Analysis: 2011 Internal Goals In Corporate Social Strategy: Proving Value and Change Management (2/2)

Part 1: External Goals
Part 2: Internal Goals (You are here)

This is part 2/2, yesterday, I released research discussing the priorities companies have for external also known as ‘go to market’.  To balance out the data, Altimeter Group has posed similar questions to Corporate Social Strategists to find out their internal ambitions inside their company.  This is a subset of a larger Altimeter report, sign up here to receive the upcoming report.  These corporate social strategists (which I’ve segmented as companies with over 1000 employees) the respondents were asked to select three top internal objectives. We found that they will focus on the following:

Analysis: 2011 Internal Goals In Corporate Social Strategy: Proving Value and Change Management

Facing Internal Resistance, Corporate Social Strategists Seek to Measure, then Shift Culture

  • Confused by Disparate Data and Inability to Tie to Transactions, Strategists Seek to Prove Their Efforts. While the disruption that social media has caused is evident, 48% of Corporate Social Strategists struggle to measure the value for the following reasons:  Disparate set of data, a plethora of engagement metrics –yet no tie back to transactions, and vast array of data growing at an exponential rate. To combat this, Social Strategists must learn the difference between: Business Metrics (revenue or cost savings), Social Marketing Analytics (CSat, share of voice, advocate influence), and Engagement Metrics (fans, likes, friends).  Most immature strategists focus on delivering engagement metrics, which doesn’t fulfill the needs of upper management.  Solution Set:  Read Altimeter and Web Analytics Demystified Social Marketing Analytics Framework and apply these formulas to your program now.  Secondly, develop an executive dashboard (with business metrics –not engagement metrics) and provide to your executive management on a frequent basis
  • Leading an Culture Revolution, The Social Strategist Focuses on Change Management. Make no mistake, social media has impacted a company to it’s core; there’s a complete cultural change happening.   Yet despite the sea change occurring as companies try to catch up with customers, there’s immense internal resistance.  As such, 35% of Corporate Social Strategist is trying to change the organizational flow of the company and 37% intend to  provide ongoing internal training and education to explain how people’s jobs are forever changed.  Our research has exposed there are five distinct models on how companies organize for social media, and we will reveal industry wide stats soon.  Why the struggle?  Customers don’t care which department an employee is in, they just want their problems solved, forcing a corporation to be holistic in their approach.  Solution Set:  Work with education programs such as Marketing Profs, WOMMA, New Communications Forum, eMarketer, and Forrester.  Also join peer to peer groups such as Gaspedal’s Social Media Business Council, and Marketing Profs to connect with peers.
  • To Fix Root Problems, Social Strategists Try to Infuse Customer Voices to Fix Products. Social Strategists are mainly marketing to customers using social channels, (43%) and even fewer are focused on supporting customers (16% for direct customer support) according to our latest research.  Yet despite the goals to “sell more product” in social channels, they are sacked by customers who are complaining about sub par customer experiences.  Knowing they must fix the root problem of improving the actual product, strategists must try to infuse the customer voice directly into the product roadmap.  Yet despite their aspirations, don’t expect most to be successful as we’ve only seen a handful of companies that have been enable to improve their products with direct customer voices such as Dell, Starbucks, BaconSalt, Lego, and Microsoft.  Don’t expect this lofty goal to succeed in 2011, as it requires a complete cultural change that starts with convincing the product team, and even executives they are no longer in the drivers seat.  Vendor Set: Uservoice, Salesforce Ideas, BrightIdea, and Get Satisfaction all offer innovation and request prioritization tools.
  • Special Section: Vendors and Service Providers. If you offer services or software to corporations in the social media space, it’s key you align to their internal and external efforts.  Every social software vendor must have a reporting ability and quickly develop analytics abilities –or partner with vendors that do.  If budget cuts come around, expect systems that can’t measure to quickly be replaced by others that do.  While many vendors currently offer education for free as a ‘lead in’ don’t be afraid to charge for workshops and immersion sessions –you can rebate the education if the client buys the services.  Lastly, it’s key that you ask your buyer which formation they are in, as it gives clues to who has the purchasing strings –and where other buckets of money can be found.

In future blog posts, I’ll be discussing other aspects from our research, such as budgets, staffing size, organizational models over this coming next few weeks. Feel free to use this data in your slides and planning (this is Open Research), kindly just provide attribution to Altimeter Group.