM campaign till date. Prem Kumar, to the opposite, states that Old Spice campaign is a good Social Media campaign, not Social CRM.

I agree with Prem Kumar that this is not a Social CRM campaign, and I would like to contribute some more arguments in this post.

Before we can state that this is not a Social CRM campaign I think it makes sense to highlight four key elements of a Social CRM campaign, in my humble opinion, first:

Tailored approach to specific Customer segments

I believe that Social CRM is extension of CRM. It is also therefore I think we should not forget the basics of CRM thinking. One of the most important basics of a good CRM approach is that one differentiates services, practices and approaches to different Customer segments. The idea behind this is that the best approach is an approach tailored to the needs and wants of a (specific) Customer (segment). Personally I believe that traditional segmenting techniques should be replaced by segmentations based on the Customer’s job and desired outcomes. Nevertheless a segmented approach to marketing campaigns is a key element of a (Social) CRM campaign.

Focus on your most valuable Customer first

Another important basic of CRM is that one puts his focus on Customers that are of most (potential) value to the company. Concepts like Customer Lifetime Value, share of wallet etc provide us with some good indicators to assess which Customers are (potentially) our most precious ones. The general thought is, that if you understand why these Customers are your most valuable Customers you can try to find or create more of these Customers. It’s not difficult to understand that this would seriously increase your marketing ROI.

What’s new in Social CRM is that we are now better able to see how word-of-mouth works, and we have better capabilities in understanding how Customers are connected with other (potential) Customers and how these networks function. We are even getting closer every day in understanding how one Customer influences other (potential) Customers. Of course this is far from true for most companies, but it’s clear that e.g. telco’s have been experimenting with this knowledge and capabilities. In relation to the marketing ROI I mentioned in the paragraph above, in Social CRM, it therefore makes sense to not only focus on Customers with (potential) high profitability or LTV, but also with high referral or network value.

Focus on value for the Customer

Furthermore Social CRM is about creating value for all stakeholders. A good Social CRM campaign therefore should not only aim at creating value for the company in the likes of increased sales, it should also create value for the Customer. Smart companies understand what drives value (in use) most for their Customers and focus their efforts on improving or emphasising those qualities of their product/service/experience. Smart companies not only measure what’s important to them, they also measure whether it was important to their Customers. This feedback should definitely be used (and shared internally) to improve and/or optimize your products and/or services in general and your marketing campaigns in specific.

Customer generated WOM

Last, but not least, is that I firmly believe that Word of Mouth is most valuable when it is Customer generated. Nevertheless research on the impact of a referral program in the German banking industry (PDF), proved that the Customers acquired through such a program proved to be 16 % more valuable (in terms of Lifetime Value) than Customer acquired through other campaigns. This is good news, because it proves that company stimulated WOM can be effective too. I still believe though that it is imperative to leverage your own Customers, not just anyone on the street, or on-line for that matter, because of the obvious reason that Customers will not want to throw away their hard earned social capital with their friends and family. Thus I think it is still true that a Social CRM campaign is based on starting with your own Customers, even if it is initiated or stimulated by yourself.

As a consequence of the above four key elements of a Social CRM campaign, I think it is safe to say that the Old Spice campaign, however successful in terms of eyeballs, viral effect and maybe even sales, is not a Social CRM campaign, because:

  • It was clearly targeted to hit an audience as wide as possible. It may have been designed to appeal to women more than man, but that’s as far of a segmenting approach I could see in it.
  • Although they have tried to engage celebrities, I think due to the lack of segmentation, they did not focus their campaign on their most valuable Customers either. It looks like they tried to engage celebrities because of their “influencer” roles, and it worked. I doubt though any further thinking in terms of referral or network value was behind all this. Unless of course they have established a measurement framework that allows them to track how many bottles of Old Spice they sold as a consequence of the specific message they made for a specific celebrity or any of the other people they answered a question for.
  • I fail to see how value for the Customer has been created here, other them some temporary “entertainment value”. If this is the key driver for value creation to their Customers, I’m willing to give them “this one” btw ;). And I would love to hear what this campaign has learned them about their Customers and the product they provide. Maybe I’ll be surprised.
  • Foremost I think this is not a Social CRM campaign since it did not leverage their Customers, but mainly tried to leverage anyone. For all we (and they) know, non of the people engaging in the campaign actually used, will use, recommended or will recommend the product itself.

