Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM: A Match Made in Heaven?

Disclosure: Last week, I attended the Enterprise 2.0 Conference , Boston, MA, on a free press pass, which covered the pre-conference workshops on Monday, as well as the full three-day conference, held June 21 – June 23, 2011, at the Hynes Convention Center.

I’m still reviewing the numerous presentation slides and additional commentary, available from, or spinning off from, the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, held last week in Boston.

The official attendee reception, “CRM at the Social Crossroads: Dinner with Paul Greenberg,” related especially well to this blog’s themes, as it explored the convergence of Enterprise 2.0 with Social CRM.

The Difference between Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM

At the E 2.0 attendee dinner (sponsored by BroadVision), Greenberg, a CRM expert and author of CRM at the Speed of Light, offered his distinction between Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM.

Enterprise 2.0 involves all “the internal collaboration and discussion in service of greater customer insight, including segments, intelligence to better understand customers, and improved processes,” Greenberg explained.

Social CRM, on the other hand, is “a customer’s engagement with the company’s products, services, tools, and experiences,” he noted.

Internal Transformation as Important as External

Together, Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM make up “Social Business,” which,Greenberg described as “greater than the sum of its parts:”

When combined in a way that there is a whole greater than the sum of its parts – it is what is now being called “social business” and in a few years will be called “business,” the same way “social CRM” will be “CRM.”

What makes social business greater than the sum of its parts is also why it needs both parts to work seamlessly inside out and outside in. Customers and the need to acquire and retain customers are driving it.

What Happens without the Internal Culture in Place

In his talk at the E20 dinner, Greenberg asserted that for social CRM to be successful, the internal culture must be in place.

To illustrate his point, he mentioned Comcast Cares, a real-time customer service channel, which Frank Eliason successfully spearheaded on Twitter. However, Greenberg observed, Comcast viewed (and funded) Comcast Cares as a public relations promotion–not as a fundamentally different way of engaging with customers, across all parts of the organization.

Greenberg warns that without the accompanying internal transformation, the initiative is more of short-term tactical success than a long-term strategic solution.

A Call for Transformation

‘Til now, I’ve been exploring convergence mainly as a metaphor for a whole-brained approach to creativity and leadership. In a more specific way, I’ve been examining approaches to content convergence, in my role as a technical communicator.

Transformation continues to be an important objective for me, both personally and professionally.

That’s why, listening to Greenberg describe the ongoing need for transformation in large enterprises–and his belief that both Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM processes must work in tandem–really felt a lot like coming home for me.

Which Comes First? The Chicken or the Egg?

Again and again, I see analysts in the social media space debate which comes first or is more important–Enterprise 2.0 or Social CRM–including all the processes which extend from each. Moderator Richard Hughes from BroadVision posed this question to Greenberg, in the familiar “chicken or the egg” format.

I loved the way Hughes posed the question because it highlights to me the somewhat futile nature of the question. My feeling is the answer of which comes first doesn’t matter so much as the need to have both sides of the equation working together, as Greenberg expressed in the ZDNet article, “…the inside out and the outside in. The back office and the customer-facing. The internal and the external…:”

[What’s] apparent is that Social CRM and E20 are now married, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health and are combining into a coherent whole that is being labeled “social business.”

Your thoughts? Are Social CRM and E20 a match made in heaven? Do you agree that they need to work in tandem?

Comment, 6/14/22:

On Which Comes First, in 2022: Here are some links, about upcoming bipartisan legislation, under draft review, to strengthen data privacy. Though I am catching up on quite a lot of missed time, in the world of technology, even my more lay impression, these days, indicates a shift toward greater privacy. These links are not endorsements, but are what I’m reading right now, to try to come up-to-speed, on the latest technology trends, and a better reflection, than my 2011 blog post, of current discussions. I also include links from some of my prior go-to-sources, which again, are not endorsements, but reflect the discussion, going on, right now, and where I am starting to catch up. As the STC Intercom article notes, the Internet is a changed place, since in 2020 “organizations across the world were breached by the SolarWinds cyberattack” (Coreil, 2021). Here’s why this is a very big deal:

Over 18,000 of the 300,000-plus SolarWinds customers of network software were affected, including the United States (U.S.) Treasury and U.S. Commerce Department, National Institute of Health, State Department, and Department of Homeland Security, as of the writing of this article (Jankowicz and Davis, 2020). The need for organizations to clearly communicate cybersecurity threats, analyses, and cybersecurity concepts in a meaningful way is critical, now more than ever, to facilitate knowledge sharing across industries, governments, and borders.

