This is the second article in a series about Creative Relationship Marketing – Customer focused traditional and social media marketing (the first post can be found here). Since the abbreviation CRM was already taken, I will use CRM² for Creative Relationship Marketing. I think the extra ² is suitable since the Creative Relationship Marketing approach takes CRM to a new level. And since it is on a higher level, you have to make sure that the right resources are in place.
To think marketing and being creative about it is not something that comes naturally to everyone, and even then corporate traditions and culture will make anyone losing their creativity if it is not stimulated. So how can you make sure if you have the right person for the job?
First I usually look for someone within the (marketing) organization that has an interest for new methods of spreading the message and are not afraid of trial-and-error, but at the same time have a keen ear to customer requests and reactions. The person should also have some experience or at least interest in the new social technologies. Even if a lot of the social relations tools available are free or cheap, there is a cost involved since every relationship needs nurturing and care, which consumes time. Time that the person and his manager must be willing to invest to make the effort worthwhile.
So what if there are no one with the right qualities and/or time? Then there are basically two options:
1. Find a new co-worker suitable to the task
Employing someone is always a big step, but the reward of having a dedicated CRM² officer can be immense if it is the right person.
2. Create a long term relation with a consultant
This is a faster and more flexible solution, but normally a more expensive one.
The advantage of a consultant is that he/she (hopefully) is an expert in the field, but the disadvantage is that he/she is not an expert in the industry and your company. In most cases the best solution is a mix of a consultant and a current or new employee, where the consultant is a part of creating strategies, routines and plan. If you have found a great partner to work with, the consultant can inspire and awaken the creativity of the employee(s) and coach them to learn how to think in a creative manner and hence develop new creative ways of marketing the company’s products and services.
So, look at your organization to see if you have the resources available to enter the world of CRM². When you have done that, let’s take a look at setting goals for your new marketing efforts.