To conclude: Sales may be up, but I did not find any evidence that P&G has been leveraging the campaign to connect with their Old Spice Customers and develop a long lasting relationship with any of them. Maybe the P&G marketeers should take a lesson or two from their colleagues at the innovation department...

This concludes my short analysis of the Old Spice Social Media viral campaign. Let me know what you think. What do you think should be key-elements to a good Social CRM campaigning approach? Feel free to share in the comments.

47 thoughts on “Why the Old Spice campaign is not Social CRM

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  4. I believe you should not be fooled about it. A viral marketing campaign by definition can not be a CRM campaign. Viral campaigns are dedicated to a large audience which could spread the world. Hence you can not set a specific message to customers segments.


  5. Bob,

    Vs. what it is and isn’t i think we can all agree that the influence of scrm brings all relationships into focus.

    Scrm is obvious that it can release the hidden tensions in your relationships with customers and force them out into the open where you will have to deal with them.

    Scrm encounters those relationships from marketing, pr, innovation, design, financial, sales etc.

    Attention with intention vs attention with no intention.

    Once you have the attention of so many people besides the intention of increasing brand awareness and sales, what other intention should it have served in relation to the “effectiveness” of scrm?


  6. Wim, you seem to be drawing a line in the dirt about what is/isn’t SCRM. Why not look at SCRM through the lens of maturity, with Old Spice a early/limited form?

    With CRM, I’ve certainly found that companies approach it with different angles and more/less holistically. But I’ve always said that if a company is in business and it has customers, it is practicing CRM in some form. Now, whether it’s *effective* CRM is another question and I think is the more important issue.

    My view is we should be talking more about what is needed to make SCRM (and CRM) more effective and less deciding what is/isn’t. I think the Old Spice campaign *is* SCRM because it includes marketing (part of CRM) and also leverages social media. Is it the ultimate/mature form of SCRM? Of course not. But why exclude social media marketing as a form of SCRM?


  7. Wim, I want us to be sCRM realists rather than fabulists. No-one has shown why and how this particular company might “do better” by investing in sCRM approaches beyond their social media advertising. I understand the boundless possibilities, but hope is not a strategy. I am suggesting we try and avoid the “equally applicable and fantastic for all!” hype of early markets and focus on real business cases and real socially-integrated customer engagement strategies. Right now, this is not Old Spice, and I am suspecting they may, in fact, be an example where there isn’t an *immediate* sCRM business case (it’s body wash!).

    For myself, I am going back to read Patricia Seybold’s awesome Customer Revolution and other books. Now available on Kindle although I have hardback :).


    • You hit the nail on the head there.. no-one can tell.. That’s why we need to take opportunity when it’s there to test and see if it’s any good..

      I’m just a little sad that the opportunity to test was there, yet not captured.. Could have been an even better learning curve than there has been so far.. Even when it’s only “body wash”, or maybe even “because”.. (they never had the opportunity to really connect with their Customers..)

      And I’m not talking endless possibilities, I’m talking about applying well established (crm) methodologies, tactics & strategies in combination with new possibilities and a “new” logic …

      I think that’s a realistic approach, not?


      • No, no, no.

        “No-one can tell.. that’s why we need to take opportunity” is a fabulist pitch. While I have used them for decades, and they are hot in #social right now, I am no longer a believer. Except for some early adopters, today’s CIOs are not going to buy this. We can do better: we can provide the ideas and methodologies that allow this particular CIO/CMO/CCO to determine the business case and value of sCRM for them. That should be the discussion.



      • Hi Lawrence,

        hmmm.. It’s not that I don’t agree.. I actually think our views are not that far apart.

        I’m not advocating to step in blind, but to take an approach of “real options” as a good methodology to make decisions when the outcome/business case is uncertain..

        Thx Wim


  8. I’m only assuming but I bet you that if old spice is reading this right now, they are saying, “Darn, we could of created a back end door for this campaign to gain a better perspective on who’s using our product, who is not using our product, who would use it in future if we know what they want, etc etc.

