Brands Focused on Managing Social Proliferation
For those that like to be where they money be, this data is for you. Altimeter’s research continues to survey buyers of disruptive technologies, and continues our coverage on social technologies. In our recent Q4 survey to enterprise buyers, focused on marketing business decision makers, which are global national corporations with over 1000 employees, we posed a series of questions in our survey battery. In particular, we wanted to find out where decision makers are bullish on investing and found the following trends on marketers with intent to increase spending:
- To manage proliferation in enterprise, marketers purchase social media management systems. Altimeter has been covering this software category since March 2010 (see all posts), and has published reports on how companies are managing social using software. These social media management system tools, which allow brands to manage marketing, support, and employee interaction of social continue to spread throughout the enterprise (data). We’ve also seen deal size for this specific market on the increase over the past few years, some deals crossing over the six figure dollar range. We’ve also found that companies are straddled with a number of social accounts (on average, 178 social media accounts) as social strategists struggle to avoid being constantly reactive in a role of social sanitation.
- Insufficient tools means investments in education programs key for employee masses. A solution requires a strategy, education, business processes, then with software to facilitate. While most marketers realize that technology is a key method to achieving their goals, they know that education within an enterprise is required for social business success. Marketers invest in educating various business units (departments, regions, and product groups) to ensure they properly know how to use these technologies and avoid risk. Yet, in our previous research, we’ve seen that brands are eager to educate, they don’t put large dollars against this investment. To help corporations solve this need, we’ve launched our own Academy offering, and are working with large brands, agencies, and consulting firms to roll-out.
- Surprise! Marketers “volun-told” as system integrators of fragmented software. The opposite of volunteering is being volun-told (credit: Zena Weist). Marketers have been VolunTold that they are unwilling system integrators in the era of VC funded startups who’ve created clones serving similar use cases. As a result, brand side marketers and their agency and consulting partners are investing in integration disparate software together to commonly share data, in order to manage a single customer journey, or obtain data on one persona or customer type. While Oracle, Adobe, Salesforce, IBM, and others offer suites, don’t expect this trend to go away anytime soon, as the proliferation of new web tools means that brands will forever be rushing to catch up.
Summary: Companies seeking to scale social in their enterprise.
So there you have it, today’s buyers are investing their resources and time on scaling social within their organization before it spirals out of control. They’re deploying software, coupled with internal training, and then trying to glue together many pieces into one system. While I’m not going to provide insights to each one of bullets, here are a number of other trends from this data that we can discuss in the comments.
Altimeter Data Above: Social spreads further to the edges in Hub and Spoke, and Distributes to Multiple Hub and Spoke, aka “Dandelion”
Social Business Evolution Spreads In Corporations
Altimeter’s most recent social business buyers survey of global national corporations with over 1000 employees has yielded interesting results. One data set that we’ve carefully watched over the years, and perhaps I’m most known for, is how companies organize their internal structure for social business. Over a year ago, we conducted this same study, to glean where the market is; we’re back with additional benchmarking data, and you can read the full report of Social Business Evolution (embedded below) This most recent data resonates the trends that we’re hearing and seeing in many of our brand side clients, here’s my take:
- Decentralized gains no growth. Companies in this model are afflicted with unchecked proliferation and will have to eventually undergo considerable investments to clean up mis-managed or worse, un-managed efforts. This unscalable model leaves companies fragmented in an uncoordinated method. We predict this structure will eventually dissipate as companies must formalize their programs.
- Centralized remains stagnant, holds at under one third. This model, in which a single business unit (often corp comms) manages the program on behest the corporation is a short term fix. While many regulated companies can easily make the business case for a single group, it cannot scale –and this group will eventually become overwhelmed with requests from business units.
- Hub and Spoke loses 6 points, yet still dominant. This popular model, in the previous year, sinks 6 points. Why this drop? Companies are seeing that social is spreading beyond a coordinated team (often referred to as a center of excellence) to a broad set of business units including regional, departmental, and product lines. Despite the dip, this continues to be the dominant model most corporations are in now.
- Dandelion model shows growth. In this model, decision making and management for social spreads to various business units –beyond the centralized team. This sign of maturity often means there’s coordination in the center, but freedom for local groups to manage within guidelines. We expect this model to continue to rise year over year.
