Archive for March, 2011

Data: How the Advanced Corporations Spend on Social Business (A Glimpse Into the Future)


If you haven’t read our report on How Corporations Should Spend on Social Business, start there. This data is a segment of the research panel over 140 global national corporations with over 1000 employees, which we deem enterprise class corporations.

[Predict the Future of Social Business by analyzing how the Advanced Corporations Spend Now]

We segment corporations into a variety of maturity phases to indicate how advanced they are, although there are more gradients we can apply, we’re focused on three major segments at this time ranging from novice, intermediate to advanced, we found that there’s a natural bell curve with the intermediate accounting for about half, and about a quarter that are novice as well as advanced. In the following data cut, we’ll explore how companies that self-identified as advanced are investing in social business.

Companies like Dell, Comcast, Wal-Mart, Adobe, HP, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Ford, have characteristics of advanced corporations. What makes them advanced? They have formalized programs and charter, dedicated teams, line item budgets, and have likely been deploying for over 2.5 years. In my experience, a great deal of this market is likely to be the early adopter technology space (B2B first, followed by B2C) then retail/cpg, hospitality, and financial services.

Average Spending on Social Business by "Advanced" Companies

Advanced Corporations Spend More of Staff, Boutiques, and Custom Efforts
These advanced companies (light blue) exhibit a few trends that the average companies (dark blue), don’t, in fact in all cases but traditional agencies they outspend.  In fact, in total these advanced corporations are spending $1,857,000 per year. These advanced companies:

  • Spend More on Staffing –But Underfund Training Them. These advanced corporations are spending 68% more on their staff to manage (headcount) than the average company.  As a result, they have more feet on the ground to manage and respond to these programs.  We know that social business is drastically impacted by the talent hired (a lot of soft costs) so no surprise these companies are outspending the average company on teams.  With that said, $406k per year isn’t a large team (pending on location) but given that we’re only 2.5 years into social business, this is early.   Sadly, these advanced companies spend very little on training and education, nor research and development.  As a result, expect the social business team to be experimenting, self-learning, or relying on peers at other companies to glean knowledge.
  • Rely Heavily on Boutique Social Media Agencies –Not Traditional Agencies.  In customer-facing programs, we see a large spend on specialized boutique agencies who may focus on longer term engagements, rather than their counterparts the traditional campaign focused digital agencies.   If you want to know more, read this analysis on boutique agencies overtaking traditional agencies and the many comments.  Secondly, there’s an increased spend on advertising on social networks, although it’s assumed that traditional agencies are likely to absorb some of that spend to support campaign initiatives.  In both cases, influencer programs remain about flat in spending, likely due to these advocacy programs being scalable and a limited number of influencers available in each market.
  • Custom Tailor Their Efforts, Relying on Mainstay Community and Brand Monitoring. The social web is a fragmented disparate network of different data types, apis, and a myriad of fly-by-night startups.  As a result, the corporations must constantly glue together these solutions to develop a common experience, which explains over $272,000 spending on custom work.  Naturally, these may feed into the spending of the boutiques who will be leading this charge externally, coupled with internal web development and data teams.  Secondly, the mainstay of social programs are community platforms with an annual average spend of about $200k and $150k spending on listening tools like brand monitoring.  Expect that these tools will be cascaded to multiple business units, product sets, and spread across the enterprise, hence the larger spend.   Not well understood or known by mainstream companies, SCRM remains a lower line item for average companies, but respectively balloons for advanced companies that are funneling customer social data into CRM databases to glean intelligence, reporting, and predictive analytics.  The one year old Social Media Management System space has minute revenues, but expect six figure annual spending within years.

Expect spending to only increase over the coming years, as social business becomes a mainstay spending line item, but not just limited to marketing but every business unit. Yet over the next few years, I would expect the percentage on boutiques and custom efforts to decrease percentage wise as boutiques get swallowed by incumbents, and a suite of offerings emerges. On a related note, see how we also cut the data for “wealthy” corporations, those with over 10billion in revenues

Contingent of Corporate Social Strategists Grows


I just updated the growing list of Corporate Social Strategists, you can take a look at these 280 professionals leading the charge at their corporation.

