Know The Upsides –And Downsides Of Your Adoption Behavior
Individuals and companies should be deliberate in their adoption strategy, there are benefits and risks to each category. It’s been interesting watching different group adopt social technologies over the past few years, I can see who benefits from being first –and the pains to be a thought leader of both individuals and companies.
Above, this is the standard Rogers Adoption Curve, it’s important to point out that my matrix below only is in context of social technologies, it will vary from technology to technology. I found this take on the adoption stages of social technologies helpful in framing how I thought about the following matrix. I built this following matrix in the context of social technologies and adoption by both individuals and mixed in with organizations and industries.
Matrix: Social Technology Adoption Curve Benefits –and Downsides
||These brave souls take on new technologies, trial them, then will often evangelize them. I’d put those that adopted Twitter in 2006. or any entrepreneurs that creates new technologies fitting into these categories. From a corporate perspective, Dell was forced into this arena, and has benefited.
||Glory for being first, a thought and practice leader.. Will have learned from their mistakes, and have far more experience than any others. Will always be able to tout they were first.
||Very costly in terms of time, effort to find new technologies that are often flawed. Additionally, since innovation becomes cheaper and more accessible, this becomes more difficult as more entrants to the market launch products. Lastly, while these folks may be first for some technologies, they are often wrong for the many other technologies that did not take off.
||This behavior is exhibited by those that try out new technologies in a careful way, often thought leaders. Some analyst firms like Forrester adopted early, and the Tech industry deployed social. Agencies like Edelman, Razorfish have helped their clients.
||Learn from the failures of innovators, they reduce risk. Often they have the opportunity to explain how it works to others. Become the case studies that other groups follow
||Never first, and have to write the playbooks. They may adopt, but at higher costs than the majorities as the technology has not matured. Tech companies adopted social in 2005-2007 as an early industry, but a lack of measurement, and rapid tool change required great effort to stay current.
||Although thoughtful in their deployment, they adopt faster than the mainstream. in 2009, we saw industries like consumer packaged goods, finance, and healthcare adopt social technologies. I think of when mainstream Oprah joining Twitter as a defining moment as she was ahead of most celebrities and media.
||Technology starts to mature, reducing risk and costs. Standards emerge, although this group gets to help define mainstream adoption.
||Some of the cool factor leaves, and brands start to move in on social technologies, scaring off some innovators.
||This skeptical group only adopts when the mainstream does. Industries that only got on board with social when Obama, mainstream press, or celebrity adoption occurred fit here. Companies adopting in 2009 and beyond.
||Reduced risk from learning from who’s done it right and wrong, as well as benefits from standard proccesses, and consolidation of vendors.
||Not seen as thought leaders and don’t benefit from the residual buzz from being ‘cool’, instead come across as a ‘me too’./td>
||Still cautions in deployment, even after the technology has become mainstream. These folks will adopt social technologies in 2010 or later.
||Cookie cutter deployment from standardization and very little risk. Deployment may actually be faster and with less effort than those above.
||In balance with lower risk, lower opportunity for reward. No thought leadership, and little additional reputation or buzz value from the intended investment.
Matrix: Be Deliberate In Your Adoption Strategy
Each category has specific benefits and risks, but rather than just behaving in a way that comes natural, I encourage you in your personal and work adoption to be deliberate in your actions.
- Examine your organizations adoption patterns. First, define how quickly your organization responds and adopts to technologies, and factor into your considerations.
- Be a Category Ahead Of Your Company. If you’re responsible for new technologies at your company, your personal adoption should be a level or two ahead of the organizations adoption, as you cannot effectively deploy for your company if you don’t personally understand the impacts of the new technologies.
- Track The Category Ahead Of You. Find an individual that’s above your adoption category (the early adopter watches the innovator) and be sure to watch their behaviors and learn from them. Adopters are often blazing their own trail, and may not ever follow anyone.
My Strategy: Early Adopter –But Not Innovator
One thing is clear, being first doesn’t mean you’re right, in fact, the Innovators have a difficult time dealing with early and late majority, paving roads of opportunity for analysis, agencies, and consultants. As a result, I make a distinct effort to be an early adopter of new social technologies, but not the innovator, as I find I’d rather be more often right, and expend less energy trying to be first.
Leave a Comment. Share Your Adoption Strategy
Let’s learn from each other, I’d like to know about your adoption behavior and that of your company. Were you deliberate in choosing your adoption strategy? How does it hurt or help your company?
As Social Customers Become More Empowered, Organizations Must Have A Listening Strategy
As we approach 2010 planning companies need a strategy around listening. Sadly, most companies, and their agency partners don’t know why to listen or how. As a result, they must identify which stage of listening they are at, and then set a goal on which stage they see to aspire in 2010. I originally published this matrix for client workshops and a keynote presentation on developing listening and advocacy programs, and I’m going to continue to share more and blow-out each of my slides.