- Holistic remains elusive. This very challenging formation, where a majority of all employees use social for business in a safe and consistent manner continues to remain miniscule. Why? This requires a cultural mindset of trust from leaders, and a workforce that is trained and ready to accept social into every fabric of employee and customer relationships. Don’t expect this model to grow anytime soon.
While I’ve your attention, I wanted to share that I’ll be hosting a webinar on Social Business Readiness, and share how we’ve helped many companies get ready internally, such as this project on Social Readiness roadmaps, (here’s a screenshot), I’d love to help your corporation get situated in a scalable model for social business. On a related note, Altimeter Group continues to hire, we’re seeking a COO and Senior Consultant as we continue to grow.
Every company is now a media company.
Content Marketing is in high demand, as every company has now realized they are media companies. In fact, our list of Content Marketing Software startups has resulted in calls from VCs, press, brands, and potential competitors. We also know, from our brand survey that Content Marketing is the top go to market priority at corporations. I frequently tell the market that social business tools, like railroad tracks, laid down the infrastructure for many corporations to now talk to the market; the challenge is, they don’t know what to say!
[As every company is now a media company, they must orchestrate content in harmony --or risk marketplace cacophony]
Above: As every company becomes a media company, they must orchestrate content in harmony.
Now, companies must organize for content strategy and marketing.
Altimeter’s latest Open Research report (use, share, and we’ll create more, see our body of research) is now available, on behalf of the analyst Rebecca Lieb, Chris Silva and Christine Tran, and include findings from over 70 interviews from across the industry. Why is this important? Despite an overwhelming trend toward content marketing and the need to continually feed an ever-increasing portfolio of content channels and formats, most organizations have not yet addressed content on either a strategic or tactical level. This report explores scalable organizational models for addressing content needs across the enterprise, and makes recommendations for a holistic program.
Companies organize for content in 6 models:
- Content Center of Excellence
- Executive Steering Committee
- Editorial Board or Content Council
- Content Lead
- Cross-Functional Content Chief
- Content Department/Division
Also included in this report are: Organizational Content Requirements and a Recommendations Checklist that brands can use to become actionable, now. Here’s the report, which we hope you use:
On a side note, as research director at Altimeter, this report will become very useful to deploy as my role is to ‘conduct’ the research reports in harmony, no doubt, I’ll be leaning on Rebecca to complete this task.
Jeremiah: This was initially posted on the official Altimeter blog, which I’m now cross-posting here on Web Strategy. I’m personally proud, that our research team can come together as one unit to do this, and look at many technologies and identify broader themes as a collective. Once in a while, I pinch myself at how fun work can be, isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? Here’s the post:
By Altimeter’s Research Team
Analysts: Susan Etlinger, Charlene Li, Rebecca Lieb, Jeremiah Owyang, Chris Silva, Brian Solis;
Consulting: Ed Terpening, Alan Webber;
Researchers: Jon Cifuentes, Jessica Groopman, Andrew Jones, Jaimy Szymanski, Christine Tran
Over 30 Technologies Have Emerged, at a Faster Pace than Companies Can Digest. If you think social was disruptive, it was really just the beginning. Altimeter’s research team recently convened for our annual research offsite and found over 30 disruptions and 15 trends that have emerged (see below for the full list in our Disruption Database). These disruptions and trends will affect consumers, business, government, the global economy; with accelerating speed, frequency and impact.
Four Major Business Disruptions Emerge – Business Leaders Must Prepare.
Out of these disruptions and trends, Altimeter identified four major themes that will be disruptive to business. Below is a preview of Altimeter’s four business disruption themes, with a definition and short description of each. In the coming weeks, we’ll publish a short report explaining these themes in more detail.
Everything Digital: An increasingly digital landscape – including data, devices, platforms and experiences – that will envelop consumers and businesses.
Everything Digital is the increasingly digital environment that depends on an evolving ecosystem of interoperable data, devices, platforms – experienced by people and business. It’s larger than the scope of Internet of Things, as it’s pervasive or ambient – not defined only by networked sensors and objects, but including capabilities such as airborne power grids or wireless power everywhere. Everything Digital serves as the backdrop for our next three themes.
Me-cosystem: The ecosystem that revolves around “me,” our data, and technologies that will deliver more relevant, useful, and engaging experiences using our data.
