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Breaking News: CRM God Solves Naming Problem

There are plenty of things I could be writing about today, but there’s only one that I think everybody who’s interested in modern customer-facing business stuff should see. It will probably change the nature of discussion in the CRM biz.

Paul Greenberg (friend, mentor, author of CRM at the Speed of Light) has thrown his weight behind a definition of social CRM, and decided that it shall in fact be called social CRM. We can now get on with our lives.

That last paragraph isn’t intended to be quite as sarcastic as it reads. The fact is, we’ve all been struggling and arguing with the problem of what to call what we do for a long time now, and it has gotten in the way. It has muddled the conversation, confused people who needed clarity, slowed adoption, and even caused minor rifts among us practitioners. Paul commands a lot of respect (and earns a lot of love) for his clarity of thought, his sometimes-brutal honesty, and the obviousness of how much he cares about CRM and social media. He’s been trying for as long as I’ve known him—which is not long enough—to solidify all the terms and concepts we’re dealing with into a more unified body of knowledge, but it’s been slow going because of the lack of consensus. With his so-called “stake in the ground,” we can get beyond arguing about what we do and start helping businesses and their customers meet on common and mutually advantageous ground.

For whatever it’s worth, I am adding my wholehearted support to Paul’s label and definition of social CRM. Not only do I think he’s got it right (especially points 3 and 4), but I’m bloody tired of listing all the synonyms when I try to explain what I’m on about.