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
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
Altimeter Groups’s latest Open Research report (available on creative commons for you to download, use, and share) is now available from analyst Brian Solis. This report, which challenges the way that companies measure influence points out how tools like Klout, Kred, Empire Avenue and beyond.
[Physics Measures Both Potential and Kinetic Energy. Similarly, Digital Influence must measure Both Social Capital (Potential) as well as Actual Influence (Kinetic)]
In fact, companies are quick to add influence metrics into their social support systems, and marketing prioritization despite having full understanding of how these measurement tools actually create their indexes. This report, written as a playbook for businesses focuses on how to benefit from desirable effects and outcomes through social media influence. The report also helps consumers and academics understand how influence is scored and how these scores affect online reputations.
Open Research Highlights:
We practice Open Research, and hope you use it, share it, which enables us to create more. Here’s some key insights from the report, that drew my attention.
- Influence is largely misunderstood, in fact the report makes a nod that these tools like Klout, Kred actually measure social capital — not your influence but instead, your potential for it.
- None of the vendor services evaluated in the report measure true influence. Today’s software algorithms track social capital and topical authority based on online activity
- The report helps companies understand how influence spreads, and includes case studies in which brands partnered with vendors to recruit connected consumers for digital influence campaigns.
- The report evaluates 14 Influence vendors, organizing them by Reach, Resonance, and Relevance: the Three Pillars that make up the foundation for Digital Influence as defined in the report – not every service is designed to provide a total solution for every business need.
- The report includes an Influence Framework and an Influence Action Plan to help brands identify connected consumers and to define and measure strategic digital influence initiatives.
The report demonstrates a path how businesses should properly measure the impact of influence –not just look at an index number. Note how the further to the right, it actually demonstrates the outcome of the influencer, their network, and what actually happened.
Above is a sample: Dive into report to see feature comparison of all vendors, which breaks down feature comparison by: Score, Reach, Influencer Relationship Management, and beyond.
I’ll cross-link to thoughtful discussions reviewing the report below
Learn about Altimeter’s three business disruption themes and upcoming report agenda to learn how our research will the industry forward.
Edit: I updated the post to include the phrase about potential and kinetic energy based of a conversation with Richard at Dell.
By Altimeter’s Rebecca Lieb, Industry Analyst and Jeremiah Owyang, Industry Analyst.
If consumers don’t differentiate between “Paid, Owned, and Earned” so why are marketers segmented by different departments and have separate agencies that do each? Does a ‘social media agency of record’ actually slow progress? Can a marketing effort be more effective if all of these methods are used together? These are exactly the questions we want to answer.
I’m very pleased to announce a new research project by Altimeter Group involving myself (Earned, Owned) and Rebecca Lieb (Paid, Owned), our NY based analyst who knows advertising, agencies, and has written both a book and a recent research report on content marketing. My expertise is Earned and owned media, while Rebecca is more proficieient in paid and owned. Together, we will tackle the topic of how we see paid, owned and earned converging. In fact she’s shared her perspective about how we’ll approach this joint report together. This report flows under Altimeter’s research theme of the Dynamic Customer Journey (more on that broader theme soon)
Five reasons the market demands this report:
- Earned (social content) has become mainstream. We’re past the point of experimentation. Nearly every industry requires mass deployment.
- Facebook’s recent announcements clearly indicate earned content is now becoming paid, and owned content needs to be paid to achieve mass appeal within an FB page
- Inside companies we’re seeing the corporate social strategist cross the aisle to work with direct marketers. Advertising agencies are extending their budgets into the social world. Political and coordination issues will emerge as they come together.
- Brands that integrate paid, owned and earned media will benefit because they will reach customers in the most effective manner.
- Consumers don’t consciously differentiate between ads, corporate content, and what their friends say, but instead indiscriminately use a variety of content sources.
Want to get involved? Altimeter seeks to interview and take in case study submissions from a variety of brands, agencies, technology providers, and third party topic experts, email briefings at altimetergroup.com. If you want to receive an email copy, sign up for our newsletter or follow the Altimeter Twitter account, and be notified when this report, and others, are published. Also, if you see some notable examples of paid owned earned already happening (the Old Spice Man comes to mind) kindly let us know in comments or send us an email and we’ll take a look. You can see our other Open Research reports on Content Marketing, Mobile Apps, Enterprise Social Networking, Analytics and more on our research report page. We publish them under Open Research creative commons so they can be widely read, adopted, and shared.
Between her Ad and content background in NYC, and my focus on earned/social in Silicon Valley we’ll be the dynamic duo to put these questions to rest.
Update: Altimeter is hosting a Tweetup in NYC to discuss this live on April 12, and in SF on April 3rd
Left: Downtown Austin, 2007
Will you be at SXSW this year? This year, we’ll have another cadre of Industry Analysts there, please join me and my colleagues in learning, sharing, and networking at this annual festival.
I’m excited to return for my 5th interactive festival and it’s been fascinating to watch it grow and change to now include many business folks.