    I had used as an example http://www.civicnation.ca as an example of a scrm platform that honda is using to gain understanding of their customers, what’s the value in use, what works, what sucks, and what may be required to reference and pass along to the innovation department on future products.

    You can’t do this with focus groups, you can’t do this with questionnaires, you can only do this in real time narrative that customers want to engage in that makes it like your not really keeping track but you are….

    in the end, it’s not free, but the wealth of information that would come from something like this is tremendous.

    All i was suggesting is that when you have so many people in the “moment” as this campaign has, you can’t but let that opportunity go away and then expect to improve on product development when your ready to innovate!

    using a bad analogy, old spice through a nice left hook, rather then a one two punch to really knock the shoes off.


  9. Lawrence i don’t disagree with your comment that perhaps their simple goal was nothing more then to garner attention and increase sales.

    But as a scrm enthusiast and following the conversation on scrm for a year now, i’m left scratching my head of Why not?

    It was right there for the taking. Why not do both? Increase sales, but also use scrm to your advantage?

    I think those that said it had the potential to be an scrm strategy as well, i believe are just enthusiastic as I am to see it’s value in use.

    Because it’s long term implications are well worth it, the value derived from it would in the long term benefit P&G innovation strategy of producing better products, for helping target better customers, and for being more competitive.

    It’s only body wash product, but what I’ve come to understand following people like Wim, Graham, Mitch who speak about scrm, that it’s the only way to improve on “improving” better products.

    Customers don’t want a relationship with old spice, but you’d think old spice would want a relationship, the opportunity to control the relationship “now” would of been perfect since old spice got so many people’s attention.

    Three months from now what good will it be having 700,000 fans on facebook if the moment is gone.

    by taking advantage of the moment, you have three things in place, emotion, trust and enthusiasm, which by following up with a scrm platform you’d probably get more participants to utilize the science behind scrm,

    I guess what I’m trying to say is when your in the moment why not take advantage of it.


    • Why? Is #scrm free? Is it easy? Doesn’t there have to be a business case and alignment within a strategic customer plan? I don’t believe enterprises will succeed if they “just do it” – same as for CRM. Maybe @OldSpice will choose to invest, but my bet is on their dollars going to more social-enhanced advertising and perhaps leveraging of “friends” as marketing resonators rather than engaged customers. We’ll see.


      • Hi Lawrence,

        My guess is you’re right about the tactics they will pursue most likely.. yet this doesn’t mean that they could not do better using different strategies..

        I think it’s ok to think about that, and hopefully I’ve provided a compelling case, through some of the background information in my post, to substantiate the argument..

        Surely time will not tell in this case, but maybe we’ll recognize (some of) it in future cases that will surface. Don’t you think?

        Thx for your awesome engagement on this platform btw. Hugely appreciated!

        All the best,



  10. So Wim, you asked me in a tweet to better explain my comment “Have to wonder if frantic search for a handsome #scrm superhero is somehow emblematic of the maturity of this CRM wave?”

    You, I, and many other commentators here agree that the @OldSpice campaign was clever social marketing and was not #scrm because there was no real customer engagement, process or listening. And yet there is this huge debate where we seem to lose all sight of definitional boundaries and hope, and speculate, and should’a, could’a guess about whether this might perhaps turn into some-kinda-crm!

    Weird, but not unusual for an early market where consuming more air and taking ownership of more space is normal. It was like this in the mid 90s when terminology came together and “CRM” was going to automate all new important business processes and link them all to the customer. Siebel rode to success on this, and Oracle and SAP were forced to jump in and defend their process turf. Then again with eCRM in 1999, we tried to attach web-based customer service to everything that moved on the Internet – if you had a web site then you needed (had the potential for) eCRM. That wave was unfortunately hit by the Internet crash.

    And here we are again.

    So I have to disagree with Spiro’s (sorry) final comment, which others also make, about the “potential to be a scrm strategy”. Every marketing act has this potential. Me running local newspaper ads with a web reference has the potential. So what? In this case there is no evidence that @OldSpice had any #scrm intentions, is about to start on any, or that it would be a good use of their money given their “simple” goal of getting more people to pick up their mass-market body wash product in a store and try it. (Why do they or I want a relationship?) Tweet me when they do.

