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How Brands Make Friends

080116d Collecting all the data in the world will not make the target your friend. Facebook, ePinions, and StyleHive make it possible for people who have nothing else in common to band together and compare data about their suppliers. Have you been treating your targets like human beings? Do they have warm, fuzzy stories to share about you? Is Friending ending CRM'ing?, Nov-Dec 2007, by Charlie Tarzian

We have built these monoliths of web and email infrastructures. We have names in our databases. Certainly, some of us even have sales histories to go along with those names and that help us tee-up that never-ending, all-you-can-eat email machine with a constant flow of relevant and timely offers. But that doesn’t mean you have “friends.”

We have email and e-CRM summits, e-sales planners and sales enablement tools. We have call centers that interact on the web with a caller. We sometimes even have face-to-face meetings.Yet, if 92 percent of Americans surveyed by Roper Reports (2004) rate word-of-mouth of friends and family as being among best source of ideas and information, then decisions about brands in people’s lives are conversations we are generally not a part of.