Coreil, A. (2021, July 21). Technical Communication & Cybersecurity. https://Www.Stc.Org/Intercom. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from https://www.stc.org/intercom/2021/07/technical-communication-cybersecurity/

Be careful out there!

Related Links

Here is an additional resource, from a nonprofit global information privacy community and resource, which I started following on LinkedIn, during the last year or so. As of 6 / 2022, the site describes the differences, between privacy and security, and helps clarify for me, some of the issues I encountered, writing this blog, trying to bring folks from very diverse professional backgrounds, together. The IAPP defines privacy and security as related, but not the same concepts.

International Association of Privacy Professionals, What does privacy mean?

About This Blog: Copyright Information

Contacting the Author: Content for a Convergent World – Peg Mulligan’s Blog

Social Business (also known as Enterprise 2.0)

In a recent post at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix, Don’t Forget About The Enterprise: A Glimpse Of Enterprise 2.0, Jacob Morgan explains that oftentimes when we refer to social media, we mean “how a brand can engage with customers or prospects to build relationships.” Morgan notes that these relationships are external facing:

…meaning brand to consumer, and are used for functions such as product development, customer service, increasing sales, and marketing. Through social media, companies seek to understand and do things such as: empower their customers, collaborate with their customers and prospects, and gain actionable insight from their customers.

Internal versus External Collaboration

Morgan goes on to explain that “a very similar type or relationship with collaboration, actionable insight, and empowerment also needs to happen internally WITHIN the enterprise; oftentimes called Enterprise 2.0, a termed coined by Andrew McAfee a few years back.”

Morgan believes that most companies should begin their social business transformation internally before branching out externally. He explains the rationale for focusing first on internal change:

There are several benefits to doing this such as building a social corporate culture, familiarizing the company with new tools, and understanding how to gain actionable insight and drive business results from collaboration. Once the company as a whole understands this, then it becomes much easier to build relationships and collaborate externally, with prospects and existing customers.

Taking Social to the Core of Your Organization

Morgan’s presentation complements very well the themes in a recent O’Reilley webcast, “Taking Social to the Core of Your Organization,” with an online panel featuring Stowe Boyd, Peter Kim, Jeremiah Owyang, and Joshua-Michele Ross. The webcast (tagged as socbs#  on Twitter) defines social business, provides successful examples, and discusses long–term challenges.

According to Stow Boyd, social business is “business organized intentionally around sociology and social tools.” Peter Kim adds, “social business is business,” being done with the same objectives as always—building brands, driving sales, and sometimes even changing lives—but business which simultaneously recognizes that the environment we’re operating in, including the world we work in and the ways customers engage, is very different.”

Jeremiah Owyang states that social business is not just marketing. It applies to all customer touchpoints, and across the entire organization, including product innovation, collaboration with partners, supply chain management, recruiting, and talent management.

Levers for Becoming a Social Business

As moderator, Joshua-Michele Ross helps summarize the following levers, mentioned in the panel discussion, which bring about an enterprise’s internal transformation to a social business:

  • A process with social guidelines is already in place. (For example, IBM co-created their guidelines, with  employees.)
  • Employees use social tools to collaborate internally, before opening up external gates. (Examples: employee networks on Facebook, Yammer, Jive, and Social Text.)
  • Companies reconsider the role of individuals in the company, with greater value of and incentives for extra market forces and nonfinancial drivers, including an individual’s sense of meaning and purpose.

Exemplars of Social Business

According to the panel, the most successful examples of social businesses include those who are already using social processes and tools internally. Those business that systematically encourage openness inside the organization are the most likely to empower employees to engage with the outside world. Panelists mentioned Intel, Dell, IBM, and Comcast Cares as exemplars.

Obstacles to Social Business

The panelists also noted common obstacles to becoming an Enterprise 2.0, as problems in scalability, increased signal to noise ratio, and resistance to change. Panelists agreed that measuring the ROI of social capital is difficult, but that organizations can measure the ROI of social media the same as any other effort that involves objectives. For example, marketing metrics often measure social mentions and that is measurable in social media as well.

How to Get Others Involved

According to Peter Kim, the way to get others in your organization involved, depends on where in the organization you’re placed.

For those at the top, Kim recommends making the executive commitment, putting a budget and resources in place, and letting people allocate time. For those in the middle, it means examining where the tools fit in the overall business strategy. For those at the lower levels of an organization, it means using the tools to be more productive at work.

For more tips on getting others involved, see Kim’s presentation, on Social Business.

About This Blog: Copyright Information

Contacting the Author: Content for a Convergent World – Peg Mulligan’s Blog