The social media explosion has rocketed forth an interminable cosmos of real-time data, waiting to be leveraged by agile marketers. If correctly mined, then social data can beget actionable insight. While larger customer relationship management (CRM) solutions like Salesforce and Oracle can help brands with complex tasks like lead forecasting, Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara feels that when it comes to the basic task of managing relationships with customers, they fail.
Nimble makes it easier for marketers to monitor their social data streams for valuable opportunities. Once opportunities are discovered, marketers then have access to a lead’s recent social activity. Brands can therefore do a better job of delivering the right message at the right moment. Jon Ferrara therefore hopes to capture business from traditional CRM users, since he feels that Nimble attacks pain points that aren’t resolved by CRMs like Salesforce and Eloqua.
“Most of the CRM tools are legacy tools that most people don’t even enjoy being in,” Ferrara told Jason Calacanis on This Week in Startups. In his appearance on the webcast, Ferarra went as far as to liken traditional CRMs to George Orwell’s “Big Brother,” used more for monitoring sales reps than bolstering communications with customers.
“Traditional CRM systems fail at relationship management and that’s why people don’t use them for engagement,” says Ferrara, a CRM pioneer who spearheaded GoldMine in the late 1980s. After selling Goldmine (for a lot), Ferrara took an 8-year break from the tech scene to spend time with his family. Now he’s back with Nimble, and he has his mind set on once again revolutionizing CRM software.
Nimble was conceived as a way to integrate social streams into a single dashboard, allowing for brands to listen to and engage with customers in response to real-time data. Businesses can therefore easily monitor social activity occurring in sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and more.
Though Nimble’s original design catered to individual users, on Feb. 14, Nimble launched version 2.0—a valentine to small businesses. 2.0 introduces new business features like an improved interface which integrates a contact’s history of messages, activities and deals, in with their social stream. The new version of Nimble also makes it easier for brands to capture information by integrating with marketing platform HubSpot as well as WuFoo and Mailchimp. At a price point that any business can afford, Nimble 2.0 appeals to businesses who can’t afford more traditional CRM tools.
Nimble has more exciting plans in store. Jon Ferrara, an outspoken admirer of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff for pioneering cloud technology, plans to offer integration with more cloud-based platforms such as Get Satisfaction, Yammer, Zendesk, Assistly and Quickbooks.
Living up to its name, Nimble offers Android users the opportunity to take the platform on the go via their mobile app. This can help marketers to interact with and qualify leads, even while in the field. As mobile marketing is becoming increasingly important, apps like Nimble will allow businesses to increase revenues by decreasing reaction time.
Nimble already boasts more than 30,000 registered users from over 2,800 companies. Nimble is also reported to have raised $1M in seed capital from high-profile investors like Mark Cuban, Jason Calacanis and Dharmesh Shah. These are promising signs for Nimble considering that Ferrara claims to have devoted nearly no resources to marketing thus far.
By focusing on relationship-building through social media platforms, Nimble is attempting to posit themselves as the lightweight CRM to beat.
“You can’t just snap social onto legacy CRM platforms and expect it to be effective. Nimble was built from the ground up for active social listening and engagement. We’re putting the ‘R’ (relationship) back into CRM, and with Nimble 2.0, we are disrupting the old CRM ways of doing business.” Says the Jon Ferrara.
Watch Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara discuss the importance of social CRM.