    Therefore, I wanted to suggest that this debate is a distraction, albeit the amazing social media trick for the week, and I think we would be better getting back to discussing real #scrm strategies and examples (as everybody here does). I think is also your conclusion in your post. And Laurence Buchanan also says it better and shorter :).


  11. Nice post Wim! Clearly a very successful outbound marketing campaign that used social media as the distribution channel, but not Social CRM.

    Customers were entertained by amusing content, hence the campaign went viral. But that doesn’t mean that customers were engaged in a 2 way dialogue, let alone that P&G acknowledged customer control of the conversation and allowed customer’s to participate in co-creation etc.

    Great post and interesting debate. Thanks for sharing


  12. This was a social media marketing campaign. With the potential of being a social customer relationship management strategy for P&G and the Old spice brand.

    Let me explain,

    A few folks in my twitter stream have been working on a theory of how Narrative Fractals work in regards to engagement. According to this process (which i think works in scrm has identified the following)

    Step1: Attractor: Emotion: Curiosity
    Obviously this campaign garnered attention but what it lacked was intention or at least a full fledged intention strategy. Which could of lead towards many of the things Wim said in this post.

    How do you do that?
    Step 2: Tension: Emotion Challenge

    The challenge hear was not to reach an audience but to break through the tension of trying to answer alot of the questions Wim brought up in this post.

    To do this, and break through to a next level a scrm strategy was needed, which brings in the element of a platform that caters to breaking the tension and leading towards having the conversation, of which most of the value in use for scrm derives from.

    This is where I believe Old Spice stopped, they did not have a valid strategy to do this so that they can create some “value in use” for themselves and begin some kind of co-creation process where alot of what Wim says comes from. Without feedback you have nothing to give back…

    So how could they have done this.
    Earlier in my tweet stream Mitch said he wanted to see some examples, well one in particular that would of been a great way to extend the intention of this social media marketing campagin was to move towards “starting the conversation” and breaking some of the tension of who’s the customer, who wants to be the customer, what’s the value in use… etc etc.

    An example of this is, http://www.civicnation.com, if you look at this website, it asks for stories of a specific customer, though there are some things that can be taken from the civic site, the point is the follow through to gain momentum with the attraction of this viral campaign just didn’t create or follow through on an innovation process,

    This would of been the perfect opportunity to get feedback through scrm, thus leading towards inspiration insights.

    Ok, you got my attention, but you haven’t invited me into your home, to get to know what your up to better, the follow through would have lead towards loyal customers, intrigued customers/propsects, perhaps an opportunity to invite women into their labs to help them co-create a better product, for future reference,

    i could sit here all day with the ideas but the bottom line is no platform for scrm was built to follow up on this social media marketing campaingn.

    Then in the theory mentioned above is strategy, from the co-creation value standpoint and having a better platform such as the example with civicnation.com perhaps this would of lead to future understanding of who is the ideal customer,

    Trying to re-brand, or trying to hype up old spice the way they did, did but one thing, got my attention and had nothing to offer me then a great ad campaign… so what?

    People will forget and have forgotten….

    thus, my stand is this had the potential to be a scrm strategy/campaign and use all the value that comes from innovation…


    • Gr8 comment Spiro and I fully agree.. There was some potential, but they didn’t take it to that level..

      That’s what you get when people are stuck in the logic of goods & transactions and did not move to the logic of service & value in-use..

      Thx again, well said!



  13. Pingback: The Social Ecosystem and The Old Spice Guy « Random Thoughts of a Boston-Based CTO: John Moore's Weblog

    • Hi John,

      I think there are two ways of looking at the matter:

      One from the opportunity that lies within the (new) social technologies,


      One from the challenges that arise for business from the (Social) Customer, whilst leveraging all the best practices and learnings we have from our past experiences..

      I’m doing the latter, you’re doing the first. Nothing wrong with either approach. I’m sure we’ll meet sometime down the road..

