In retrospect, suggesting that the Titanic was unsinkable, was hardly the most accurate of representations. The origins are interesting though. ‘The Shipbuilder’ magazine published an article in 1911 where the term ‘practically unsinkable’ was used. The article in turn seems to have borrowed extensively from a White Star Line publicity brochure quoting many sections verbatim. While the word ‘practically’ does qualify the claim, it’s apparent that in people’s minds the ‘unsinkability’ bit was absorbed and the ‘practically’ bit was discarded. The myth was now established; and since White Star would be the primary commercial beneficiaries, one would imagine they were hardly motivated to set the record straight.

Anyway, I mention this because I recently set myself the task of reading as many CRM related articles as I could find. While some were very good, I was surprised at just how many bore little relationship to the ‘real’ world, at least as I understand it. Some clearly emanate from the marketing department, and are high on spin, and low on insight. And there were also a lot of articles written by journalists, who, in the absence of any domain expertise, were clearly patching together vendor press releases (i.e. spin) in order to create supposedly well balanced factual stories. It’s also clear that one article created in this way, may indeed fuel multiple other less than accurate pieces, and I was interested to note how many incontrovertible ‘facts’ about CRM presented in the mainstream press, clearly had their origins – albeit perhaps several generations of articles earlier – in a vendor marketing department. Over time, and multiple iterations, ‘practically unsinkable’ became ‘unsinkable’.

Aside from making the obvious point that you might want to be cautious about what you read about CRM, I just wanted to note it’s my intent to post a monthly summary of interesting articles, which I come across. If you find any good articles on the practical application of CRM for beneficial purposes – as opposed to ‘version 7.42 of our marketing leading application has just been released with new and improved…etc etc’ – then please drop me a line. I don’t mind if they are written by CRM vendors, as long as they add value. Ultimately the more that can be done to take the spin and misinformation out of the market, then the better the potential to realise the true benefits of CRM technology.

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