Web 2.0 + CRM = CMR

With Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) tools, marketers have the ability to define distinct segments of markets and push customized and personalized marketing messages at these target markets. By doing so, increased attention has been developed at individual levels.

By definition—if such a definition really exists—in Web 2.0, the constituents are in control of the marketing message. They define what they want to see by subscribing to RSS feeds, reading other customer comments and reviews, and listening to peers in social network groups. In other words, they filter the information they want in a way that makes sense to them.

Based on this, CRM and Web 2.0 have a disjoint—CRM pushes company-driven marketing messages, whereas Web 2.0 filters and gathers only relevant messages generated by non-marketers.

Enter CMR, a notion proposed by Christian Smagg on his Social Media Today blog post. Smagg describes CMR as "Customer Managed Relationships:"

It is a philosophy and strategy for collaboration with customers through the provision of tools, technologies, processes, culture, products and services … with a focus on providing enhanced customer experiences that will create appropriate value for all parties involved.

In other words, we need to find a way to combine the data of CRM with the customer interactions of Web 2.0. Engage prospective students with the ability to filter and find the information they want in a media that works for them. Leverage blogs, RSS, and personal pages by making it on-demand through mobile browsers, social network applications, and video in addition to traditional avenues.

The idea is to build relationships in a push-pull environment. Push the content and message, but let the student (or parent) pull it in a fashion that works for them on their schedule. In order to do this, provide any and all tools necessary. Let the audience figure out how to digest the message. Even go one step further: ask the audience how they want their information, and then provide it in that format.