Archive for December, 2009


Who Reads This Blog? Find out with 2009 Web Strategy Survey Results

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Above: See the details of the survey results, due to heavy data, it’s best when put into ‘full screen’ mode, the fourth icon on bottom.

To me, this blog belongs as much to the community in which I serve as it does to me, as such, it’s important to find out who the readers are and what they want, to learn about previous efforts, see 2008′s results. The goals of this survey are simple 1) Find out who the readers are, 2) Find out if they are they influenced by this blog, and how, 3) How this blog can improve year-over year. With a sample size of nearly 200 respondents, some of the key findings from this survey were:

  1. Overall, Readers Were Satisfied: Overall, respondents were pleased with the blog, and 47% rated it a “10/10″ in recommending it to others when asked “would you recommend this blog to a friend or colleague”, and 54% read more than half the posts, and over one-third shares it monthly with others (slides 3, 4, 5)
  2. Many are Buyers at Corporate: 59% of respondents said they are buyers,  28% of respondents have budgets $100k-$1 million (although one-fifth do not hold budget), and over a quarter work at enterprise class companies with over half of respondents in the United States (slides 10, 14, 18, 19).
  3. Some are Influenced By Blog: Over one-third of respondents said this blog strongly informs their actions at work, but it was nearly split between influence in their buying process, with 40% agreeing, and 39% disagreeing.  (slide 6).  Read more from Edelman’s Analyst Relations specialist, Jonny Bentwood on his take of this data.
  4. Sophistication of Social and Mobile at Work Varies: 39% of respondents said their company was intermediate when it came to social strategy, and 43% said their novice when it comes to mobile strategy. (slide 20, 21)
  5. Identified Many Areas for This Blog to Improve: There was a large request for adding more case studies, and interviews with thought leaders in the space, and a variety of comments in the open-ended section that I’m all taking to heart. (slide 8, and qualitative answers)

You can read the qualitative answers on a separate page, in case you want to understand why they read this blog, and what they want to see improved.

A few notes on this survey.  I’m not sure this is truly representative of all readers, it’s likely those that are more engaged, and are willing to spend time filling out the survey.  While some research firms take data samples from smaller numbers, this is only 195 of respondents, although there are far more readers than that.

If you want to influence the readers of this blog, it’s simple.  Be part of the ongoing conversation (not be pitchy) by leaving comments and demonstrating your knowledge and expertise.  Also, you can schedule a briefing with me, but I’ll have to admit up front, it’s been hard getting on my cal as we just launched this new company.  I’m figuring out ways to make briefings easier, such as blocking out Friday mornings, using web based forms to collect more information up front.

Thanks to the folks who took the time to answer the 20 question survey, I read every response, and am constantly trying to improve this blog. Here’s to making this blog even better in 2010!

Tell Your Y2K Story –Ten Years Later

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We’re just a few days from Y2K+10, ten years after the big scare of the whole world collapsing from a lapse in computer programming foresight.

I remember it closely, I spent a few hours in the later part of Dec 1999 backing up data at the small business my wife was working at. We were able to download nearly all of her company’s (a very small office) data onto just over a dozen zip drives, remember those? Funny that we could fit nearly all the digital files onto those drives –perhaps, if Y2K fears were to happen, it’s better than uploading to the cloud.

I also remember an army of Y2K consultants, and their concerns over liabilities, appear marketing how they’d offer CIOs Y2K enterprise proofing for companies that were concerned about losing all their data. I even had one slightly off-keel friend stay home on NYE 2000 eve with a gun in hand, military rations beside his bed. I wasn’t phased, I enjoyed reveling in downtown San Francisco with friends.

I want you to reminisce, do you remember what you did to protect your personal data, finances, work data, or what your company did in preparation for the Y2K apocalypse? Leave a comment, share with others, and take a look back 10 years ago. To trigger some memories, here’s a video to remind you of the fear, oh Leonard, really? Illogical.


Forbes: A Year In Review: 2009 Social Marketing Trends

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Here’s my latest column in Forbes, which I’ve also posted below.  I’m leaning on naming this CMO focused column “The Connected Customer”, which appears to be a theme, what would you name it?