      If you read my post carefully you will see that I think the Old Spice campaign is a good campaign when it was supposed to serve the goal of increasing “brand awareness” and maybe even store-sales.

      I think though they could have done an even better job, certainly for the long term, if they would have thought and incorporated the 4 elements of a Social CRM campaign I wrote about.

      It sometimes makes sense to try and take another person’s perspective before you dismiss it like you did in the top-line of your post.

      I put up my reply on your post too.

      Thx for listening.

      Wim Rampen


  14. I totally agree with your points.

    At the very least, sCRM should aim to build customer-brand relationship. Old Spice seem to aimed at drive brand awareness.

    The relationship may be strengthen through other online interactions as a result of the Old Spice campaign, but I doubt that was the goal.

    CRM or sCRM is supposed to manage customer relationship. As Jacob Morgan said, they may be tracking customer behaviors behind the scenes. But I seriously doubt that.

    So definitely just a social media, social marketing, WOM viral campaign.


  15. Hey Wim,

    I wrote about the same thing a little while ago and the points are highlighted are very similar to yours although named differently. However in all fairness it is a bit hard to judge a SCRM effort just by looking at the front end without really understanding what Oldspice is doing on the back end. As Mark Tamis said in a comment on my post, “The use of the word ‘campaign’ actually says pretty much everything here,” and I agree.

    Oldspice really did do an amazing job with this marketing/branding campaign, but alas they didn’t take advantage of the thousands of relationships they created…


    • Hi Jacob,

      Yeah.. thx for the tweet on your post. I somehow missed it over the busy last weeks. Many similarities indeed and some additional elements I guess, which I believe to be a good thing, no? Meaning that more and more people are starting to think along the same lines..

      Thx again :)



  16. Omg there are too many blogs on this. I will try not repeat my comments at one of Prem’s blogs http://bit.ly/ctCLdP

    I agree completely – good well reasoned points. There has to be some kind of deliberate structure, plan, customer information gathering and use, campaign alignment and impact on later service moments for a process to be CRM. Otherwise all marketing is by definition CRM (it touches potential customers). So I also agree with Maria’ comments about (S)CRM being a long term committment.

    Which means I don’t agree with Harish’s restatement of his position here that because new two-way social media was involved that it must be SCRM. It’s social marketing – which is distinct from social CRM in similar ways to CRM and marketing as just mentioned.

    And in this store-shelf bathroom products impulse-buy marketplace I also don’t see the “falling short” argument that Brian (sorry), and others elsewhere, assert it was a shame more relationship building was not done. Why? Why is it worth all the relationship stuff at this point when OldSpice just wants to re-brand itself and impact in-store purchase decisions? Now I know some vendors, perhaps Starbucks, can do more, but do I really care about my body wash enough to do more than be impressed by all the buzz? I don’t need a relationship with them – I just need to smell good!


    • Lawrence,

      I agree to a certain extent. To clarify my point, “it fell short” of being called Social CRM. That piece could have been better written.

      The campaign appears to be a raving success (at least in my eyes), and if my comments came across as critical, that doesn’t reflect my view at all.

      I don’t know what the originating goals of the campaign were, but I have to believe they were exceeded. I’d love to hear more from those directly involved.

      To reiterate, big props to Old Spice, Proctor & Gamble, and Wieden + Kennedy for setting a new standard for us all to learn from.

      To answer your other question, if “OldSpice just wants to re-brand itself and impact in-store purchase decisions”, generally speaking greater engagement leads to better insights which can ultimately create the potential for improved branding and increased sales.

      Best regards,


      • Understand. Agree that customer engagement, focus groups, and social media approaches to these can increase understanding and create better products. There is just no evidence that any of this occurred here or was part of the plan so far! Anything is possible in the future (but it’s still just a mass produced body wash line…)

        I have to wonder if the frantic search for a handsome #scrm superhero is somehow emblematic of the maturity of this wave of CRM?


  17. Good post. I think as much as PR tried to use social media the first year it came to fame, so shall now “advertising”. There seems to be an inherent need to push headlines and awareness and call it SCRM. Engagement, community, transparency, etc. – the stuff SCRM should be made of – is harder to come by, harder to get resources for in an organization, so “social media” becomes just a renaming of traditional techniques and channels for the moment.

