CMOs must approach social technologies in an integration fashion
Although social technologies have been capturing marketers time for over four+ years in corporate, they’ve often been operated in a silo as experimental, or a separate deployment from traditional marketing. Yet the savvy marketing leader knows that reaching customers is increasingly becoming challenging as their touchpoints continue to fragment.
To reach the fragmented customer, marketers must apply an integrated approach. As an industry, we should dispel notions that social marketing and it’s subsequent tools should operate in a silo, but instead sit horizontally in the marketing organization as they impact so many different forms of marketing tactics, approaches, and mindsets. Furthermore, this has considerable impacts as social media organizations are founded and lead as they approach hub and spoke models to serve a variety of internal clients, as well as connect with customers in real time.
CMO Matrix: How Social Technology Must Integrate with Traditional Marketing, a Horizontal Approach
Why It’s Important
Opportunities of Social Technology
You can’t effectively reach consumers till you know about them, and market research is a key function for any corporation. For some time, market research was limited to focus groups, consumer testing, and survey based methodology. This includes both traditional marketing research groups as well as competitive intelligence groups.
Now, with the advent of social technologies, at least three forms of opportunity have emerged: 1) Using brand monitoring technology to harvest what consumers are already saying in social channels, 2) Harnessing the crowd to find out their real time reactions, see how Communispace and Passenger have done this. 3) Using innovation tools like Salesforce Ideas, UserVoice, GetSatisfaction to build products in real time with consumers.
The corporate website is a source of product factual information, and pro-brand materials. This is the master repository of a brand, it’s products, and services.
Marketing must influence internal stakeholders, including sales, field marketing, and product teams. The intranet is a key internal repository of information, this would also include any associated email communications.
Social technologies are being deployed internally like PBWorks, Socialcast, Basecamp, and Yammer without the consent of IT. The opportunity to use these tools to allow teams to find experts, information regardless of region or time are ripe.
Email, one of the primary forms of digital communication is often a highly trusted source when customers have opt-in. When you look closely, email is a social network, see how Google wants to do it. In fact, the root information requirement for Twitter and Facebook is a verified email.
Email marketing companies are starting to offer ‘sharing’ features so recipients are encouraged to quickly share the information with their peers, as well as offering brands SMMS systems to manage this information. Expect the Facebook inbox and email marketing to quickly merge in coming years,
A mature practice that attracts buyers and prospects during their core information seeking phase, SEM is critical to reaching the information starved through well placed sponsored information and advertisements
We’re also seeing an influx of social advertisements appear as the social graph is infused in search results. Example: We’re starting to see the content our friends recommend in search engine results, and Facebook’s foray with social ads.
Search Engine Optimization
Fine tuning websites so they are the first choice in organic search results is both a science and art by experienced practitioners.
Social media tools, esp blogs and ratings and review sites like Yelp score high in organic search due to many incoming links and freshly updated content.
Often the bulk of most marketing budgets, advertising is key in many phases of the customer journey, in particular driving awareness and consideration.
Like SEM listed above, advertising can become more efficient in the future by tapping into social profile data (who is this person) and their social graph (who do they trust) to serve up relevant content. As Facebook spreads their features all over the web (analysis), expect a new form of advertising to appear based on social data. Twitter’s “Sponsored Links” bodes similar experimentation
Marketers drive associative branding and qualified leads through sponsorship opportunities.
Social helps in two specific ways: New influencers have emerged such as ‘Mom and Dad bloggers” creating more niched inventory with deeper engagement to sponsor. Furthermore, all traditional sponsorship activities can use social marketing for further engagement.
While over a decade old, online shopping has continued to be primary low cost driver for the brick and mortar company.
The mainstay integration has been consumer ratings and reviews from the aggregation of the crowd, often powered by vendors like Bazzarvoice. Yet expect new forms of eCommerce to evolve as an individuals social graph is connected to eCommerce tools. See how Levi’s has done it, and attend our conference, the Rise of Social Commerce.
While in it’s infancy, marketers may use these tools to connect with consumers as they are on a specific location, during a certain part of the day, with greater context.
