Friday, September 14, 2007

MySpace for Geeks. CRM Geeks, that is...

Just in from today's "CRM Buyer": Web 2.0 Portal to Link CRM Job Seekers

Apparently, a group of CRM consultants (BPT Partners) has developed a site ( that promises to help CRM professionals with career development and advancement.

"Besides employment opportunities, it will offer career management and placement services, general industry resources, exclusive content -- Greenberg is the author of "CRM At the Speed of Light" -- and Web 2.0 tools for users."

"'s goal is to increase industry competency for the CRM professional. The integrated platform will allow CRM professionals to network with peers, much as people do on Facebook or, to develop their own content through such tools on the site as podcasts, audio files, blogs and videos and to showcase their own skills and accomplishments."

I personally applaud the effort, and I just might participate on the site. As a business professional (and I don't think I'm alone here), I've been struggling with how to use social sites like Facebook and MySpace to help build my business. I'm even having a hard time understanding how to maximize LinkedIn. Yes, I diligently grow my network. And, yes, it's fun to find people that I worked with eons ago, but other than that, I haven't figured out how these sites can impact my marketing consulting work. (As a side-note, if anyone has any suggestions on this, please do share.)

But this new site promises something extra, I think. First of all, it is targeted to a fairly narrow group of professionals. Some could argue that CRM could mean all things to all people, but it is much more focused than most social networking sites. If it is widely adopted and people start to use it to share successes, discuss technology, etc, I will definitely be participating.

And, of course, it's always great to see what jobs are out there, too :)

The site will be launched next week. I'll be one of the beta members!


Ron Shevlin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ted Grigg said...

I feel your pain as a direct marketing consultant myself.

I use LinkedIn heavily, write an active blog, produce an ongoing email newsletter, write articles, give speeches and use client references. Yet, there does not seem to be a magic bullet for generating new business.

I do get a few projects from these activities, but real business comes from client referrals. And that new business source comes in spurts.

One thing that is hurting the business for direct marketers, in my opinion, is the tendency of non-direct marketers to break out online marketing as something other than a new medium made to order for professional direct marketers. They treat it as a new business genre that highly experienced direct marketers cannot support or contribute to in some significant way.

Another inappropriate segmentation in my mind is that CRM professionals are somehow not direct marketing professionals who happen to specialize in a specific activity. But rather an industry unto itself.

These niche segmentation schemes hurt the future of all direct marketers because they artificially limit the scope of the discipline. It just reenforces the perception that direct marketing consists of a set of tactics rather than an over arching strategy.

Suzanne Obermire said...

Ted, I agree with what you say wholeheartedly! Here's my take on it and what we at RRW practice--we've adopted any channel/medium that facilitates a direct response from a customer/prospect as part of our direct marketing toolkit. That means that CRM technology, social media, e-mail/interactive are all part of our kit that we use to customize strategy and programs for our clients. Who better than direct marketers to understand how to build a conversation with customers and how to track and measure program effectiveness?

I think that many direct marketers, instead of embracing the new tools, tries to continually push for what they understand best (and that's usually postal mail). That narrow mind-set does no good for our industry, in my opinion.

Check out a post from our friend Kevin Hillstrom on this topic:

By the way, we're like you--our business comes from client referrals. It's who you know, right?

Suzanne Obermire said...

Odd, the link got cut-of.
It is:

It's all in one string. Check it out!

Ted Grigg said...

For some reason Suzanne, most online marketers I know rarely use direct mail, DRTV or other traditional media.

I think this has to do as much with the clients' mind-set as it does with the DM strategist.

For my practice, I routinely recommend a mix of all media.

Much of my work has a lot to do lately with staffing and process opportunities. Many clients find themselves trailing behind due to weak infrastructure and lack of functional, relational databases.

But the bottom line is that inexperienced, client side marketers often do not understand fully what professional direct marketers do. So clients tend to box direct marketers in convenient slots that are tactically rather than strategically driven.

The challenge is to find CMOs and other high level client marketers who truly understand the breadth and depth of the direct marketing discipline.

Suzanne Obermire said...

Ted, I'll contend that many direct marketers actually don't understand those other disciplines (sadly).

Well, it's good for those of us who do, I guess!

In order to break through the barriers and not be put into a 'direct mail box', we simply bring our clients good ideas that may not include direct mail. They start to understand that we're not all about mail pretty quickly.

Christopher said...

Suzanne, was great to see you on the myCRMcareer site! Welcome! -christopher carfi