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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM (Part 4)

Posted on Friday, Oct 24th 2014

Sramana Mitra: Switching gears a little bit, I’m going to give you a scenario which I am experiencing based on our own process of sales and marketing, which uses LinkedIn centrally. We use LinkedIn community’s ability to market and sell subtly. I’m a LinkedIn influencer. Content marketing happens to be one of our primary strategies of how we are building our brand. This is probably why you knew about us before today’s call. We have a very active blog. We have very active social media channels where every hour, we put a good piece of content out there in social media. That flows through using technologies like Hootsuite.

Because I’m a LinkedIn Influencer, we also publish on LinkedIn as well as have a lot of followers on LinkedIn. The thing that is missing in there is that, with my CRM system, I don’t really have a way of tracking who is actually looking at any of that stuff. I know a lot of people are looking because when they contact someone from my organization, we get to know that. When it’s through our email marketing system, we can see who’ve opened a message or who’s clicked a link. There’s a lot more engagement going on in social media with our content, which we don’t really have any way of understanding today.

Larry Augustin: That’s interesting. It sounds like you use tools like Hootsuite today. It would be interesting to understand a little bit more about how you use a tool like Hootsuite, which I also use myself that is integrated with SugarCRM. We have a partnership with them to understand if you’re able to use tracking tools and connection with Hootsuite and understand some of those things. I think you are pointing out, rightly so, that the integration and use of social media around content marketing is an industry that is early on.

Sramana Mitra: It’s not there yet.

Larry Augustin: I would agree with you on that. I’d come back to a lot of the ways we interact with the customer today. I say we see opportunities for innovation there, an opportunity for understanding the prospect of the customer better and taking advantage of some of these new technologies to do it. In that sense, I’d say we are going through, as an industry, a transformation in terms of how we can reach the customer.

I mentioned the 500 million customer-facing roles in companies today. Part of the reason you see this explosion in the industry is the fact that tools like social media and the Internet have now enabled more and more people to talk to more and more individuals. It used to be the case that, as a business, you could control the interaction channels. You had that 800 number that someone had to call. Today, they may call the 800 number. They may talk to you on Twitter. They may InMail you on LinkedIn. The interaction channels have just exploded. As a result, more individuals outside the company are talking to more individuals inside the company.

Sramana Mitra: Especially if you have a public persona like I do, these Twitter messages are absolutely a nightmare. The Facebook messages are absolutely a nightmare because how can you possibly, humanly, keep track of every single person writing on your wall or sending you messages.

Larry Augustin: As an individual, you can’t keep track of all of those. It’s very tough.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM
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