I’m honored to be a guest on Mitch Joel‘s famed podcast, Six Pixels of Separation, to discuss my latest post that’s caught the Industry’s attention how Social Media Agencies are Turning to Ads. Mitch invited me on the podcast to discuss this further.
One of the assertions I make is the term “Social Media Agency of Record” (aka SMaoR) will eventually go by the wayside, as those pure play agencies are starting to move into advertising (starting with social ads), digital, interactive, and more. My take? We’ll just have a broader focus as social becomes nicely integrated with other digital efforts.
Listen in to the podcast below using the embed, or watch on Mitch’s website.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments, should the term Social media agency of Record dissolve? Or will this remain as a dedicated type of pure play firm?
Advance your career and learn about the three Disruptive Business Themes companies cannot ignore.
Working among our team of analysts and researchers, Altimeter’s Research group has found three common higher level themes that will disrupt all businesses. Working among our analysts from mobile, content marketing, advertising, analytics, leadership, change management, user experience, and social, we’ve distilled all of the trends we’re seeing and found a common thread among them.
We generated the three research themes with the following in mind: the goal was to ascertain business disruption trends –beyond just technology changes. Each Altimeter analyst provided a unique viewpoint to help create a consolidated view of disruptive trends. All Altimeter analysts will focus on these research themes for 2012 and beyond. All our artifacts (speeches, webinars, reports, blogs, and client interactions) will stem from these themes.
Three Disruptive Business Research Themes
- Dynamic Customer Journey: How can inflexible organizations synchronize with the changing customer?
- Adaptive Organization: How can an organization adapt and thrive in a real-time world?
- Sentient World: What’s smarter: A college grad or your future fridge? (intriguing, yes?)
The recording is below, and you can listen in, and watch the slides in this short 20 minute presentation between myself, Jeremiah Owyang, and partner Alan Webber. We will be announcing a blog ring shortly, encouraging the industry to explore each of the three themes in the coming quarters from your own blog. If you’re interested in learning how to get involved email us at info @altimetergroup.com
Update: May 27th 2013 Over a year later, the technology is starting to emerge for facial recognition and APIs.
Ready or not, new technologies will enable strangers to know your social scores even before you shake their hand.
Whether it’s on a job interview, before a meeting, a first date, and as you walk into a store, more disruptive technologies are on the horizon that will enable social data to be easily accessed and viewable in real world situations. Profiling, which has negative connotations in terms of race, law enforcement, and beyond, is commonly used by marketers (and humans sub-consciously) to sort people around us. Yet in our digital and social world, this same profiling technique will be applied to today’s modern world. In fact, this recent story from Wired shows how an unlucky marketer was unable to land a job due to having a low Klout score.
This simulated image illustrates how Google Googles could allow us to easily profile who has the most social capital –without them even knowing.
‘Social Profiling’ Defined, and the Technologies That Will Fuel It
What’s Social Profiling? Digital technologies that enable social data to easily be referenced in public by others using mobile, AR, or other technologies. New technologies are emerging that allow us to overlay digital content on top of the real world, called Augmented Reality, we’re expecting Google to launch their Google Goggles “Project Glass” this summer. Additionally, it’s expected that Apple’s next iPhone will have facial recognition features that will enable us to identify people, and it’s assumed we’ll be able to quickly pull digital content about them.
Don’t Overly Rely on Social Scores –Understand True Influence
Logic tells us that new mobile applications will emerge that will allow digital content about us, in fact, we should expect apps to emerge that instantly allow us to tell one’s Twitter follower count, Klout score, and Facebook fans. But before we jump to conclusions on how this could help us identify ‘influencers’ take Altimeter’s guidance in understanding that these tools don’t fully tell the whole story. In fact, you should first read my colleague Brian Solis’ report on digital influence, which shows why social scores are not telling the full story, as well as see his presentation he gave on this topic.
Social Profiling Will Impact Society, Business, and You.
We should expect that social profiling technologies and techniques will impact us in at least three ways:
1) Digital ‘influence’ scores will emerge in the public real world –like it not. The social dynamics of determining who a dominant member of society could change. The largest male, the richest female, may now rival that of the most ‘influential’ person in the room –and everyone will know it quickly. As a result, a new pecking order in business could emerge that breaks corporate hierarchy, wealth, or attractiveness.