Wearable devices, near-field communications, or gesture-based recognition are just a few of the technologies that will make up an organic user interface for our lives, not just a single digital touchpoint. Digital experiences will be multiplied by new screen types, and virtual or augmented reality. Individuals who participate will benefit from contextualized digital experiences, in exchange for giving up personal data.
Digital Economies: New economic models caused by the digital democratization of production, distribution, and consumption.
Supply chains become consumption chains in this new economy as consumers become direct participants in production and distribution. Open source, social, and mobile platforms allow consumers to connect with each other, usurping traditional roles and relationships between buyers, sellers, and marketplaces. Do-it-yourself technologies such as 3D printing and replicators will accelerate this shift, while even currency becomes distributed and peer-to-peer-based. In this new economy, value shifts towards digital reputation and influence, digital goods and services; even data itself. The downside? An increasing divide between digital “haves” and the digital “have-nots.”
Dynamic Organization: In today’s digital landscape, dynamic organizations must develop new business models and ways of working to remain relevant, and viable.
Business leaders grapple with an onslaught of new technologies that result in shifting customer and employee expectations. It’s not enough to keep pace with change. To succeed, dynamic organizations must cultivate a culture, mindset, and infrastructure that enables flexibility and adaptability; the most pioneering will act as adaptive, mutable “ad-hocracies.”
Altimeter’s Disruption Database
Below are the 30 digital disruptions and 15 digital trends, which were used as the starting ground of our analysis.
- 3-D Printing and Replicators
- App Economy
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Augmented Reality (Google Glass)
- Automated Life (Cars, Homes, Driving, etc.)
- Automated Robots
- Biometric Authentication (Voice/audio, fingerprint, body/eyescan, gesture, olfactory user interface Content Marketing
- Digital/Social TV vs. “Second Screen”
- Emerging Hand Held Devices / Platforms (Android, Tablet, Phablet)
- Gesture/Voice-Based Interface/Navigation / “Human as Interface”Hacking/Social Engineering and Information Security
- Haptic Surfaces (Slippery, wet, textured through electrical currents)
- Healthcare – Data and Predictive Analytics
- Human-Piloted Drones
- Hyper-Local Technology / Mobile Location / Indoor Mapping
- Internet of Nanoparticles (Embedded in bloodstream)
- MicroMedia Video
- Mobile Advertising
- Mobile Payments
- Native Advertising
- Natural Language Processing
- Near Field Communications
- Open Source / Open Data / Open Innovation
- Peer-Based Currency / Soical Currency (BitCoin)
- Proximity Based Communications
- Social Engagement Automation (Robots Respond on Twitter)
- Social Network Analysis, Graphing, and Data Science
- Social Technologies
- Touch Permeates Digital/Surfaces: TVs, Touch Advertising
- Virtual Reality / Immersive 3D Experiences
- Wearable / Embedded Technology
- Wireless Power / Electricity
- Big Data
- Collaborative Economy
- Connected Workplace
- Customer Experience
- Design/Architecture and Integration
- Data Convergence/Customer Intelligence
- Data vs Creative in the Org: New Decision Process
- Digital Ethnography or Customer Journey Mapping
- Digital Influence and Advocacy
- Evolution of the Center of Excellence
- Generation C
- Internet of Things or Internet of Everything
- Intrapreneurship, Innovation Culture, and Innovation Hubs
- Pervasive Computing
- Porous Workplace
- Privacy: Standardization and Regulation (“Beware of Little Brother”)
- Quantified Self or Human API
- The Digital Journey and Understanding Digital Signals
- The Maker Movement
- The Neuroscience of Digital Interactions
Open Research: Please Share Your Comments and Insights with Us.
There’s more to come – we’ll be sharing additional insights such as 1) top questions for businesses to ask, 2) who’s disrupted and who benefits, and 3) enabling technologies.In the meantime, we’re soliciting your comments as part of our Open Research model. Please share our themes with others, and help us answer these questions:
- What other business disruptions or trends are you seeing? Please add to this Google form and we’ll provide proper attribution.
- Which of these four business disruption themes impact your business now?
- How is your business responding to these themes, or the related disruptions and trends?
Photos from Altimeter’s Research OffsiteBelow are a couple illustrations that resulted from the discussions that took place at our research offsite:
Above Image: Altimeter synthesized these disruptions and trends, which become broader themes.
