Getting Started With Your Social Relationship Management Strategy-Reggie Bradford, SVP, Oracle Product Development
By "Jim Lein, Oracle Midsize-Oracle" on Mar 02, 2015
Reggie Bradford joined Oracle in 2012 via the acquisition of Vitrue, the leading provider of social marketing software for global brands and agencies; a company he started in 2006. Vitrue is now an anchor component of the Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) suite of cloud solutions. Bradford circles the globe espousing thought leadership in such topics as Cloud, Customer Experience and the paradigm shift caused to Brands by the explosive growth of Mobile and Social. Bradford recently authored an Oracle eBook, Modern Best Practice for the Social Business.
Q: What is SRM and why is it so important?
SRM enhances Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with critical social pieces to make it more holistic and answers the question, “How do I build connections and relationships with prospects, co-workers, peers, customers, and influencers to further extend my products and services into the marketplace?” 9 out of 10 people buy products or services based on recommendation from a peer or friend. Since people today are pervasively using social and mobile technology to conduct their personal and business lives, corporations need a comprehensive SRM strategy that provides the full range of customer touch points. Subsequently, they can capture those interactions, learn from them, and build on those relationships.
Q: What is the first step to adopting modern best practice for social?
Develop a plan. Too many companies jump into SRM without a plan and the market tunes them out because they are not engaging with a relevant voice. So first, pull together your key constituents and stakeholders and ask the question, “What is my purpose for doing SRM?” Don’t do it just to be cool and trendy. Do it because you are going to add value by being social. Identify and understand what your unique voice is going to be in order to be relevant to your market.
Q: Should every company have an SRM strategy?
I’m certainly biased but I think social has a role in every product or service because that’s where the customer is. Over 2 billion people are using social networks. It’s not “should you do SRM” but rather “How should you do SRM”. That “how” depends on the product or service you’re offering and what platforms you should engage with and how are you going to connect with your customers and stakeholders. That can certainly include collaborating internally with employees, vendors, and partners.
With an effective SRM plan, you’re going to be more in tune and effective in your marketplace. You’ll be doing business the way people are doing business today. You’ll also be able to measure your effectiveness via ROI that might not equal revenue, but actually be “COI”, as David Mingle of GM says—the “Cost of Ignoring”. The COI is that if you’re not engaged across your customer experience you risk becoming irrelevant or obsolete. We see more and more companies that don’t embrace the future fall behind—even Fortune 500 companies.
Q: You’ve started or helped build and sold 3 companies in the last 15 years. What drives you today?
One of the things I’ve strived to be better at is finding balance in life spanning my faith, family, and business. My wife and I have six kids. Chaos reigns in our household. Right now I’m just going through life and loving every minute of it. One of my real passions I have is taking the lessons I’ve learned and sharing them with the next generation of entrepreneurs. I’m very interested in disruption and pivots. That’s why I love working with startups but it’s critical even for established companies to sometimes behave like a startup. Oracle began as a startup and we continue to innovate, especially across our cloud solutions—DaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS. Innovation—like how we’re building out an end-to-end SRM solution—along with new ideas and business models, are what keeps me engaged and keeps me excited. I like to have impact and have fun.
Download the eBook, Modern Best Practice for the Social Business:
Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and the internet of things, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources. It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.
The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.