Forrester Presents Social Marketing CRM Awards

At the Forrester eBusiness Forum in Chicago this week, Nate Elliott, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, announced winners of the 2013 Groundswell Awards. The awards went to six companies that topped ForresterEUs chart this year for social marketing programs and innovative customer-reach tactics.

While not all the winners are specifically big-name brand-names, the judges recognized them for demonstrating solid brand-building strategies and proactive customer service programs. The awards are of interest because they provide valuable insights for virtually all customer service managers, sales and marketing managers, and others responsible for customer experience and customer relationship management (CRM).

Indeed, the choice of winning companies reflects how much "marketing" has come to rely on social media and "social marketing" specifically. Marketing goals now have to extend beyond just counting eyeballs and tracking visits. Creative use of social media needs to be folded into virtually every marketer's strategy.

Social Marketing's Role

This year, Forrester based its e-business awards around its "Marketing RaDaR" model. The R stands for Reach, meaning social reach tactics that help people discover your brands, products, and promotions. The D stands for Depth, referring to social depth tactics that help prospects explore and buy your products. The final R refers to Relationships, for the social relationship tactics you can use to build stronger engagement with your best customers.

Forrester's view is that social marketing is key to success in today's world. Branded profiles on social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can foster stronger relationships with existing customers, as well as being helpful for attracting new customers. The most successful social marketing efforts go there and beyond.

"More than 90 percent of the marketers we survey are already using social tactics," Elliott said earlier this year. "After people buy from a company, there are many ways they stay in touch....

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