A Year In Review: 2009 Social Marketing Trends

The connected customer leaves brands in the dust.

As we close out the year, it’s important to look back at what happened in social marketing in order to plan for the future. There were four key trends in 2009 that CMOs should reflect on, starting at the macro level then shifting down to micro real-time updates. They are:

The Recession Spurred Consumers to Adopt Social Technologies. Humans are social creatures and, as a result, they tend to band together in hard times. During financial crises, this same behavior is evident: People connect to one other, share, learn, and communicate. What’s more, with unemployment at record highs, those with internet access have more time–and need–to connect with others. It’s evident through Facebook’s 350 million global users. For brands, it’s interesting to note a study by Razorfish, which indicates that 52% of consumers have blogged about a brand’s product or experience. Don’t expect this to change as the recession lifts, as it is the preferred method of communication for young people.

Some Brands Followed Suit With Social Marketing. Marketing budgets are pinched during tough times. Recent data from eMarketer indicates that companies are slashing print budgets by 37% and TV by 21% as a response to the recession. Yet marketers know that tough times also spur innovation, as they experiment with mediums such as social marketing. Social marketing promises lower costs and bigger returns. In fact, word-of-mouth campaigns encourage consumers to do the marketing on behalf of the brand themselves. Yet despite the opportunity, research conducted by the Altimeter Group (where I’m a partner) and Wetpaint found that while brands like Starbucks, Dell, eBay, and Google interact with their customers, most brands do not. Still, we’re seeing a noticeable increase in social marketing budgets, as brands find ways to innovative marketing.

Social Networks Share Data, Spreading Social Influence. A key trend across the technology vendor space in 2009 is that social networks are connecting with other systems. Much like how Apple’s iPhone developer program enables third parties to build and create new applications, many social networks are doing the same. Take for example, LinkedIn, a business network that recently began allowing third party sites to connect with the LinkedIn platform to share data. Similarly, Facebook Connect allows users to log into third party sites using their Facebook ID. There have been over 80,000 connections since this time last year. So what does this data availability mean? It means that consumers’ social experience will spread from site to site, and that wherever they go online or off, they can access their friends’ opinions, experiences, and recommendations in real time.

Consumers Move Faster By Sharing Real-Time Data. In August, 2009, blogger Heather Armstrong, who boasts over a million followers on Twitter was miffed about a shabby customer experience and tweeted about it. Although the company, Whirlpool, responded within hours, the damage had been done–Armstrong’s real-time feedback about her company experience spread quickly through her network and beyond. This spread of customer experiences in real time is a trend, in fact, status updates are a feature found not just in Twitter but in many social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. Recently, Twitter signed a deal to allow Microsoft’s Bing and Google access its real-time data, displaying real-time tweets which appear along side traditional search results. So what is the impact of this increase in real-time data? It means that consumers can instantly give feedback about their product experiences and tell their friends. For brands, it means they have to move faster to keep up with consumers who are sharing.

Takeaway: This year, consumers are more connected, and moving faster than brands. It’s essential for senior marketers to use the past to plan for the future, and these four trends indicate that people are connecting and sharing with each other–at an increased pace. Brands need to develop a strategy and a plan to respond–not simply react–to the latest technology. In our next piece, we will discuss the key trends to watch in 2010 to help with strategy planning.


Thanks to Christine Tran on the Altimeter Research team for her assistance if finding data references.

(Video) 2010 Trends: More Speed and Integration, 27 min

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Long term friend and former colleague Robert Scoble (who’s now with Rackspace) came by to interview the Altimeter Group. Although Deborah Schultz and Charlene Li were off traveling the globe, Ray Wang (who covers enterprise strategy) and myself were able to sit down with Robert and discuss the trends we see happening in the industry. Big wave to Rocky who’s the show producer, and also a former colleague.

To The Future! A List of Intention Enabled Websites

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The web is quickly moving to real-time, people share the information about what they’re doing while their doing it. Yet the next step beyond real time, is future-looking data, which is called the Intention Web (get up to speed by reading this post). In an effort to map out this trend in 2010, let’s list out the vendors, companies, and beyond that will facilitate this type of forward looking data.