Now, as consumers indicate their location and time while on the go, marketers may reach them using a variety of contextual information, advertisements, and harnessing what their friends have done before them in the same locations. See how Starbucks sponsored mayorship in Foursquare to increase both loyalty and WOM.
The pioneering mediums in the electronic communication realm, these mediums provide content in a one way format.
Programs (radio hosts, newscasters, and stations) are using social technologies to infuse a two way relationship with listeners by finding new content in social channels (Watching Twitter) as well as integrating the voices of the audience, and empowering communities to build around them. Perhaps more importantly, this creates new forms of inventory for these mediums to enable brands to sponsor or get involved with.
From newspapers, magazines, to flyers, nothing creates an experience like holding physical paper in front of you.
Nearly all of these publications have associated social media properties, from Facebook fan pages, to supplementary blogs. In fact, if paper adoption continues to decrease, these social tools provide a low-cost method of publishing and interacting with their audiences. Magazines like Dwell have launched thriving online communities and nearly all national and many global newspapers have adopted social media in their online resources.
Field, Persona, Channel, and Regional Marketing
Marketing teams are often segmented by regions, or to sit with sales units in the field, or even to target specific consumer types, like moms. This segmented marketing approach is key for deeper context in approaching unique markets.
Like in other forms, don’t expect a one-size-fits all approach, each audience type will have a different penchant for social media technologies, which we call socialgraphics. Expect a tailored approach using social technologies to emerge for each of these groups as you reach different audiences.
Executive Recommendations: Shatter the silo and integrate social across all marketing efforts now. The above matrix demonstrates that social technologies are already being integrated in the overall mix, yet marketing leadership is at a standstill on how to integrate. Approach the space in a pragmatic method, follow these three steps:
Start by organizing your company in a Hub and Spoke, Dandelion, or Centralized model. Our research shows that companies are organizing in at least five different models. Whether you have a centralized team or a hub and spoke, develop a way for an internal team to assemble (often cross-functional) to share and learn, then serve internal stakeholders. Companies must know the 43+ points to get social business ready, watch our no-cost webinar and slides to learn more.
Cascade training and encourage sharing to reduce risk and decrease time to market. Social technologies are still new and come with high degrees of risk as brands continue to have misteps in a new form of marketing. Yet to reduce risk, empower those that have already experimented to share with others, reward those that quickly fail and get back up, and provide a constant stream of training from external partners.
Require your marketers to integrate social technology up front –not as last minute additions. Marketers are not in the mindset of combining social technologies in existing events, campaigns, or traditional marketing. Instead of being reactive and adding this as a last minute consideration, enforce a line item in marketing plans to include social integration up front.
I look forward to your additional comments, perhaps I’ve missed some key integration touchpoints, please leave comments below.
Jeremiah: The following is a cross posting of our Founder’s blog post on the Altimeter’s blog. I shared her sentiments completely, and am not sure if I could add anything, so I felt it was just best to repost here. Later, at another time, I’ll discuss the learnings from starting a company from scratch, and how I feel it’s helped me to better service my clients. I feel that I’m more complete as a professional and analyst after launching a business. Here’s Charlene:
In those early days, we were filled with optimism even though we were starting in the grips of the deepest recession in memory. That’s because we believed in our mission of helping clients create a strategic approach to emerging technologies — no matter what the economy threw at us, we saw the pain and confusion cause by new technologies and believed in our ability to make sense of these developments for our clients.
But as we worked with clients, we realized we needed more expertise so we added in quick succession four more partners – Alan Webber, Lora Cecere, Michael Gartenberg, and Marcia Conner – who represent a wide and diverse background, ranging from government and supply chain to mobile, and enterprise collaboration. And along the way, we’ve also added nine amazing staff members who not only help us create groundbreaking research and serve clients, but also make sure that we operate and execute well. With a total of 17 people and 11 based in San Mateo, we had to move into new offices in March. I can’t say thank you enough to all my colleagues who believed enough in Altimeter to leave their jobs and join a start-up.
