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CRM, CMR, CEM, sCRM – What’s It Called Again? | B2B Marketing

If you have a phobia of acronyms, you might want to look away now – otherwise, uset his guide to understand what CMR, CEM and sCRM mean for CRM and your business.

You & Your Customers

It all begins with 

Customer Relationship Management.

Customer Relationship Management is both a business strategy, and a software designed to enact that strategy. Traditionally, CRM has been about controlling and managing your customers’ relationship with your brand through analysis and metrics to understand, exploit and bring order to your database, boosting efficiency and productivity while driving up sales.

The Tide Has Turned

In recent times, the customer’s journey has changed dramatically. You are no longer in control,the customer is, they choose the rules of engagement now, not you.

To help deal with this new consumer landscape, CRM thinking has evolved to keep you ahead of the curve. It has led to the creation of different strategies and business philosophies to exploit every aspect of the new customer’s journey, including:


Customer Managed Relationships


Customer Engagement/Experience Management


Social Customer Relationship Management

They’re all subtly different strategies/approaches to using CRM software, but share many common themes between them.


Don’t be.

What is Customer Managed Relationships (CMR)?

At its core, CMR is about engagement wherever the consumer is in their buying journey.

Whether they’re…

browsing in-store

chatting online with your company’s help desk

reading online reviews

CMR ensures that wherever they are, you can act as a real-time ‘anchor’ for the customer to come back to when they are ready. To misquote ‘Friends’:

Wherever your customer is, you’ll be there for them.

And your interactions with prospects and existing customers can then be fed back into your CRM, creating a living, always-on database of critical metrics.

What is Customer Engagement/Experience Management?

“[CEM is] the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”



In practical terms, imagine CEM as a specific focus on managing and improving the touchpoints where customers actually engage and experience your company.

From call centres’ recordings and surveys 

to monitoring if a customer is, say, struggling with a trial of your product

CEM offers you the chance to go the extra mile, winning over your customers with your service wherever they are on their journey, while offering assistance exactly when the customer most needs it.

Call it a sixth sense – but with the right CRM platform in place, it’s actually common sense.

What is Social Customer Relationship Management (sCRM)?

Social media has dramatically transformed the way customers interact with businesses.

Whether it’s digital word of mouth 

or company social channels being used to engage with customers

Social is critical to companies serious about competing in the 21st Century digital marketplace – and your CRM needs to be optimised to monitor your customers’ interactions on your social platforms.

It’s why Social Customer Relationship Management is becoming so critical for companies wanting to create a true social engagement strategy, which enables them to…

… listen…

… track…

… engage..

new leads to drive them through the sales funnel while increasing upselling and cross-selling opportunities with existing customers, all with the aim of boosting loyalty and creating social advocates to boost your brand’s messaging in the social space.

Remember, none of the acronyms are replacements for CRM.

After all, it is predicted that CRM will be worth:

£36.4 billion

worldwide by 2017 

according to Gartner


The Dos

  • Do see each as subsets of CRM which, when focused, can transform your customer relationships.
  • Do understand that there are crossovers and similarities across each; this is a joined-up world after all.
  • Do hire in a CRM specialist to help create a bespoke, unified CRM platform that works for you and your business’ unique needs.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t be confused by the acronyms or regard them as disparate, unjoined-up systems competing for your attention.
  • Don’t dismiss these critical subsets of CRM out of hand; your competitors aren’t.

The reality of CRM is not the same as the theory. Find out more with the report:

Report: what people really think about CRM

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