For a few years now, I’ve been managing the list of Corporate Social Strategists at large corporations (over 1000 employees, and on the buyer side).  Part of my passion from being in this role at Hitachi a few years ago, has lead me to conducting in depth research on the future of this role, the Corporate Social Strategist (persona, title, degree, background, challenges, goals, teamcount, budgets).  Since then, I’ve been making regular updates on the weekends when I can find time, and wanted to post a few stats:

  • 280 folks have this highly coveted role, and growing. When I first published the list on Jan 7, 2011, there were 161 Corporate Social Strategists.   Today on March 20th, the list is now 280 members (growing 73% since Jan), and the submissions continue to come in.   I’m not suggesting the roles are being hired between Jan and March, but likely the awareness of the list.
  • Technology companies lead the pack, at 37% of list. No surprise, but tech companies are the first to adopt new technologies.  In fact, by my count, both the hardware and software groups (I had to seperate them out as they are so large) account for 104 of the strategists.   This early adopter market has tended to be the first group out of the gate, with many of them being B2B.
  • Don’t discount regulated industries, which comprises of 20% of the list. A growing 57 members of the list are in the regulated space, which I accounted as: energy, financial, insurance, health and life sciences, and government.  One could argue that automotive would fit this bill too, but I didn’t account for that. In fact this role becomes incredibly important for regulated industries who need safe measures in place as they are under immediate scrutiny.  In fact, as I argued in my recent post about Social Media Management Systems, regulated industries will need to have a social strategy for compliance reasons.

At Altimeter, we’re proud that Read Write Web’s top editor Marshall Kirkpatrick has identified that three of the top four Twitter accounts followed by these social business buyers are at our firm.  Much of my time is spent helping these Corporate Social Strategist to stay out of the “social media helpdesk” and achieve scalable social programs, including getting them ready internally.  I’ll be going through a great deal of my research at full day workshop in April at the Kansas IRL conference, hope to see you there.

If you want to keep track of who’s getting hired in this space, see my long term archive of folks “On the Move” in the Social Space, which I’ve been tracking since 2007.

People on the Move in the Social Business Industry: March 18, 2011


The hires in the social business space continue to heat up, in fact the market research data (read the report) shows that hiring is the top spend in 2011. Expect there to be more hires over coming quarters.

Both the submissions on this job announcement board, as well as available social media positions at corporations continue to pour in.

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 I’ve been tracking since Q4, 2007.


People on the Move in the Social Business Industry:

  • Steven Lazarus joins Toys”R”Us as Online Manager, Emerging Media where he will be managing all social media for Toys”R”Us, Babies”R”Us, FAO Schwarz, eToys and Baby Universe brands. He will also have a strong focus on emerging media and emerging trends.  I’ve worked with Steve for a few years now, and had lunch in NYC and a tour with him, he’s a real class act, congrats Steve.
  • Aaron Strout, who I’ve worked with for many years, is now joining WCG to focus on mobile, and location based marketing.  What a great fit, Aaron is ahead of the curve, no doubt I’ll be interviewing him for research.
  • Christopher Carfi joins Ant’s Eye View, what a fantastic and growing team.
  • Tatyana Kanzaveli joins Deloitte as Center for the Edge, Marketing Manager lead for overall marketing for Deloitte’s Center for the Edge.  I’ve been interacting with Tatayana for a few years now, she’s a real maven and connector, what a great fit for this role, congrats.
  • Benjamin Gauthey joins Microsoft as Asia and Pacific Digital Marketing Lead Leading the digital marketing in Asia Pacific for Microsoft including Social Media, websites, Ads, Search, Mobile and videos
  • Daniel Hindin joins Weber Shandwick as Account Supervisor, Digital Analytics I work with clients to slice and dice data from current and past programs to understand successes and failures and guide them toward future success.
  • Miry Whitehill joins Jun Group as Account Director Initiating and growing new client relationships, while contributing to Jun Group’s social video products and services.
  • Gautam Ghosh joins People Matters as Director – Digital Content and Community To build online content and community
  • Al Nugent joins Mzinga as CEO, Nugent will drive the company’s strategic vision for social intelligence initiatives, guide its long-term technology vision and research & development strategies, and manage customer acquisition, growth and day-to-day operations
  • Jeff Zelaya joins MediaWhiz as Business Development Specialist To build relationships and present MediaWhiz’s services & products to interested companies.
  • Sarah Goodall joins SAP as Social Media Lead, EMEA Lead social media marketing, training, governance and enablement in EMEA, congrats Sarah!
  • Talia Klein joins Payoneer as Director of Community Community growth and initiatives
  • Last but not least, we’re pleased at Altimeter Group to hire Zak Kirchner as a researcher at our San Mateo office.  Welcome Zak!

