Will Sales, IT Get To Social Media Before Marketing?

Today, in 2009, there continue to be some asset management companies that are surprised when Marketing expresses more than a passing interest in the customer relationship management (CRM) database. Marketing wasn't there when the CRM was planned and Marketing isn't a sitting member of the CRM enhancement prioritization committee.

All of which explains why leads related to marketing activities can't be tracked to the same extent as sales activities, among other database deficiencies from a marketer's perspective.

A former colleague from an investment management company sent me an email Wednesday. His background is in IT; I knew him back in the day before he achieved his current High Muckety Muck status, with all due respect.

In a fairly short email, Lonnie (not his real name) revealed his training and the difference in how he thinks of social media versus, shall we say, a stereotypical right-brain marketer. Marketers may look at social media interactions and see the randomness of the conversations. But Lonnie, in his comment about our AdvisorTweets.com, sees the value of organizing tweets as an added input to a customer and prospect database.

A few CRMs support social media. Watch this video of how Batchbook, the small business CRM that Rock The Boat uses, integrates social media participation. The video describes how a database manager can build out a customer profile with added information about the customer's Twitter account, blog feed, Flickr account, etc.

Your company may soon invest in online monitoring capabilities as a way of keeping track of what's being said. The CRM should be where those entries are stored, too. Web analytics that can identify individual site traffic—browsing from within a site that requires registration, for example—already have been added to individual database records at some asset management firms.

Just think how all this intelligence can warm up what would otherwise be a cold sales call and how it can enhance the relevance of follow-up one-on-one communications. Sales will want this social media integration, IT will prioritize it and deliver it, and Sales Support will come to rely on it.

When the time comes, Marketing will be asked to create the design for the Twitter background, you can count on that. But Marketing has much more to contribute and represents a perspective that's missing when just Sales and IT meet. In fact, Marketing should be leading the charge in the consideration of social media.

C'mon, call the meeting, don't hope to be invited to it.