My, What A Timely Article

It seems we weren’t the only ones thinking about customer relationship management (CRM) solutions via yesterday’s satisfaction survey (please submit your position if you haven’t done so already). Joe Patti published an article over at Butts In The Seats titled What Is On Your Customer Relationship Management Wishlist? where he solicits feedback on what sorts of features you would like to see as part of an ideal CRM package.

Adaptistration People 15555One item that caught my attention in the post is Patti’s consideration of ethical thresholds for data collection and reporting parameters (emphasis added).

I was a little leery at the mention of combining “fund-raising data analytics with social media signals.” That phrase made me wonder if he envisioned a system that tracked the social media activity of anyone who engaged with you and sent you tips noting what a person was passionate about. I could see that getting really stalker creepy fast.

I can’t remember the last time ethics were part of a discussion about CRM capabilities but it is never a bad idea to ask “just because we can use technology to do a thing, does it mean we should?” Consequently, it’s good to see these questions work their way into larger discussions about features and functionality.

It’s also good to see Patti’s article covering aspects related to improved standardization and open APIs, which is an item we examined here most recently in a post from 1/30/2015.

If nothing else, 2016 is looking like the year where arts orgs are not only going to get serious about CRMs but the threshold of understanding about how they work, their potential, their limitations, and how they interact with your larger digital presence (web and e-commerce) will be moving higher than ever before.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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