Submit a new hire:

Seeking a job?

  1. See the Web Strategy Job Board, which includes paid submissions from the top brands in the world.
  2. Community Manager jobs by Jake McKee
  3. Social Media Jobs by Chris Heuer
  4. Social Media jobs, filtered by SimplyHired
  5. Social Media Job Network by James Durbin
  6. 25 places to find social media jobs by Deb Ng

Additional Resources:

Please congratulate the new hires by leaving a comment below.

The State and Future of the Social Media Management System Space


Front and center industry analyst disclosures: Your trust is important to us, as such, we strive to disclose our client relationships, some which are listed in the following post, read Altimeter’s disclosures page.

Research Summary: Growth in Vendors and Market Demand –Yet Space Is Immature
Social Media Management Systems, like CMS systems for websites, these SMMS systems (see list of all vendors) help companies manage, maintain, and measure thousands of social media accounts, are the next growth market for the social business category. While saturation is at 58% of corporate buyers, the average deal size is a meager $22,000 but will expect to grow to six figure annual deals in coming quarters to meet market demand. This growing space has low barriers to entry, which result in a flood of clones, but expect only a handful to remain after a shakeout to serve enterprise-class buyers. Buyers and investors should focus on vendors that understand business –not just technology, offer services and reliable SLA, and deep integration with other social systems. In the future, this technology set will mature to grow into a data company that will extend it’s scope beyond simple Facebook and Twitter and impact how marketers approach the market, product innovation, and supply chain.

[Although the nascent Social Media Management System space is only one year old, 58% of corporations have adopted at least one of these 28 vendors]

Altimeter is conducting a formal research report on the SMMS topic (see research agenda for 2011), However, I wanted to give a year end state, after coining this category 12 months ago and listing out vendors, read the List of Social Media Management Systems

Social Media Management Systems: Market Saturation and Deal Sizes for 2010-2011

Above Graphic: Market Saturation and Average Deal Size of the Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) by Corporate Buyers in 2010-2011

Year One in Review: New Entrants, Acquisitions, and Growing Deal Sizes.
Just a year ago, we saw the rise of the new category Social Media Management Systems, (I must give credit to Cisco’s Social Strategist LaSandra Brill for giving me the kick to start it). To understand the macro trends of this industry, read with the Social Business Stack, which shows SMMS as only a component of the overall purchase set for corporations.  Here’s a breakdown of what’s occurred in the past 12 months:

SMMS By the Numbers:

  • Growth rates rose 11% from corporate buyers. In 2010, adoption of SMMS systems by corporate buyers was already at the 52% and in 2011 buyers indicated they will be at the 58% adoption rate.
  • Deal sizes grew 57% in last year. While there was significant relative increase in deal sizes the overall average annual deal size per corporate was $14,000 in 2010 and rose to $22,000 in 2011 according to our research of 140 corporate buyers.
  • Large corporations spend $68,000 per year. For corporations with over $10 billion in revenues, the deal sizes ballooned to $68,000 per year on average, demonstrating that the larger corporations need these tools in order to manage their hundreds of accounts. (more data here)
  • 65% Increase in vendors in last 12 months and growing. When I started this list, there was 15 vendors after launching the list after the first week. Today, the list has grown to 23 vendors (and I’m continuing to add vendors, with a market growth rate of 65% increase in new entrants, this will only continue this year.
  • Growth markets in consumer facing and large corporations. While I noticed that Telecom and Tech were early adopters, I’m seeing growth opportunities in Retail, Hospitality, Restaurants, Consumer Tech, CPG, and all Regulated Industries.
  • Consolidation: at least three acquisitions. CoTweet was recently acquired about a year ago by marketing platform ExactTarget, months later Objective Marketer was acquired by Email Vision, and just in this past Feb Constant Contact acquired SCRM company Bantam Live which has some SMMS features, all which are email/direct marketing solutions.  Among all these acquisitions, we’re seeing these tools tie into greater marketing platforms for additional value.
  • Some early forerunners –but don’t expect a clear winner. I’ll do more detailed analysis on these vendors later, but right now I’m hearing from buyers the following vendors:  CoTweet, Hootsuite, Sprinklr, Spredfast and newer entrant Expion. Interestingly, former Community Platform vendor with enterprise experience Awareness Inc has double downed on this market and shifted away the saturated community platform market by launching Hub.
  • Early vertical focuses have emerged and partnerships. We’ve already started to see verticals appear, such as GOSO for the Automotive dealer space, and expect this to continue in specific markets like hospitality, restaurants, travel, CPG, and Retail.  Another new entrant was an entry by initially a consumer tool Seesmic, who received funding by Salesforce –the first enterprise vendor now with integration with social aggregation tool Chatter, and now Yammer. There was only misfire, as KeenKong changed their product strategy and never launched in this market.

Market Demand: Six Forces Spur On This New Category
There are a handful of forces that are increasing the demand for this year old category, among them (but not limited to) include:

1) Corporations Struggle to Manage Hundreds and Thousands of Accounts
The target market is hospitality, retail, and CPGs. Each of these corporations has dozens to hundreds of unique brands, and then regional rollouts. For example, some hotels could have up to 15 brands, and each having 4,000 hotel locations (half being distributed franchises), each with 10 social media accounts (there’s more to the social web that Facebook and Twitter, across a variety of languages. Furthermore, there’s high turnover in the localizes marketing and sales manager, who also lacks a background in online communications.

2) Kenneth Cole and Chrysler Debacles Prove Need for Parental Controls
In the last few months, we’ve seen some severe examples of mis uses of corporate social accounts which could have been prevented by having a process and toolset to support (see the long list of “punkings“). In particular, Kenneth Cole’s ill-fated tweet tying the Egypt situation with spring sales was met with a riotous reaction, and last week’s Chrysler’s F-Bomb tweet resulted in firing of an entire agency. As a result, expect that many regulated companies will demand compliance regulations with social media, and be mandated to invest in SMMS systems to preview, flag, an process content before it’s published. Of course, this brings forth a few challenges such as less real-time approach, and a more sanitized corporate approach to discussions that will ultimately decrease credibility as authenticity may waver.

3) Expect Regulatory Industries to Require This Safeguard System
Similar to the mess-ups listed above by Kenneth Cole and Chrysler will cause regulatory industries to give pause on how employees will use these technologies.  As a result, expect healthcare, pharma, insurance, auto, finance and beyond to start looking at using these tools for all employees and even corporate accounts.  Expect a keyword filtering system and workflow to be put in place to monitor then recommend a course-of-action to correct deviant tweets and Facebook messages.  The downside?  The rapid pace of the real world conversation will be slowed for many, but expect seasoned veterans to unleash the SMMS shackles for open conversations.

4) Direct/Email Marketers Want a Piece of Social Marketing to Blast in New Channels
This toolset is an attractive addition to existing direct marketing platforms like email marketing suites that are used to publish thousands of emails to customers on a daily basis. Direct marketers, who want to get on the social bandwagon are finding religion and are now blasting content on social channels to networks comprised of news, deals, and offerings with mixed engagement and interaction.