Above Image: A graphic illustration of our synthesis. Thank you to Paula Hansen who was instrumental in visually capturing our discussions in real-time.
Request: We want to hear from you. Tell us on your blog or website how the “Sentient World” impacts your business (positively or negatively), and we’ll cross-link to the conversation.
Altimeter Group continues its blog ring in September and October to deepen understanding of our three research themes. The next theme of focus is the Sentient World. Consider these key questions when contributing to the conversation on your blog or website:
- Sentient World rolls up trends like internet of things, body data, big data, cloud computing, nfc and beyond, I presented a keynote at LeWeb discussing this theme, see video.
- Once the information exchange begins, how can companies and users participate?
- How do dialog and conversation shift as consumers begin establishing relationships with inanimate objects?
- What content should organizations offer, and how can employees, customers, and partners leverage this content?
- What are the pertinent elements of “new data” that should be used as signals and metrics of interaction, performance, and satisfaction, or its opposite?
- What are the appropriate metrics, and how is success measured in this new world?
Additional blog ring information and related posts on the Dynamic Customer Journey can be found here. Look here for Adaptive Organization posts.
What’s smarter: A college grad, or your future fridge?
- The research theme of focus for July and August will be Sentient World (SW). Short-form definition: As more inanimate objects start to develop data and intelligence as they connect to each other, a network of autonomous interactions will emerge. In the future, our devices will be able to manage, analyze, report, predict, forecast, and more — while humans experience their days more intelligently and efficiently. Understanding the intersection between physical and digital, while discerning signal from noise will become base-level survival skills for organizations. Read the full SW description on our website.
- Be on the lookout for each Altimeter analyst to share their take on how SW applies to their individual specialty. Altimeter analyst blogs can be found here, and all posts will also be aggregated on the main Altimeter Blog and SW theme page of the Altimeter website.
- In addition to aggregating Altimeter analyst blog posts, we will also post a link to all thoughtful blog posts submitted by our readers. You can submit your post using this form. Posts that we determine as especially insightful will also be linked to from the main SW theme page on the Altimeter Group website.
- All submitted posts will be linked to in individual tweets via Altimeter Group’s Twitter account (@altimetergroup).
All questions regarding the blog ring may be directed to jaimy [at] altimetergroup [dot] com.
We appreciate your assistance in helping to drive industry research, growth, and conversation in a community environment that all can benefit from. Feel free to reuse the Sentient World icon found in this post, as well as our themes webinar: http://slidesha.re/JtB2S5
We look forward to reading your posts!
Thank you to Jaimy Szymanski (Altimeter Researcher) for drafting this post and being a leading force in Altimeter’s research efforts around these three themes, you can follow her on Twitter or read her bio.
Hot on the heels of last week’s Altimeter Open Research Report on Converged Media, today, analyst Susan Etlinger, Researcher Andrew Jones, (I served as editor) have published a report answering the absolute top asked question in the social space: “How do companies measure ROI of social?”
In this definitive report, Altimeter found that there are half a dozen methods being deployed, each with flaws and strengths. It’s key that the business knows which method to deploy, when, and then line up the right process, teams, software, and partners to help. Despite a thorough look into leading case samples and speaking with dozens of members of the ecosystem, we found there is no single solution that is fool proof.
In this Open Research report, you will find:
A through set of industry findings with 16 brands, 38 vendors, 3 agencies and 4 ecosystem contributors, and surveyed 71 social media and analytics practitioners. Breakdown of the 6 use cases of Social Media ROI, with analysis, case examples, and insights for each, and pragmatic recommendations to business leaders on how to deploy.
Key Finding: There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. The four most important criteria for determining the measurement mix are:
- Business: the nature and structure of the business
- Product: the nature and type of products or services offered
- Media: type of media being used
- Customer: the nature and type of customer(s)
Above: Six Ways of Measuring Revenue Impact of Social Media
Altimeter will cross-link to the discussion around this report, we’re open to the discussion –even if you’ve other points of view.