2) Marketers will use this to prioritize and reward influencers. Brands have been attracted to influencers for decades, and now they’ve new tools to segment. Hotels like the Palms are already prioritizing guests with high Klout scores to receive special treatment, this will now cascade to hospitality, retail, and more. Expect those with higher scores to be offered special treatment (here’s a breakdown of how it will happen), whether they take the offers or not.
3) New business models will emerge to offer ‘digital grooming”. Like personal grooming in the bathroom, we’ll now have to prepare for our own digital grooming as we venture into the real world. Expect a new form of digital consultant to emerge that will help professionals manage, prune, and improve their digital self, much how image consultants assist those who want to appear their best.
Get ready for this new world where our digital lives will now be easily displayed around us in the physical world, forever changing the social dynamic in which we play, work, and love.
Update: Jason Falls, respected thought leader, likens Social Profiling to a new form of racism is this counter post.
Many years ago, I was a web marketing manager at corporations, and worked with a variety of UX firms, Designers, Developers, IT, Content Producers are more. I remember getting shipped shrink wrapped boxes with software, updates, and having to send files via email or into local folders on the NT network, it was painful, slow, and sometimes inaccurate. I wish we had those tools like Creative Cloud which offer an App Store to quickly download and manage all creative software from one location via subscription, as well as collaboration technologies to pass files among web managers, stakeholders, creatives, agencies, and beyond.
This is a strong move to help web teams become more efficient in working beyond version issues in email attachments, but further show the promise of how collaboration can be applied to the web management process. Although I can’t speak for Adobe’s future roadmap, but as this trend continues, there’s an opportunity for communities to be applied to Creative Cloud that will allow two new use cases: 1) Leverage an ecosystem of web experts available on demand, similar to CrowdSpring, 99Designs, oDesk and others empower transactional services, 2) Tap into final end users and users of websites to rate, collaborate, and even create copy, design, and creative, perhaps using web-based-versions of photoshop elements and beyond.
Perhaps a future version of Creative Cloud will be called “Creative Collaboration” (or even Creative as a Service) as web teams continue to connect closer and closer to their ecosystem, imagine refining all that we do by tapping into our most engaged customers. Let’s watch closely as social technologies are applied to how web teams work, grow, and reach to customers like never before. I work closely with innovators in marketing and web strategy, as a result, we believe in transparency so you’ll trust us more, please note that Adobe is a client, as well as I’ve been using their products nearly my entire career.
Love to hear from you: How can social be applied to today’s modern web team? What new business models will unfold?
I’ll be at LeWeb London with brands, and the agencies and software vendors who serve them as a keynote and co-host on the social track with Cedric Giorgi , I hope you’ll join us!
I’m pleased to attend LeWeb this June in London (new venue, new date, same quality show) it’s one of the highest production conferences in our space at scale. One of the fantastic things of the high-production global show is the focus on the future of how the web is moving the world, business, and ourselves forward.
I’m glad that Loic has selected the theme “Faster Than Real Time” based on Altimeter’s research themes (Adaptive Org), which will stem the many speeches at the event, and I’ll be there to speak with brands on stage, and conduct research live from these sessions.
What does Faster Than Real Time mean? It means predicting what people want –based on signals, data, and computing.
The amount of data being shared by consumers, and objects around the world is staggering. From body data from Nike+ and Nike Fuel Band, to checkins from consumers on Foursquare to the data rendered in Instagram pictures from mobile devices everything is being captured and shared. Even non-digital items and goods will soon have a digital signature as Google roles out Goggles that allow us to overlay data on everything and anything.
As a result, this data can be processed by machines, allowing us to anticipate and eventually predict what people will want and do, giving rise to an incredible opportunity for brands, governments, and peers to serve up needs before you actually know you need it. For example, Target’s recent example of predicting a young gal was pregnant before her farther actually knew is a bellwether of this future change.
Loic and Geraldine have offered a 100 Gbp discount to readers of the Web Strategy blog, register here and use “JEREMIAH” as the discount code.