5) Agencies Know SMMS Provides Client Lock-in and Recurring Revenues
The social media service industry knows they must be value added beyond strategy and community management. They are seeking recurring revenues for accounts on a monthly basis in order to glean the hundreds of thousands per client, see data to learn more. By using SMMS systems, often coupled with brand monitoring and reporting services, they are now able to be full-service to listen, engage, and measure how companies are interacting with their customers on social channels. By partnering with SMMS systems some are white labeling the service, and using this in front of clients as a value added software, suggesting a perceived lock in with data and reporting –giving agencies the opportunity to become the Social Media Agency of Record (SMAoR).

6) A Complementary Toolset for Social Platforms, Social Commerce, Brand Monitoring Vendors, Marketing Automation
First, understand how SMMS fits into the overall Social Business stack. You’ll notice it’s a sister technology to the technology “aggregation” displayed to the left of it. You’ll also notice that it’s below brand monitoring firms, and sits on top of Social Platform technologies. To the left of it you’ll find it is part of the data story in infrastructure and to the right of it services. Other places to watch for acquisitions will be social commerce platforms, as well as marketing automation platforms as they must spread into this space at a rapid pace to glean the revenues.

Predictions: Vendors Move-out-of-Garage to Meet Buyer Needs
These companies are young and early, and lack maturity like the established community platform space, here’s a few closing thoughts:

  • This One-Year Old Space Shows Parallels to the 5 Year Old Community Platform Space Similar to how in 2007, how we saw trends for the Community Platform market, labeled it, and went on to research the space, I’m seeing similar trends (entrepreneur styles, deal sizes, market saturation) in this early SMMS market, just one year in.
  • Vendors startup mentality clash with real buyers needs. Many of these garage startups lack understanding of corporate buyers. Not uncommon to seed, angel, and A round vendors, a majority of these vendors lack corporate buyer perspective. To learn more about the buyers of SMMS read the report about the Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist.
  • Vendors will finally offer and enterprise class service level agreements. Mainly focused on platform development, and also being discouraged by investors to add services to the mix, most of these vendors lack the staff to serve a corporate buyer who needs a high degree of hand holding in social business. Better yet, read Petra Neiger, one of Cisco’s Corporate Social Strategists perspective on what’s needed for buyers.
  • Analytics and reporting to be a core focus on 2011-2012. These early platforms are focused on management of the social channels, and most do not have strong analytics and reporting technologies. Furthermore, they are often not connected to other reporting systems, and are data silos.
  • Expect corporate adoption to reach 90% within three years . Expect market saturation to hit 90% range in three years, and average deal sizes to exceed $100k per year on average corporation –just as the Community Platform space have experienced over the past five years. Vendors that can align their product roadmap to the SMMS maturity roadmap stand to be one of the standing contenders.
  • Deal sizes will reach six figures on average. I saw this trend before with the $25-50k deal sizes with community platforms about 5 years ago and have watched them balloon to $200k-300k for advanced and larger corporations on an annual basis. I expect similar patterns to emerge here as new functionality is offered and as the SMMS connects to other systems for lock in. Right now the average SMMS deal size is a mere $22k, yet as we segment out corporations with high revenues (over 10 billion, annually) they are already clinching $68,000 deal sizes –remember it’s only year one. Read more about how corporations should spend on social business.
  • Market will reach over 100 vendors.  Just like the crowded brand monitoring space (150 vendors) and community platform space (125+) vendors expect this category go balloon due to low barriers to entry, VC funding, and commodity technologies.  In the long run, only a half of dozen will matter to the enterprise, as market consolidation will occur.  Expect the 90+ that don’t become first of mind to corporate buyers to head into specific market verticals and SMB focus.

Well that’s my perspective after watching this space for the last 12 months, while I’ll continue to give updates, expect another wrap-up next March in 2012.

