Thank you Sameer Patel! Not just for the obvious reason either. First and foremost he’s an industry thought leader/influencer, with a wicked sense of humor, which all comes through in his great blog. This, in my book, makes Sameer one of the smartest people in the industry, while also being one of the coolest..
Sameer was the Sales & Marketing track chair for last week’s Enterprise 2.0 conference. He invited me to moderate a panel on whether inbound marketing and outbound marketing could coexist - which I was thrilled to do. I had the pleasure of facilitating a very interesting conversation with three great experts who are heading up their company’s efforts:
- Michelle Burtchell, Director, Acquisition Marketing, Constant Contact
- Mike Lewis, VP of Sales & Marketing, Awareness Inc.
- Ilya Mirman, Vice President of Marketing, VMTurbo
We touched on a number of issues, including:
- Whether inbound marketing is a replacement to outbound marketing – or an enhancement
- How does inbound differ in: B2B vs B2C, Large enterprises vs. SMBs
- How does “inbound” change a company’s marketing makeup
- What impact inbound marketing has on the relationship between sales and marketing departments
- How does inbound impact the relationship with customers/prospects
- And, of course, what ROI can you expect from implementing an inbound marketing initiative.
And as I was all set to recap some of the great points made during the session, Ilya beat me to it – so please check out his post that does a great job of summarizing the conversation.
Thanks to Ilya, Michelle and Mike for making my job as moderator extremely easy. More importantly, thanks for providing great perspective and insight – and for sharing your wealth of experience in this increasingly important area. And thanks once again to Sameer for letting me join his show.
Now getting back to the original reason I wanted to thank Sameer. Two years ago I attended the Enterprise 2.0 conference. I actually had a chance to attend way more sessions and keynotes than I did this time around. And out of all the sessions and events I attended back then, I only heard the letters C-R-M mentioned once. It was during Blue State Digital co-founder Jascha Franklin Hodge’s keynote discussing the role of social media in the success of President Obama’s campaign.
And the really interesting part of how he brought CRM up around how he described it as the foundation of the success that took place with social media. I was sitting next to Paul Greenberg at the time, and we both looked at each other… as we both were thinking not just CRM, but Social CRM.
But just as quickly as Jascha said those three letters (CRM), it seemed like it was overshadowed by the fascination with the social media piece. And the only real discussion of CRM, and Social CRM, was later that night at Radian6’s totally unaffiliated Rockstars of Social CRM event – which Paul, Michael Thomas, Frank Eliason and me participated in….with Chris Brogan as the emcee, dressed as Professor Griff from Public Enemy. And even back then there were over 300 people there (and over 600 on the livestream) to discuss this thing that was virtually ignored at E2.0. I still think that most people really came to see Chriss dressed as Griff, and to see Radian6 CMO David Alston play the air guitar dressed as a Goth...
Anyway...so here’s where the thank you to Sameer comes in, a second time. Sameer, according to Mr. Greenberg, is the driving force behind Social CRM’s inclusion into the E2.0 conferences. Now I wasn’t at last year’s conference, but this year’s conference was really eye-opening to me. The conference has always been top rate, but I couldn’t believe how much Social CRM/Social Business had been infused throughout everything. You really couldn’t go too long without hearing Social CRM. I couldn’t attend it, but Broadvision put on “An Evening with Paul Greenberg” as part of their announcing their Social CRM application during E2.0 – and several hundred people attended. There was a Social Apps track, and the Sales & Marketing track Sameer put together was definitely infused with Social CRM thought leaders – including Sameer, Paul, Esteban Kolsky, Mike Fauscette and others. And many other Social CRM luminaries were walking around the conference too – like Mitch Leiberman, Brian Vellmure, Michael Wu, Michael Krigsman (who was on a Social Apps panel), and many others. I even had chance to meet with two of my favorite dynamos - Radian6’s powerhouse Director of Community, and Kirsten Knipp – Hubspot’s Director of Evangelism & Marketing.
So while I am grateful to Sameer for inviting to be a part of a great sales & marketing track he put together, I’m even more thankful to him for bringing Social CRM to Enterprise 2.0. I felt a whole new energy at the conference that I didn’t feel before - and a whole new comfort level seeing great #SCRM-tinged sessions, with a number of the SCRM AC members I’m not sure any of that would have been there if it weren’t for Sameer.