Altimeter Industry Analysts at SXSW, 2012
- Rebecca “Trail blazer” Lieb, Industry Analyst (Content, Media, Advertising) will be present Mar 9-13th
- Susan “Deadshot” Etlinger, Industry Analyst (Analytics, Data) will be present from, Mar 9-13th
- Chris “Shotgun” Silva, Industry Analyst (Mobile Strategy) will be present from, Mar 9-13th
- Brian “Wrangler” Solis, Industry Analyst (Business Transformation) will be present from, Mar 8-12th
- Jeremiah “Cowpoke” Owyang, Industry Analyst (Customer Strategy) will be present from, Mar 7-12th
Calendar: Let’s Connect!
- Blogger Lounge, Daily: The Altimeter Group will assemble when available at meet folks at the blogger lounge, in part sponsored by Brian Solis in the conference.
- Syncapse event, speech by Rebecca Lieb, Sat 12:30 Rebecca will be sharing her insights on content, future of media, and more at this sponsored event hosted by Syncapse.
- Book signing, Rebecca Lieb, Sat 2pm Rebecca will be signing her latest book Content Marketing at 2 Sat: Austin Convention Center in foyer of Ballroom G.
- Keynote by Brian Solis, Monday, Mar 12 Principal analyst Brian Solis will be presenting the The End of Business As Usual, at Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D, Monday, March 12, 3:30-4:30. Stay tuned for a special guest to attending with him on stage, you won’t want to miss this. (Update: It’s Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins)
- Panel, with Jeremiah Owyang and Netbase, 9:30 Intercontinental Hotel
Where will you be? Leave comments on the top panels and events where the Altimeter community can meetup, learn, and network. Looking forward to a great SXSW, get those boots on, stay hydrated and bring plenty of business cards.
Altimeter’s latest report now on Enterprise (inside of companies) social networking is now out from Charlene Li, author of Groundswell, Open Leadership and my business partner. She conducted thorough analysis by surveying 185 users, surveyed 81 ESN decision makers and interviewed 12 technology vendors.
Key findings that attracted my eye include:
- Long term adoption often unsuccessful beyond one department. What’s interesting is there’s lots of initial enthusiasm but a slow decline after deployment. In many cases, primary adoption occurred in the marketing/product section, IT, followed by sales and corporate communication.
- Highest adoption of fremium tools. Interesting breakdown of vendors, with self-service Yammer in the lead, followed by Chatter and Tellingent and IBM connections. What’s interesting is these fremium tools enter the market, get their hooks in and grow adoption and switch to premium offerings.
- Companies are measuring in the wrong way. Lack of metrics (or measuring the wrong way) by focusing on measuring conversations or engagement –rather than measuring improvement in relationships
Who said social media will reduce emails?
What’s interesting is that enterprise social networks don’t actually reduce internal email. The report also includes an actionable plan to get started, while there’s lots of details in the bullet points (filled with real world examples from real research interviews), they include four ways ESNs drive business value, including: 1) Encourage Sharing, 2) Capture Knowledge, 3) Enable Action, and 4) Empower people.
Open Research: Use it, Share it, and We’ll Publish More
We’re continuing to publish reports, and have a growing archive on our site, and will be doing a variety of webinars in support of these research findings. If you found them helpful, we look forward to you engaging with us in the conversation, and appreciate you using, sharing, and applying the findings.
You’ll find the full report embedded below which you can download, print and share, also read Charlene’s post.
Marketers, have you ever been in an agency pitch that focuses on the tool and channel and forgets about content? Or, from the other side of the table, have you ever had a client on the brand side ask you for your Twitter/FacebookPinterest strategy –but doesn’t have anything meaningful to say?
Our industry is afflicted with shiny object syndrome, a focus on the new tools, without thinking about the content that will drive it. As we mature and the tools make it easier to share information, companies need to be extra sensitive to the content that will be shared, both that’s created by the brand, and the customer.
Altimeter’s latest report by Industry Analyst Rebecca Lieb, takes that topic head on. This report had a thorough methodology that interviewed over 50 brands, agencies, vendors, and industry experts to find out how the industry is changing. The top six findings include the following trends:
- Visual information reigns supreme, from video to images to infographics.
- Mobile and location-based marketing are the second most-cited area into which marketers want to expand content initiatives.
- Marketers must manage flow and develop the ability to respond in real-time in social channels
- Bright, shiny objects, i.e. a fixation on newer channels and technologies, can distract from foundational channels, e.g. search, written content, such as blogs, and educational content, which is often essential in B2B channels.
- Budgets must increase to accommodate content channels such as video and mobile that require larger production and development investment.
- Marketers’ confidence in and reliance of content marketing is beginning to diminish their reliance on print and broadcast advertising, as well as public relations.
Marketers Confident in Future of Online Video, Social, MobileWhat does the future hold? This report offers an interesting aspiration state (Although the Red Bull case study shows some companies are doing this now) that companies who mature in this space can actually monetize their content –even if they’re not a media company. That’s right, even companies that sell soft drinks can build a lifestyle culture around their brand, and monetize the content created by their own community. This is perhaps one of the most powerful promises ever to marketers, to convert the perception of being a ‘cost center’ to a real profit center by developing a strategic content marketing plan.
Open Research: Use it, Share it, and We’ll Create More.
To learn more how companies will achieve this, read the report in the embed below. We look forward to your feedback as we track how content spreads across multiple tools, channels and mediums.