Update: This is cross-posted on RWW

SXSW 2011: Great for Networking, But No Technology Breakthroughs


I’m writing from a Jetblue flight from Austin back to Silly Valley, it’s a great chance for me reflect on what happened in the last few days at SXSW and sober up both from last night’s party and the excess of stimuli –they both require some detox. First of all, this is the type of event people love talk about when they’re there, but those who aren’t there may find the noise excessive. I’ll try to boil down the key things I observed, caveat, this is just one person’s perspective, leave a comment with your experience.

SXSW, Bigger Than Ever
Attendance was up, many rumored that it was up around 30% over last year, which was also growing. There were so many events and panels that even spilled out of the traditional convention center to neighboring hotels some as far as 6+blocks up hill at the Sheraton. The attendees trend a similar look: often younger than older, stylish glasses, blinking device in hands, the occasional ironic tattoo, and glossy shimmer of sweat from last night’s drinking binge.

Panel Content: Hit or Miss
While I didn’t attend many panels, several folks mentioned to me the quality of content in panels was very hit and miss, often dependent on the quality of the moderator to draw out insights and guide the panel. Because SXSW deploys the scalable way of voting up panels to determine who will speak this leads to panels that have popular speakers (but that doesn’t guarantee the best speakers) or topics that are liked by the mainstream. Fortunately, given the vast assortment of panels, the opportunity to find niche topics is available, providing you can easily get to the physical location. Colleague Susan Etlinger blogs how Deb Schultz lead an insightful session on the ‘manners’ of the internet and social web. I think it was Robert Scoble who said that the best content at SXSW will just appear on blogs later, so Ill continue to keep a watch out for the panels that were a “hit”.

Yet Parties, Events, and Dinners Galore
There were many, many parties and events, even during the day. During the evening there were several events, parties, and dinners all happening consecutively. In particular, the Social Business crowd was assembled around the All Hat (pics) even held by David Armano and Richard Binhammer off campus, the Corporate Social Strategists and those that serve them were present, this was the market I serve, and was glad to see them all. To me this was the best event, as it was off campus, a mixture of dialog, meet and greeting, and good food and music, great mixer. I heard that the (formerly SMBC) event was a great mix for Corporate Social Strategists who glean a lot of value from peer to peer interactions.

Influencer Outreach: Samsung, Chevy, AMEX, Apple, Pepsi.
One of my mottos is to ABR (Always be Researching) and I did just that for clients. In fact, several brands were present, and sought to reach this influencer and early adopter crowd, notables include:

Samsung hosts bloggers, and showcases electronic products. I spent time in the Samsung blogger lounge, which was well attended by influencers, and featured product demos and their tweeting fridge. One nice treat was Guy Kawasaki was giving away signed books, Enchantment, (which I read and recommend) at the blogger lounge. Also, Samsung brought the social media space to their own devices and worked with Jess3 an information design firm to showcase hand-selected curated tweets in their large airport-styled screens for passerbys to see what the zeitgeist was of the event.  I even was a panelist in an impromptu “unpanel” on the topic of curation.

Samsung Airport Style Tweet Aggregation by Jess3

Chevy doubles down on this influencer market. Last year, Ford had a strong presence at the event, which likely drew the interest of General Motors, who I learned was the sole exclusive sponsor for the show, I’d estimate that buy out certainly be in the millions as they had integrated branding, product demos, charging stations, sponsors of the Techset party, and had inter-city rides available to anyone using their vehicles. Ford was not present this year, nor other auto-manufactures. See Twitter exchange between myself and Scott Monty who commented on spending, here, here, and here. (Update: Chevy’s Mary Henige has updated me that Chevy has a 3 year exclusive sponsorship with SXSW for the automotive category)

Chevy offers rides Charging Station using Powermats at Chevy Booth Chevy Aggregates Tweets

American Express seeks WOM. I learned from Jennifer van Grove of Mashable how American Express has launched a form of a loyalty program that encouraged users of their credit cards to receive money credited to their account after purchases after they shared it on foursquare. This form of social commerce initiates advocacy at point of sale –increasing spread of the service. Very smart integration.

