Social CRM turns 'likes' into actions

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David Rosenberg is director of emerging media at JWT
David Rosenberg is director of emerging media at JWT

Direct marketing shops are finding their experience with CRM, remarketing and driving consumer action has well prepared them for the age of social media marketing. With marketers putting more and more of their budgets toward 
social platforms, direct shops are using their interactive capabilities to improve brands' online customer retention. 

JWT has launched numerous social initiatives for Stride Gum in the past three years, including Stride 2.0, a combination of Facebook and Google Maps, during the first quarter this year. Knowing that many consumers switch chewing gum brands frequently, the Stride's goal is to improve customer loyalty through engaging and fun social media efforts. 

"Our campaigns are designed to give fans content they find valuable, giving them a greater reason to love the brand," said Gary Osifchin, marketing director for Stride at Kraft Foods. 

Another objective is to engage consumers as more than just marketing targets, said David Rosenberg, director of emerging media at JWT. 

"The goals are making the experience more personalized for you and giving you an experience that makes you want to go and get that product. Based on that experience, we can 
remarket and talk more with people at the product level," he says. "People want to be treated like a regular 
person, and not just a consumer. This is a fun way to do that."

Research shows brands have noticed this trend. Out of the predicted $6 billion in social media marketing spending this year, Facebook will earn $4 billion in global ad revenues, including $2 billion in the US, according to eMarketer. Twitter will attract about $150 million in spending this year, 
the firm said.

Agency executives emphasize that their CRM chops help them naturally retarget consumers. "What [a traditional direct marketer] might call remarketing is for us the next part of the story that we are trying to engage consumers in," said Rosenberg. 

"There's a collision between social and CRM," said Chris Miller, EVP and group management director for digital at Draftfcb. "If a client has 
6 million [Facebook] 'likes,' that is 
6 million people you can connect with through the wall in a way you might not be able to in a traditional program. You're turning those likes into not just a number but an action."

Microsoft, which worked with Wunderman to launch the 2011 version of its Dynamics CRM product, said it will continue to interact with the product's customers through social media during this year. 

"We're looking at social to continue the momentum of the launch," said Jill Tennant, marketing manager for the central marketing group at 
Microsoft. "It's really important to evangelize the success stories of the new product throughout the year through social channels and to keep that conversation going."

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