To join in an active discussion and presentation, co-author Rebecca Lieb and myself will be hosting a webinar convering the findings from the research, please register for the webinar on Converged Media. Altimeter directly interviewed 34 agencies, brands, technology vendors and industry experts to answer how media are changing. we found:
Summary: Converged Media a Reality –Significant Ecosystem Changes Ahead
Paid, owned, and earned is converging (like social ads) at a rapid pace, we found 11 criteria of success, a handful of case examples, yet companies are hampered internally and with fragmented agencies and technology to make this happen. Converged Media utilizes two or more channels of paid, earned, and owned media. It is characterized by a consistent storyline, look, and feel. We foresee that to achieve cross-channel integration in a consistent way there will be considerable changes inside of the marketing org chart, and a clear strategy on getting agencies to collaborate, and intensive system integration of vendors.
Open Research: Use, Share, and We’ll Create More
Altimeter practices Open Research, we provide our research to you, and encourage you to use with proper licensing as outlined by Creative Commons. Also, we believe in transparency in financial relationships of the companies which we covered in this report, and disclose our relationships if allowed. If you found this report useful, please actively share, which helps us to generate energy to create more.
- Overview of needs, market definitions, overview of brands, agencies, and software providers.
- Three framework graphics ideal for powerpoint: Converged Media venn, use case workflow, criteria checklist.
- Checklist of 11 criteria required for converged media success.
- Four real world case studies bringing this concept to life from four leading brands.
- Pragmatic recommendations for marketing leaders for internal needs, agency strategy, and vendor deployment.
- Vendor showcase of ten technology providers who are seeking to solve this opportunity.
My focus over the past years have been owned corporate content (owned) and social (earned), however my viewpoint on the paid side has been limited. Thankfully, I was able to partner with Altimeter’s Rebecca Lieb
who hails from Manhattan and has a strong background in advertising, search, (paid) and corporate content (owned), together with researcher Jessica Groopman
and editor Chris Silva
, we sought out to answer these questions and bring multiple perspectives together.
At the bottom of this post, I’ll cross-link to all thoughtful conversations, extending the conversation, below the report is embedded directly below:
Above: Today, advertising, corporate content, and social content is often separated, but tomorrow, we expect these circles to converge and overlap, with little or no separation. Hence the term “Converged Media”. We deliberated at great length on how these items would be properly fit into this framework, and
Above: Although we expect many workflows to emerge, this pattern became evident within interviews. In particular, we frequently heard that analysis of social content was often a precursor to content creation by the brand. Furthermore, very few technology providers will be able to solve this entire use case, and brands and agency partners will be relegated to system integration and methods to coalesce.
Above: 11 Success Criteria to Make Converged Media a Reality: We found through interviews a set of patterns from respondents on what will make this a reality and organized the criteria into four distinct categories: Strategy, Organization, Production, Analysis. While this process is likely followed in any individual point channel, now, it must be an integrated approach
The term “mobile” is an amorphous term that can be applied to nearly every digital and technology strategy. So where should companies start? This report outlines a pragmatic approach based on: 1) Conducting a mobility audit 2) Examining Roles 3) Then choosing technology and partners choices.
It’s important you understand that one size doesn’t fit all needs; know that a different strategy is needed for each persona needs –don’t choose technology partners first, then force it into the org. While this seems common sense for most, many are not approaching with this needs based approach first.
Altimeter’s latest research report on how corporations should systematically develop a mobile strategy for their workforce is now published by Analyst Chris Silva. As the editor of this report, it was exciting to see from Chris and Jessica Groopman (researcher) how there were clear use cases surfacing, but also learning how corporations struggle on where to start.
Above: Understand the roles of each worker persona require different mobile strategies
Above: Once you’ve gone through steps 1 and 2 to first do internal research, you can choose from some of these potential technology providers.
Left: The Sacramento delta forms after many tributaries feed into one single water body in Silicon Valley. Similarly, social startups are combining with incumbent software into one suite (Wikipedia)
As an industry analyst, I’ve been waiting to write this post for a few years, it’s fascinating to see the Cambrian Explosion (a prehistoric era where millions of species rapidly emerged on the earth) now turn into consolidated suites, as the ever fragmented Social Business Stack (we found 18 classes of software and service) unmanageable for brands who seek less complexity. Finally, we’re starting to see the combination via partnership, as well as consolidation of platforms emerge.