See you at LeWeb, London, June.
ps: If you’ve my business card you’ll find the back says “For organizations, real time is not fast enough”
I just love this, I first saw some tweets, from Joshua Salmons a social strategists at USAA (along with Augie Ray), the report coverage starts at minute 14.
This is valuable as we can hear directly from Josh his point of view and what others were saying at this Social Media Breakfast. What’s valuable is hearing from Joshua who actually have this role so I could understand their perspective on the two paths of the corporate strategist. You can read the whole report, to follow along with all of the talking points from Josh, and get the further details. I’ve embedded the key framework, which he references.
Just a point on clarity, the “social media helpdesk” wasn’t clearly articulated, we’ve changed the term to “Social Media Sanitation” as this is a role when strategists will be just cleaning up social media accounts for out-of-control business units (read a report addressing this pain), or constantly responding to customers haphazardly without a scalable strategy for social support (webinar here on how to build a scalable program).
Video streaming by Ustream
We just love how our Open Research reports can spread and impact the good folks work at the world’s largest corporations.
Over the past few years, I’ve tracked the emergence, rise, and growth of this new role within corporations. I see some interesting career opportunities for this powerful role within a corporation. First of all, about this role, while we’ve published a detailed research report on their demographics, psychographics, challenges and aspirations, this role is a major influencer within the corporation, and has a small but growing budget, typically stemming under the CMO or head of corporate communications functions.
Without a doubt, this role is in high demand: few are qualified, those that are are easily found by recruiters and I’ve heard of some positions with a total comp beyond 200k+ in regulated financial services. I’ve also been tracking how some folks are switching jobs to respond to the demand, although I’ve cautioned a few to put in a few years before doing this, as it could set a bad record on one’s resume. Despite the intense demand for this role right now, it’s always important to look towards the future on what’s on the horizon for this talented bunch:
Three Future Career Opportunities for the Corporate Social Strategist:
- Rise into the Head of Customer Experience. That’s right, we’re going to return to customer experience and looking at the entire customer journey (what we call at Altimeter the Dynamic Customer Journey). This role is one of the few in the organization at the business level (not infrastructure or operations) that can span multiple business units and see the entire customer journey from awareness, consideration, purchase, support, and beyond. The opportunity? The Corporate Social Strategist is one of the few that could re-create or lead the customer experience group –or even become a Chief Customer Officer.
- Foster or Lead a New Role in Content Strategy: Working closely with my colleague Rebecca Lieb, she’s illuminated the path on how a new editorial role is emerging in corporations which we’re calling the “Content Strategist” which is part editor-in-chief, orchestra conductor, and herder of pregnant cats (buy the book Content Marketing to get a headstart in your career). With so many business units adopting social, we’ve found the average enterprise corporation has a whopping 178 social media accounts, the number of opportunities –and risks that come with it– are requiring a company to need a new role to tell a consistent story across all channels, all voices, and all tools, in fact Rebecca tells me “It’s critical to note that while this role certainly encompasses social, its purview goes way beyond it: web sites, white papers, events – content is much broader than just social”
- Move into Program Coordination –Or Dissolve The Role Competely: Much like the ‘web master’ role if the late 90s has now become a business function or dedicated social or digital strategist, this role knows that if they can get orginization on board to conduct social in a safe and systamatic way, they’re role becomes more of a coordinator. We’ve discussed at length when this role could potentially go away. The opportunity? Help the company norm to social, and eventually move on to the next technology and help the company re-invent and change, just as they likely helped with the adoption of web, and before that digital communications.
Like all change agents in corporations, sometimes called ‘intra-preneurs’ for their willingness to stick their neck out to advance the company, these folks will certainly find new opportunities in business and lead this wave and the next. Don’t expect this group of calculated risk takers to sit still.
In a stunning early finding of interviews with nearly a dozen social media agencies and software providers, I’m seeing a new trend: Social media agency of record (SMaoR) are now moving into advertising buying. I’ve just spent a week interviewing a number of social agencies here in Manhattan as well as taken briefings from around the globe (see below for source info)
Why this dramatic change from social media purists who once declared war on advertising?