    Interesting point by Maria about “if it can be called a campaign it’s not SCRM”. I am not sure I agree but I think I know where she is coming from and want to believe it in my heart but can’t help but think that it is still business and hence an SCRM “effort” could have elements of a campaign and it should be OK and effective. However the concepts of engagement, customer development efforts and frankly of knowledge transfer need to drive the SCRM strategy – and offers, etc. – the stuff of campaigns/ demand generation – should be a trench that falls out from engaging with your market, the influencers, your most valuable existing customers, promising prospects & their needs & language and the people behind the development of of your product and/or service.

    Great to think about this stuff with actual cases to discuss!


    • Hi Janet,

      Gr8 to have you around here too :) And with nothing to argue with you, I would like to emphasize that I completely agree on your last comment.. I just hoped to get a real scrm “campaign” first ;)

      Thx again,



  18. If it’s one way, is it really engagement? Come on! Social CRM is about extending the relationship (and engagement) to where social customers are. Generally, engagement happens between two active parties, not one active and one passive.

    Sorry, wrong definition of Social CRM, no matter how many times you tweet it

    BTW, I’m not talking about Wim :)


  19. Wim,

    Good thoughts.

    I am not sure if it matters whether this was Social CRM or not. (By the way, I think it falls outside the circle of SCRM, but for very different reasons that you).

    However, I think there are a ton of things to learn from the campaign. Here are just a quick few that come to mind:

    #1 They started with a great creative. It was funny, engaging, and shareable. This was the platform for success.

    #2 The real magic started when it became interactive. The company listened to feedback from the social web and responded. It was brilliantly executed by Isaiah Mustafa and the team from Wieden + Kennedy. This is when things went viral

    #3 Where it fell short was that I didn’t see an onramp for ongoing engagement. The relationship stopped there. Imagine if there were breadcrumbs leading to more engagement, more deals, more benefit for the customers, and more opportunity for P&G (OldSpice) to learn more about what their customers wanted.

    Big props to Old Spice, Proctor & Gamble, and Wieden + Kennedy for setting a new standard for us all to learn from.


    • Hi Brian & Mitch,

      We all agree :)

      Just a short note to clarify the intentions of my post:

      First of all I tried (again) to make some arguments against the explanation of this campaign as Social CRM through the widely carried Social CRM definition by Harish Kotadia. It’s no secret I do not agree with that definition.. But I’m this hard-headed guy that still hopes to turn Harish around a bit..

      Secondly: for this campaign there is no interest whatsoever whether it was a Social CRM campaign or not.. All that matters for this campaign is if it was successful from an Old Spice pov..

      I thought though it made sense to not just “burn” the statement by Harish, but to really add some thoughts on what would be elements of a good Social CRM campaign.. Because from that”job”, we can derive the capabilities one (or a company) needs..

      Maybe I should have titled my post differently..

      What do you think?


  20. Wim,

    I have mostly stayed away from this topic. Usually, I am up for a good debate, but not this time. I think my reasoning is simple. I agree with you, and like Jim said, this was and is a brand awareness campaign, and does not feel like Social CRM to me.

    Thanks for carrying the torch on this one, it needed to be said. Nice post



  21. You make some excellent points Wim.

    To me, plain & simple, the Old Spice campaign raised awareness of their brand. This increased awareness seems to have increased sales.. not a bad result either. Hopefully that is what their intention was. I agree with you that the campaign is not an example of Social CRM… but this may not be what they intended.

    The Bottom Line: Each marketing campaign should have clear, measurable business objectives and the results achieved should be analyzed against those objectives.


  22. Hi Wim!

    You know I love your writing! However, I’ve posted and commented on the old spice / scrm issue quite a bit, and I don’t want to regurgitate old stuff, but here’s something I haven’t said before:

    If you can call it “campaign”, then it’s not SocialCRM. SCRM is a process alignment, where tech plays a part in helping you execute a better process. Even social media is not the same thing as social media campaign. You should have a long-term social media vision – one on which you execute every day – it’s all about building relationships with “influencers”, media, etc. and helping your customers, etc. You can go for shorter-term spikes in activity like the Old Spice campaign, but they aren’t a substitute for being there, helping, learning and collaborating. SCRM is definitely not a campaign — it’s a long-term commitment, cultural shift and the ability and *willingness* to walk a mile in your customers’ (consumers) shoes.


