So the latest chatter in the marketing and technology world is that Social CRM is the next big thing. But is it really or is it just a different way of dressing up all the customer touchpoints? CRM in Emperor's new clothes, if you like. A new technique? Or are we already doing it?

I would argue that marketers have for the last few years been using social media as a tool to engage with customers and prospects alike. Journalists have had to get used to consumers critiquing their articles in real time and not through the editor's page. Agencies have been seeding ads on places such as You Tube, companies have set up their own Facebook page, many of us use LinkedIn to network and some companies even set themselves up on Second Life.

Have us marketers just created another term with which we can ‘razzle dazzle' the business world? One thing for certain is that social media has become an important tool for all marketers - something that we must monitor and be involved in if we want to maximise customer/prospect engagement and understand our target audience's needs. Getting this right is never going to be easy as it's an amorphous phenomenon, growing unpredictably at a rate of knots. But getting to know our audience and engaging them at the right time is always going to be a good thing.

Whatever it's called, you need to be doing it.

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