[A Social Software Suite (SSS) is a consolidated set of social web applications across multiple use cases that share a common user interface and data interchange. The suite enables corporations to manage online relationships and activities with their internal and external customers]
In summary, the state of Social Software Suite (SSS) is immature. The the M&A is just happening across the industry and the integration stories have few proof points or customer case examples, we’re in a stage of infancy for social suites. While we’ve seen many social media proof points, hearing how social integrates into email, advertising, crm, support software, BI, CMS, and beyond is in it’s early stages. Without a doubt, we’re entering another era of the social space.
Consolidation a Natural Evolution, Sign of Maturity
- Integration occurs after a Cambrian Explosion. When I show brands the social business stack of vendors, they often sigh, get frustrated, as they know they’re the ones that must integrate all the pieces together. They seek a common set of vendors to emerge that they don’t have to constantly coach on R&D and integration partners, and are waiting for maturity in products and consolidation so they have to analyze less vendors. Secondly, as social integrates with all other incumbent software, the need for suites to emerge are only underscored.
- High Valuations Forces Biz Dev and M&A. The industry is feeling a domino effect. As a few acquisitions start happening, large software enterprise players know they need to make their bet on the table to get into this game, after initial innovation was done by startup vendors. With IBM, Adobe, Lithium, Salesforce making some of the early plays this has set off an arms race for other vendors to develop their integrated suite.
- Facebooks IPO “Debacle” makes M&A more attractive. With Facebook’s IPO not going as well as financial analysts had hoped with initial valuations, the hopes of these startups to go IPO and succeed like 10 years ago have now shifted to M&A deals, where the exit is combining with a large player. The domino effect causes all investors, boards and executive teams to make their deals and moves before potential windows from suitors dries up. It’s dating season, and everyone wants to mate.
Brands Must Prepare Company, Yet Complexities Not Undone
- Suites are Good for Brands Who Tire of Complexity: Brands are tired of dealing with hundreds of vendors, and having data and logins and systems spread across the space. They seek consolidation from their providers, as doing it themselves in a rapidly changing environment is complex, expensive, and frustrating. Expect brands to line up at the C level to embrace vendors that provide high level dashboards that provide real time reporting on these tools, and enable multiple business units to manage social use cases across the company.
- Suites may Frustrate Brands Who Seek Best In Class: Don’t expect these suites to be a silver bullet to solve the needs of corporations. Point providers can innovate faster, work with an ecosystem of agencies and system integrators and maintain platform agility. M&A doesn’t promise integration will occur smoothly, esp as cultures and platforms are forced to marry in a rapid manner. Expect many pure play vendors to maintain their lead and stand the test of time –without being acquired
- The Future is Integration of Paid, Owned, and Earned: Altimeter’s current research on the integration of Paid, Owned, and Earned (POE) has already found early indicators that brands, and their agency partners are seeking tools that interwork together, and as a result a new team within a corporation will emerge to lead this charge, agency partners will restructure and new software will emerge to make this come to life.
Ongoing List of Enterprise Class Social Software Suite (SSS) Vendors
If you’re like me (who’s full time job is to track this) this is a confusing space to track, as a result, I’ll keep this list updated for a few quarters, till it doesn’t make sense to manage this or it’s time for me to do a formal vendor rating and ranking. Disclosure: Your trust is important to us, as a result, we want to disclose many of these vendors are clients of Altimeter Group. Vendors are listed in alpha order.
|| Ads, Targeting, Analytics, Social Media Management System, Social CMS
|| Adobe was the first to launch a nearly complete suite that spans the entire digital marketing push at their Summit conference. Although mainly marketing, they must bolster into customer support positioning beyond CQ5 this is a strong contender that already has an enterprise marketing footprint via creatives and now with Omniture.
|| Ads (Media), Social integration in .com, analytics
||Bazaarvoice recently acquired top competitor PowerReviews giving them a lock hold over ratings and reviews across the industry. Recently, the announced a media product that extends social ads beyond .com and even beyond FB and Twitter ads. They must expand to engagement software to cover the full span.
||Search marketing suite, social network, applications, social media management system (Wildfire) and analytics
||Google’s strengths in search marketing has started to extend to Google+, although adoption numbers are a fraction of other social networks. Expect that Google Analytics combined with collecting of data from Google+ will impact search results in search engine results pages. Now with Wildfire, they can extend into the Facebook platform, as well as deploy Google ads in multiple locations, as well as tie to Google Analytics.
