Here I go blogging away, tweeting about my experiences, updating my facebook with “having a great day” and uploading photographs of a boozy night out with the gals.

I am expressing myself to the World Wide Web for anyone and everyone to hear and see. I used to be a private person and now, I am anyone’s!

Shamelessly, I exploit myself and my whole sense of being to be an ‘Online Guru’. Well, not much of a guru, but definately online. You hear all the time that people say they are the guru of this or the expert of that – but to me that is a whole lot of bollocks. No matter how much time I spend on the Internet researching, learning, exploring and communicating, there is so much more to learn and do. I will never be a guru, but am an active participant who knows a thing or two about social networks and how it affects our lives, our businesses, our brands and our relationships with everyone who is a participant.

Having now moved on from having a handful of close friends to having thousands of online confidantes who hear about my social activities, my work life and lack of balance and of course more recently, of my beloved father passing away. Here I am every day communicating with people who have asked to communicate with me about anything that is going on in my life. Fortunately for me , I am live and breathe business – so there is only snippets of ‘other stuff’.

A very wise man once said to me “Friends are clients and clients are friends” and I have taken this online and to a whole new level.

My clients, whom no longer see me as the ‘ice queen’ now know me as a creative soul who has good days and bad days and who is a real human being. Not just the ‘marketing chick’ who wears designer clothes and waltzes into their offices with new ideas, connections and ways of communicating their brands.

The evolution of social networks has brought my brand and myself so much more closer and more intimately associated with our customers. Instead of talking every other day, we talk every couple of hours. They know what I am thinking and what I am doing for others and themselves – so our relationship has now been taken to a whole new level.


Consumers are increasingly having direct relationships with brands and in businesses that have put direct marketing as a ’lesser’ item on the marketing chart, now need to place a higher emphasis and commitment to its role in the mix.

The variegated nature of communications in this socialised environment will mean that ‘Direct’ will become a far more nuanced term; businesses are comparing open rates to re-tweets, a friend message to becoming a fan.

We can opt-in, and in higher tech systems check our own details and update them. Think Qantas!

How will consumer expectations of ‘personalised communications’ evolve beyond receiving mail with our names firmly placed on the envelope and merged in a letter?

How do small businesses prepare for the cross-over?

CRM and its role in the marketing mix are fuzzy.

Customers are now our audience and we are on show; audience may include customers, resellers, employees, media, family, alliances etc.

Relationship becomes dialogue; this audience is not someone you send emails to but someone you have a dialogue with.

Management evolves through it’s participation and merges there the interactions.

What do you think about CRM’s social evolution? How is affecting your brand and the relationships you have with clients?

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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