There are countless opportunities for people to connect with others with the same goals, or for companies that want to serve them as new technologies like Social CRM evolve and develop. Scope: These Intention websites facilitate a person to publish their future goals in the context of their community, or sometimes even in public. For example, an unshared CAL isn’t a qualifier.

To The Future! A List of Intention Enabled Websites

  • 43 Things: This “wish list”, they suggest that you make a list on 43 Things and see what changes happen in your life. They encourage you to connect with others with the same goals.
  • Coachsurfing:  Helps those traveling to other cities to find homes and couches to stay on, by organizing availability. (thanks jasminw)
  • Facebook Events: Facebook allows members to RSVP for future events, publish their own events, or see what friends are doing.
  • Localist: Allows those in DC and Baltimore to find events, publish their intent to attend, and organize with friends (thanks Mary)
  • Meetup: Encourages groups to organize events, plan events, and connect with others.
  • Plancast: Is a social network that allows members to publish their future plans. It allows people to see who is going to other future goals, and to publish to Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Tripit: This website allows travelers to plan out their travel itineraries. (thanks Sameer)
  • Upcoming: This Yahoo owned property allows people to find, publish, and share future events.

Leave a comment if you know of other technologies that meet this critia

People on the Move in the Social Media Industry: Dec 16, 2009

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potm-banner-2

Above, thanks to Mitch Canter, we’ve a new header graphic for the “On The Move” series, which needed an update since I started this digest a few years ago.

In an effort to recognize the changes in the social media space, I’ve started this post series (see archives) to both track and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. Please help me congratulate the following folks:

  • My former colleague Alexis Karlin who was very involved with Forrester’s social media efforts now joins Neolane, and will be starting their social strategy from scratch and running their web site. She’s quite the professional, an incredibly fast learner, and I’m glad to have worked with her. Follow her on Twitter at @akarlin.
  • David Armano moves on from Dachis Group and joins Edelman Digital as a SVP. Regardless of where David works, his blog is a fantastic collection of thoughts, informative graphics, and insight, I’ll follow his insights anywhere, find him @armano It’s interesting to see how Edelman is placing bets in social strategy, with that in mind, also see that…
  • Michael Brito, formerly one of Intel’s Social Media Strategists also joins Edelman in Silicon Valley office as a Vice President. I’ve worked with Michael on projects in the past, and have been impressed, great hire. Find him on Twitter at @britopian
  • Paul Gilliham, who I’ve had excellent professional experiences with, joins Lithium Technologies Director, Customer Marketing where he’ll be Running Lithosphere (Lithium’s customer community), social strategy, customer consultancy, customer/analyst relations. Find him on @bladefrog
  • Samir Bhavnani has been hired at EXPO as a Vice President where he’ll be working with brands to engage with consumers, on video, for insights and marketing. Find him on Twitter at @samirb
  • Deidra Bodkin leaves Zenith Optimedia and joins IDG as VP, Group Media Director as VP, Client Services leading social media marketing programs for IDG’s IT and B2B Clients. Find her on Twitter at @deidrabodkin.

How to connect with others (or get a job):
Several people have been hired because of this blog post series, here’s how you can too:

Submit an announcement
If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, fill out this form.

Seeking Social Media Professionals?
If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources

This list, which started with just 8 names continues to grow as folks submit to it. List of Social Computing Strategists and Community Managers for Enterprise Corporations 2008 –Social Media Professionals.

Job Resources in the Social Media and Web Industry

  • Web Strategy Jobs powered by Job o Matic (Post a job there and be seen by these blog readers, these affiliate fees pay for my hosting)
  • Read Write Web keeps announcements flowing at Jobwire, although is broader than just social media jobs
  • Facebook group for community manager group in Facebook
  • Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • ForumOne Jobs for Social Media and Community
  • Teresa has a few jobs, some around community
  • New Media hire has an extensive job database
  • Social Media Headhunter
  • Social media jobs
  • Jobs in social media
  • Altimeter Group’s list of social media consultants and agencies
  • Hiring? Leave a comment
    If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, please)