All of this growth wouldn’t have been possible without our clients. In the past year, 109 companies put their trust in our new firm to help them with their toughest strategic and technology problems. We’ve flown all over the country and the world to meet with them, because even in a world transformed by new communication technologies, there’s no substitute for meeting people face to face when they’re dealing with tough, strategic problems. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for not only the opportunity to work with them, but also because we’ve learned so much from them in the process.
We’ve delivered to our clients with speeches, workshops, advisory projects, and Webinars and we’ve published a slew of original research reports (SCRM, analytics, Facebook marketing) through our blogs, giving it away for free instead of putting it behind a syndication pay wall. We launched a bestseller book (“Open Leadership“) with another book by Marcia Conner on the way (“The New Social Learning“). We also announced our first event, the Rise of Social Commerce (taking place Oct. 6th in Silicon Valley – you should come!).
Looking back over the year, my partners and I are grateful that we’ve been able to accomplish so much. And we didn’t do it by ourselves. At our side has always been a broad community of peers and clients, readers and followers, commenters and critics. Throughout the adventure of our inaugural year, you’ve always been there for us, cheering us on, telling us when we could do better, and supporting us when we stumbled. Your time and attention is precious, and we are both grateful and humbled that you choose to spend some of it with us.
So thank you for joining us on this journey, and we hope you’ll continue with us on this adventure.
Both the submissions on this job announcement board, as well as available social media positions at corporations continue to pour in. In fact, this is the second time this month I’m posting this “On The Move” post due to submission volume. Clearly, there is more activity happening in the industry from my perspective, and I expect for this to continue, as we near planning for 2011.
In this continued digest of job changes, I like to salute those that continue to join the industry in roles focused on social media, see the archives, which go back a few years.
People on the Move in the Social Business Industry
George P. Johnson Experience Marketing Appoints Kenny Lauer Vice President, Digital Experience. I’ve worked with Kenny on personal projects and now in a professional relationship, and have been consistently impressed with his energy, spirit for new media, and willingness to connect and work with others.
David Parmet, who’s been in this industry as long as I can remember, joins Converseon as Director of Communications Managing the agency’s public relations and marketing efforts.
Dan Huss joins Digitaria, a digital agency as Account Strategist Account Strategists at Digitaria bridge the gap between business vision and tactical delivery. The strategist is dedicated and accountable to the client and remains a consistent layer, providing strategic leadership across multiple initiatives
Joakim Nilsson joins Mangas Gaming Group as Head of Social Media Responsible for social media strategy for the Mangas Gaming brands, BetClic, Expekt, Bet-at-home, Everest.
Jim Larrison joins Influentials.net General Manager & President Ex-Adify exec has been tapped to build a new business for Cox Media Group focused on the intersection of Brand Marketing and Social Media.
Su Amaranayaka joins MYOB Online Community Manager Drive the use of online communities for support and marketing.
Josh Pelz Gansevoort Hotel Group Social Media Manager Consumer engagement
How to hotels, restaurants, attractions, airlines, entertainers and cruise ships use social media to connect with tourists? Listen in to find out.
Thanks to Burt Lum (Twitter) and Ryan Ozawa (Twitter), the hosts of the long running tech show called “Bytemarks Cafe” on Hawaii Public Radio. At the Hawaii Tourism Conference in Oahu two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting a primary research findings from a project Altimeter was contracted to do (with my colleagues Alan Webber and Christine Tran) on the socialgraphics of Hawaii tourists. I was joined on the call by Kara Imai (Twitter), head of digital and therefore social media at Hawaii Visitors Convention Bureau (HVCB) who hired us for this primary research project.
Listen in to this podcast to hear how social media impacts tourism, especially for marketing destination organizations. We get past the news and start jumping into this topic at 20 minutes into it.
Finding out how your target customers use social media (Disclosure: Altimeter was hired by HVCB to conduct socialgraphics research), and where they are online is the first step in a social business strategy. We call this socialgraphics, learn more about it here.
Mom and pops, small businesses, and even large hotels can benefit from social media.