Apple pops up a store in downtown. Apple assembled a “pop up” store in downtown where lines went around the block to purchase the iPad 2 and hours extended to the wee hours of the night. The store was a former Gold’s gym, and was assembled virtually overnight to serve this specific market. I saw several proud owners of this shiny device with colored covers touting their purchase at a variety of venues, it was the hot physical product (see friend David Berkowitz with his orange topped one). I experimented with it and believe the features to be evolutionary, but not a major upgrade, that being depending on new software to emerge to take advantage of the cameras such as augmented reality gaming, or new forms of video conferencing.

Impromtu Apple Store (Popup Store) has a line around the corner

Pepsi tells their story. Other notable brand out-reach booths was Pepsi’s touchdown station that let people recharge and learn about the variety of products. Clearly an influence play, as Pepsi as a lifestyle brand isn’t directly related to ‘interactive’ that SXSW sports.

Pepsi Lounge photo photo

No Technology Winners –Although “Intimate” and “Hyper Local” are Trends to Watch. I was at SXSW when Twitter, Foursquare ‘broke out’ in previous years, yet this year there were no clear winners our ‘breakout technologies’ that I saw from the space. Why? There’s an over saturation of products due to low barriers to entry –while innovation certainly isn’t stifled the number similar or ‘like’ products is hard to swallow.

The closest to it was SMS chat tools with a small social group of friends like GroupMe and Beluga were being used by this early adopter crowd, even the press picked up on some of these trends (thanks Julie Viola for the link). Secondly, I asked my network what technologies to watch for and saw some adoption of local Q&A tool LocalMind (screenshot from iPhone). This tool allows you to ask very specific question “where are the cleanest restrooms in this hotel?” and it shows it on a localized map.

In both of these new toolsets, they are less about mass broadcasting to your network like Twitter and blogs, but are more about intimate discussions with your most immediate circle and localized content down to the building that you’re present at.

So that’s my perspective: This year, SXSW was great for networking. New technologies trend towards smaller personal networks and hyper localized content, but I didn’t see any clear winners, at least from my limited perspective.

Please leave a comment or link to your experience so we can share what we heard.

Data: How Wealthy Corporations Spend On Social Business


How do the biggest and most successful corporations spend on social business? We aimed to find out.

These “wealthy” (which deemed by annual revenues) corporations spend comparatively more on customer facing social business efforts than most other corporations, yet the overall subtotal of spending is significantly small. First, recognize that social business has only been formalized in programs for about two and a half years (data), and most companies are intermediate but not advanced.  The following data is of companies with over $10 billion dollars in revenues per year, and their expected spend as reported by the Corporate Social Strategist.  This data is a cut from our recent reports on Social Business Spending, and clients can receive additional data from us as needed.

What You Should Know:

  • Across nearly all efforts, the wealthy (deemed by revenues) spend over double than the average corporation in social business.  This is in alignment with Altimeter’s Engagement DB study which shows a strong correlation (not causation) between how corporations are engaged with their customers and the size of company.
  • These corporations spend significantly more on internal staff to manage, more than any other program, which is in line with this labor intensive program to get internal teams organized as well as to manage communities, blogs, advocacy programs.  Sadly, the training and education programs to train this staff and line of business is incredibly low, under $70,000.
  • Secondly, there’s a significant spend on advertising, which is often deemed a scalable marketing effort as you can just ‘throw dollars’ at it and hope to get a conversion return –without having to engage with customers in costly dialog.
  • These wealthy corporations are spending slightly more on traditional agencies, yet social media boutiques are still grabbing a lion’s share over $221k per year and growing.  To learn more how boutiques are evolving over traditional, read this data.
  • In the software category, there’s continued spend on recurring SaaS providers like Brand Monitoring, Community Platforms (both nearly achieving 300k annual spending), and then programs to integrate and customize this content.

Average Spending on Social Business Companies by Companies with Over $10 Billion in Revenue:


Related Open Research
If this data was helpful, see our other research reports and data releases tied to this data