Doc Searls wrote a crystalline explanation of what vendor relationship management is in the Project VRM blog yesterday, which got me to thinking. Is there a difference between CRM 2.0 and VRM? If there is, how much does the difference matter? If there isn't, should we call CRM 2.0....duh.....VRM? (for those of you not up on VRM, check out Harvard's Project VRM - tres importante)
Here's an excerpt of what Doc said. (I've never met him but he's one guy I hope I can meet. Chris Carfi knows him pretty well and thinks quite a bit of the guy)
"With VRM, our vectors are anchored on the user side, the customer side, the individual's side. The relationships we establish and manage are on our terms and not just those of vendors. We are not against vendors in the least, of course. Our logic is AND, not OR. But it starts with the sovereign autonomy and independence of each individual as a fully-empowered participant in the relationships that comprise markets and other social arrangements. '-driven' says that much more clearly and correctly than '-centric'."
This leads me to think that there actually (contrary to my prior statements) a difference between CRM 2.0 and VRM. VRM is something like the labor movement (in its more pristine formative days) and CRM 2.0 would be the approach business would need to take to accomodate that labor movement. While CRM 1.0 played in the corporate ecosystem and thought that "customer-centric" activity was da bomb, CRM 2.0 realizes that customer centric activity still means a corporate ecosystem and now everything needs to be customer-driven or simply recognized as customer controlled. CRM 1.0 tried to automate the approach to dealing with managing customers so data was everything and the holy grail of CRM 1.0 was the 360 degree view of the customer, CRM 2.0 recognizes that customers need to be engaged and since the ball is in their court (which is the standpoint that VRM starts from), then they have to play on the home court of the customer.
VRM starts with the idea that each customer governs a personal value chain. CRM 1.0 would exploit that. CRM 2.0 creates a collaboration between the personal value chain of the customer and the extended (to partners, suppliers, vendors) value chain of the company so that value (and values) are given and in return the customer provides value (and values).
These are all important concepts with a difference. Took me to today to realize that VRM is the one that actually starts from the customers' POV and life and CRM 2.0 is the company's way of figuring out the best way to engage and collaborative with that.
Another step in the evolution.