What happens at the destination (and how people rate their experience, even in real time) is a form of marketing.
True to living social media and travel research, I uploaded pics, which we found in the research is common, if you have questions on the whereabouts leave a question in Flickr and I’ll respond. Someday, I hope to make Hawaii a second home, yet see my current personal goal called #OperationBluewater. I’m at 10/30 days this year.
A few questions: When consumers find out this was a hoax, does this create distrust? Does tapping into market memes demonstrate being in tune with your market? Would it have only worked in a country where a large portion are not religious?
Whether sacrilegious or brilliant marketing, perhaps it can only work in the Netherlands –it would have never worked in the US, You be the judge, I look forward to hearing your comments. (link via Donald Lim, who shared this at the IMMAP workshop)
Data is important. It helps us to guide our decisions based on facts –not just gut instinct. Lately, this data from eMarketer (thanks Scott Monty) has been floating around the web, and I want to add my own thoughts. Having conducted similar trust research, or seen the data from others, much of this is confirmation to what we already know. I do however want to provide my additional insights to how I interpret the findings.
Further Analysis: Sources of Information Users Trust
Tally: People Trust People They Know: When I was at Forrester, similar research was launched, showing that blog posts (often by people you don’t know) weren’t as trusted. This data shows that blog post (item 1) from people you do know show a higher degree of trust. Item 2 and 3 also show upticks in trust increasing from people you know. I added up the positive trust (trust completely and trust somewhat) to aggregate sources of trust, you can see that eMarketer also segmented it the same, here’s my tally:
Friend: Blog Posts from those you know = Positive is 64%
Friend: Posts by friends in Facebook = Positive is also 64%
Friend: Tweets from friends = Positive is 45%
Brand: Blog posts by a brand = Positive is 36%
Brand:Posts by a brand in Facebook that you follow = Positive is 41%
Independent: Fellow community member = Positive is 37%
Brand: Brand product in a community = Positive is 32%
Brand: Brand Twitter stream = Positive is 26%
Independent: Blog by independent blogger (I assume that’s someone you don’t know) = Positive is 25%
Independent:Tweets from independent blogger (likely not someone you know) = Positive 21%
Tally: Trust Highest with Friends, followed by Brands then Independents
Trust is highest with people you actually know. I averaged 64, 64, 45 to be 57.66%across the various data sources above.
Brands that produce their own content (owned) 36, 41, 32, 26 averaged at 33.75% positive. Far less than the 57% of people that you know clearly indicate that consumers trust brand far less, but more so from people that they don’t know. This leads to conclude that while brands may be telling consumers the positive aspects of a product, it’s more likely to be based on facts.
Similarly those that are ‘independents’ (or people you may not know) the trust goes down significantly. 37, 25, 21, for an average of 27.66%. Those that you don’t know are about half as trusted as those you do. Therefore brands focusing on social media should instead but areas of focus on harnessing the social graph –not just mindless social media from the masses.
Recommendations: Focus on Harnessing the Social Graph
Brands should focus on social marketing that harnesses the “social graph” which is getting friend to share with their own friends. By developing advocacy programs and focus on word of mouth marketing, brands can increase marketing and sales margins by getting customers to do the work for them. See my article on Forbes on advocacy programs, or see how Zuberance encourages WOM, as well as aggregate your customers social graph on your own web proprieties using Gigya, Janrain, Disqus, and Echo. At the very basic level, encourage sharing tools like Sharethis, Addthis to the mix.
Clearly brands should continue to produce their own ‘owned’ content in social media, as there’s still a degree of trust, but balance out this inventory with a greater degree of ‘earned’. Yet rather than try to sway the masses that your product is the best, publish factual information about products and services, and retweet, repeat, and echo back what customers are saying.
Focus less on triggering word of mouth of independents, while it will happen naturally, this data is indicating that inviting people to share with their friends, may yield a greater degree of trust.
I hope you found this helpful, I gave my additional analysis and insight to the eMarketer data, as well as suggestions from brands. This data is confirmation of data I’ve seen from a variety of other sources.