|| Analytics, Brand Monitoring, Targeting, CRM
|| A strong existing player that acquired Coremetrics, they have a strong background in analytics and intelligence, but need to develop an engagement solution that allows brands to engage in social while aggregating data back to their systems.
|| Communities, Engagement software, brand monitoring
|| Traditionally a community vendor on support use case, they’ve acquired Scout Labs for brand listening and recently announced a white label engagement tool. They must quickly move into the marketing aspect beyond support and launch an advertising platform that converts earned content to paid.
|| Social Media Management System (Vitrue), Social Analytics (Collective Intellect) CRM and now Involver
|| New entrant, they acquired Vitrue for an assumed $300m showing the promise of social data into existing CRM systems a reality. The roll-out isn’t quite clear for roadmap, I look forward to hearing more. (edit: now that they’ve acquired Collective Intellect, the pieces fit together: listening, engagement, analytics.
|| Brand Monitoring, CRM, Data.com, lightweight community products
|| Traditionally strong in sales and support use cases, Salesforce (edit: has purchased) BuddyMedia (who purchased ad platform Brighter Option) that would quickly extend them into a new arena, this fast mover is disruptive and is to watch.
| Whoever Comes Next
|| TBD: I’ll update this as vendors emerge.
Connecting to customers is going to get more complicated, and brands (and their partners) must pay attention to the Dynamic Customer Journey.
We want to hear your point of view on the Dynamic Customer Journey (either in the comments below, or from your own blog) and we’ll cross-link to thoughtful discussions.
Introducing The Dynamic Customer Journey
We see this disruptive theme as consumers being able to use many sources, devices, and mediums at any given time, giving them more options and choices. The result? Consumers are enabled to have a unique path each time, making it harder to predict. This means the experience becomes increasingly fragmented for the brand, as they struggle to reach consumers across all these choices of sources, mediums, and channels.
What’s the opposite of a Dynamic Customer Journey? Back in the early mid-century, consumers had only a few TV channels and a few newspaper outlets to choose from. As a result, the experience was predictable, easy to target, and one-size-fitted-all. Today, this has drastically fragmented and is ever changing.
The metaphor I use, is when I’m in Times Square NY, and I’ve so many choices to look at logos, ads, and content across many screens, the real world, and people to talk to. We see a similar experience being present in front of consumers wherever they go, even in their living room with so many choices between TVs, laptops, tablets, mobile devices and soon-to-be Google Glass augmented reality.
The Factors that Impact the Dynamic Customer Journey Multiply Complexity
A corporation that’s seeking to connect to their customers must understand all of these forces that impact the journey. They must be able to quantify the following for every persona:
- New sources of information: Aside from press, media, analysts they are also relying on the crowd, and their friends. Soon augmented reality will allow for new data forms we’ve not yet seen. (that’s about 5 factors)
- New forms of media: The channels as we know them Paid Owned and Earned are starting to intermix, as a result a new form of media is impacting them. Social websites have social ads, making content and advertising a new form. (that’s about 3 factors)
- New screens: Traditionally we’ve thought of TV, Laptop, and Mobile, but now we must factor in a tablet experience (which is different than the aforementioned) and with Google Glass augmented reality coming, that will be a fifth screen to build a strategy for. (that’s 5 factors)
To understand the complexity, this model suggests 5 X 3 X 5 which is 75 different permutations. Next, the brand must understand this for every single phase: awareness, consideration, intent, purchase, support, loyalty, advocacy, (that’s 7 steps, resulting in 525 permutations per persona) then multiple times every product group and then geography, the math is staggering on the complexity.
Call to Action: Share your Point of View
This theme is complicated, so in our Open Research model, we’re calling for the community to source and share ideas, so we can collectively learn together. Want to get involved? We’ve published more on our POV on the official Altimeter Blog, and if you wanted to share your perspective, we want to hear, and will link to the community discussion.
- Technology innovators: What new devices, software, data do you see emerging that’s resulting in customers having more choices in their journey?
- Agencies and Service providers: How will brands need to catch up in their go to market strategy? How should brands restructure their internal organization to accommodate this change?
- Brands and Companies: What are you seeking from your solution partners to help bridge this gap? What do you need from technology and service providers to move forward?
I’ll cross link to all thoughtful discussions