There are dozens of excellent social marketing platforms that are lumped into the buzz-worthy category of “social CRM,” sometimes Promoboxx is mistakenly thrown into this bucket. Yes, there are aspects of what a social CRMs do that are similar to us, but Promoboxx is not a social CRM. A social CRM is set of tools that sits on top of the existing functionality of social media sites, and allows for greater control over the social conversations a brand has with its customers.
The confusion with Promoboxx is how some social CRMs have features that account for a brand’s locations. The big difference is that the social CRMs are still built on the premise of control, while Promoboxx avoids any attempt to control, but rather engage the dealer on their terms. Essentially, Promoboxx helps brands treat their retailers like a true marketing partner, and a good partner should be given given marketing controls that they choose where and when to use them.
The controlled syndication approach of a social CRM does create economies of scale, for example when posting content, that one post can end up on many pages. But, this homogenous approach defeats the purpose of localization, and could be perceived as spam by the social newsfeed algorithms. Also, a retailer in Texas should be able to say “ya’ll” in the same way a Boston retailer should be able to share something that’s “wicked good.”
Some would argue that control is better, and that retailer won’t do anything unless done for them. We disagree, and believe that a retailer can do amazing things when given the chance. Also, in order to gain this control, the social CRM needs a dealer to turn page admin rights over to the brand, which is not an issue if you’re a vertically integrated retailer like Walmart, but when you’re a manufacturing brand working with many independent dealers selling many brands, this proves incredibly difficult to nearly impossible.
We’re not disparaging social CRMs, we think they’re great for what what they do, and we love to work along side of them. But, just because you have a sledgehammer doesn’t mean you should use it to hang a picture. The Promoboxx “tool” embraces the wonderful nuances of a complex partner distribution model. We believe that if you engage your retailers in a way that respects who they are and how they market, they will reward you with stronger loyalty, louder participation in marketing efforts, and greater sales.
I should add that we’ve never had day-to-day use with any of these platforms, but we’ve heard nice things. If you’re a social CRM and would like to be added to this list, please reach out. If you agree/disagree with this post, please comment below.
– Ben // ben [at] promoboxx [dot] com