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.