    – Maria


    • Thx Maria,

      I agree with you and I don’t. I’m with you when you say “if you can call it campaign, it’s not Social CRM”. However I think that should be the case from the Customer’s point of view.. I do believe that company’s should actively engage in developing campaigns, maybe even more than before, to attract, engage and support Customers whom they can help creating value…

      I need to think about it a little more, but I feel a new post coming up..

      Thx for stopping by, reading & leaving your inspirational comment.



  23. Great post Wim and thanks for quoting my post on Old Spice campaign.

    IMHO, it is a Social CRM (and not PR or “Old Style” Marketing) campaign for the following reasons:

    1) This campaign is targeted at a very specific audience Old Spice wants to influence – note the content of the videos and style of execution. It is not targeted at general “Public”.

    2) It “Engages” the target audience and helps in building “Trust” and “Friendship” about the brand in their mind.

    3) You don’t need to “market” or “hard sell” to people who trust you or are your friend – and this is how Social CRM works. You engage your customers and prospects on Social Networks and build friendship, trust and loyalty.

    This is the reason why I have been saying all along that Social CRM is the business strategy of engaging customers through Social Media with goal of building trust and brand loyalty.

    It is different from advertising or “traditional” CRM (which is nothing more than record keeping and managing transactions) or “Old Style Mass Marketing” (which is non-personal and uses mass-media).

    Social CRM leverages Social Media to engage customers/prospects and helps build “personal” relationship (trust and loyalty) with customers and prospects across geographies in a way mass-marketing can never do (because you could not have responded to individual customers on the same channel via mass media).

    Note how Old Spice campaign effectively engaged the target audience by posting YouTube videos in response to tweets/facebook posting – they didn’t email or call people who tweeted. Instead, Old Spice engaged them through Social Media.

    Hope this helps, thanks again for your post and giving me the opportunity to explain.

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.


    • Thanks a lot for commenting Harish and taking the pains to highlight the salient points of the old spice campaign & explaining why you think its a step above the traditional marketing &/or CRM. I do not refute those aspects.

      You of course must also have read Prem Kumar’s post, since I saw a copy of the above comment in his blog too. Which, IMHO, does a good job of explaining your own post, but does not address the points that we raise / want clarity on.



  24. Thanks Wim for this post. In the context of all the material i have read, i have had 2 questions. Perhaps they are in the context of india but then maybe more…

    Sometime back the following article discussed the specific issues with the Old Spice brand


    Now my questions, as also mentioned in Prem’s post are…

    How does this campaign bring back any people who have moved on from the brand and category?

    Does this campaign reflect that they may be rebadging another product with the name Old Spice?


    • These are marketing questions that don’t need SCRM to be invoked to answer: Demand shifting from after-shave to deodorants and body wash. Old Spice is a fuddy duddy old brand. Axe is much cooler and hip. Introducing new body wash products either requires whole new brand or a major reinvention of existing brand. Their answer: @OldSpice man. Revenue and marketshare will show whether it worked. I suspect they will have to do a lot more and they have now set a high bar for themselves as well as others.


    • Hi Syamant,

      I’ve been thinking about your questions for two days now and I have to be honest: I have no idea..meaning:

      On your first question: I can’t possibly see how
      On your second question: I really can’t do anything but guess on that one, so I’d rather say “I don’t know”..

      What do you think?



      • The reason i suggested these questions was that it seemed to me it was a simple campaign towards a transactional goal.

        the question I had was in terms of relationships the brand once had and whether they should have built on it.

        Not much has changed about the product so why the campaign?

        Thanks for your observations and I guess one waits for more action to understand the company perspective.


      • Hi Syamant,

        Maybe this reply comment to Spiro would have fit your first comment better than:

        Gr8 comment and I fully agree.. There was some potential, but they didn’t take it to that level..

        That’s what you get when people are stuck in the logic of goods & transactions and did not move to the logic of service & value in-use..


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