The new advertising features from both Facebook and Twitter (Such as sponsored tweets and trends) encourage earned content to become advertising units and give an opportunity for social marketers to get into the advertising game. This also means the opportunity for ads to perform at a higher level because they’ve been ‘approved’ by the crowd is a unique opportunity afforded to the social media agencies vs the ‘carpet bomb’ approach of yesteryear. This results in three distinct impacts to the industry:
- Advertising is Limited to Social Networks: The advertising units that these agencies are purchasing are often limited to Facebook or Twitter –not broader banner and skyscraper ads across media and Google serp. In fact, in most cases they’re analyzing which earned content performs the best, then using the features like Twitter’s sponsored tweets to amplify this earned content to reach new audiences and drive attention or call to action.
- Social Media Agencies Don’t Have Solid Case Studies, Yet. Most of these pure play social media firms lack an advertising background and are staffed for engagement. They also tend to have a longer term approach for community building –not six week ad block flights. As a result, it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be able to outperform traditional digital advertisers although most say they’re working on case studies to show higher engagement, and conversion.
- Expect a Battle Between Digital Agencies and Social Media Agencies. Now, there’s going to be a fight over advertising budget as social media agencies battle for small shares of advertising dollars. We’re also seeing digital agencies develop social competencies and battling the social pure plays. In the end, I believe we’ll get rid of the term ‘social’ or ‘digital’ as a prefix for any agency as they’ll all have the same competencies, esp after a mass M&A that biz dev execs are already starting to sniff.
Sources: As an Industry Analyst, I’m fortunate to speak to many in the industry for research purposes, In the past few weeks I’ve spoken to Adobe, Attention, Banyan Branch, Big Fuel, Buddy Media, Converseon, Deep Focus, Edelman, Google+, IBM (Social Products), LiveWorld, SocialFlow, VaynerMedia, We Are Social, and many others. Our analyst focused on agencies is Rebecca Lieb (Blog, Twitter), although we’re both talking to many-in-the-industry for our upcoming joint report on Paid Owned and Earned integration.
Update: Fast Company’s Francine Hardaway has answered this post discussing how Agencies are Going the Way of the Dodo.
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:
- Tyler Altrup joins EMC Corporation as Senior Social Media Engagement Manager Manages all efforts in social measurement, monetization, and gamification.
- Techcrunch hires or promotes Peter Ha, Frederic Lardinois And New Co-Editor Alexia Tsotsis
- Adam Swart joins iQU as Director of Social Media Responsible for Social strategy and marketing
- Tony Obregon joins Avanade Inc as Global Social Media Manager Develop corporate social media strategy and partner in tactical execution with PR, online/digital, marketing, recruiting and internal communications teams.
- Chris Heffer joins SAP as Social CRM sales Positioning the SAP social CRM offering accross the UKI
- Ken Comee joins Powerreviews as CEO Responsible for vision, strategy, and operations at PowerReviews.
- Marcy Cohen joins MasterCard Worldwide as VP Social Media and Media Relations Focused on advancing MasterCard’s social strategy as well as corporate storytelling via mainstream media. I’ve worked with Marcy, she’s fantastic, congrats to the MasterCard team.
- Alex Beal joins Accenture Interactive as Marketing Director Driving Digital and Analytics marketing strategy, great to hear, I’ve respected Andy’s work for years.
- Sandy Adam joins ANSYS Inc. as Manager of Social Media Marketing Defining the Global Social Strategy and educating the employees in all things social, from content creation to execution. http://www.linkedin.com/in/sandyadam
- Delphine Remy-Boutang joins www.thesocialbureau.com as founder & CEO Social Business Consultant, Delphine is charming and has been a wonderful practice leader for years, we’ve shared the stage in London.
- Chris Hoskin joins Artesian Solutions as Chief Marketing Officer Responsible for redeveloping Artesian’s brand strategy and aligning marketing with the company’s business strategy
Submit a new hire:
Seeking a job?
- See the Web Strategy Job Board, which includes paid submissions from the top brands in the world.
- Social Media Jobs Facebook Group
- Social Media Jobs by Chris Heuer
- Social Media jobs, filtered by SimplyHired
- Social Media Job Network by James Durbin
- 25 places to find social media jobs by Deb Ng
Please congratulate the new hires by leaving a comment below.