Web Strategy Matrix: The Eight Stages Of Listening
|1) No objective at all
||Organization has a listening program but has no goals, nor uses the information for anything resourceful
||Simple alerting tools, like Google Alerts and feedreaders will suffice.
||At the basic level, simple self-awareness. Yet without any action from the data, this is useless.
|2) Tracking of brand mentions
||Like traditional “clip reports” of media relations, companies now track mentions in the social space. Despite tracking there is no guidance on what to do next.
||Listening platform with report capability based on brand or product keywords. Radian 6, Visible Technologies, Techrigy/Alterian, Buzzmetrics and Cymfony, Dow Jones are providers.
||Improved self-awareness to track volume of information, yet unable to track depth, and tonality of conversations. As a result, not a full understanding of opportunities.
|3) Identifying market risks and opportunities
||This proactive process involves seeking out discussions online that may result in identifying flare-ups, or possible prospect opportunities.
||In addition to a listening platform staff must actively seek out discussions and signal to internal teams. Alerting tools, and listening platforms are required.
||Organization can reduce risk of flare ups before they become mainstream, identify prospects and poach unhappy competitors customers.
|4) Improving campaign efficiency
||Rather than just measure a marketing effort after it’s occurred, using tools to gauge during in-flight behavior yields real-time marketing efficiency.
||Dedicated resource to manage reactions, activity, and sentiment to a marketing effort, and the resources to make course corrections nearly real-time. Traditional web analytics tools like Omniture, Webtrends and Google Analytics are common.
||Campaigns can be more effective, as hot spots are bolstered, and dead spots are diminished.
|5) Measuring customer satisfaction
||In addition to customer satisfaction scores,organizations can measure real-time sentiment as customers interact. Sysomos and Backtype have focus areas into this space.
||Customer experience professionals will have to extend their scope to the social web, using a listening platform and sentiment analysis. Insight platforms like Communispace and Passenger offer online focus groups solutions.
||Brands can now measure impacts of real time satisfaction or frustration during the actual phases of customer interaction. Then identify areas of improvement during customer lifecycle
|6) Responding to customer inquiry
||This proactive response finds customers where they are (fish where fish are) in order to answer questions. Example: Comcastcares account on Twitter asks customers if they need help –then may respond.
||An active customer advocacy team that’s empowered, training, and ready to make real-time responses nearly around the clock.
||Customers will fill a greater sense of satisfaction, yet this teaches customers to ‘yell in public’ to get a response.
|7) Better understand customers
||Evolving the classic market research function, brands can improve their customer profiles and personas by adding social information to them.
||Social CRM systems are quickly emerging that tie together a customer record and their online behavior, locations, and preferences. Salesforce, SAP, both have partnerships with Twitter to synch data
||The opportunity to not only serve customers in their natural mediums, but to offer them a richer experience regardless of their customer touchpoints.
|8. Being proactive and anticipating customers
||Minority Report: This most sophisticated form actually anticipates what customers will say or do before they’ve done it. By looking at previous patterns of historical data, companies can put in place the right resources to guide prospects and customers.
||An advanced customer database, with a predictive application put in place, as well as a proactive team to reach out to customers before an incident has happened. Haven’t seen any such application yet.
||Identifying prospects and engaging them before competitors can yield a larger marketing funnel, or reducing customer frustration as problems are fixed before they happen.
Exercise: Self-Assess Culture, Roles, Process, Data, and Tools
Use this matrix to initiate a discussion within your company on which stage you’re at, then put a plan in place to grow to the next level. Do note, depending on size and complexity of the organization, different groups may be in more than one phase. First, identify the characteristics your company currently has, then define which phase you’re in:
- Does the organization have the right culture setup that’s ready to listen?
- Is the organization prepared to react to customer opinions? how about in real time?
- Are the processes in place to triage information to the right teams? How about during a real-time crises on a Saturday morning?
- Are the right roles in place to listen? Are proactive marketing and support teams trained, empowered, and ready to respond?
- Is there a single repository of customer information or is it currently fragmented around the enterprise
- Lastly, what technology platforms are in place to facilitate this strategy? ? Hint: choose this last –not first.
For Dialog: Which Stage Are Companies At?
Curious to hear your professional opinions, what stage do most companies think they’re at? In reality, what stage are they truly acting at?
Please translate into other languages, I’ll be happy to link back to you
Thanks to the team at Foreplay, a digital agency, making the slides available in English.
Companies approach social in one of two ways: The first way, companies experiment with little order or goals, the second way, companies have clear goals and intend to invest in a deeper relationship.
1) Shotgun: Toyota’s Yaris Campaign Spreads Chances
While experimentation is always important, companies must do so in the context of a goal, whether it’s to test and learn, or just to prove to management it can be done. Take for example Toyota’s latest campaign, which is much akin to interactive marketing or advertising (not social engagement), where they’ve funded eight agencies to spend $15,000 only on their social marketing campaigns. The goal is to see who can make it work and stick, then they’ll spend more money with the firm that achieves ‘viral’ growth. This shotgun approach has caught the criticism of Laurel Papworth, she’s right at vegas, this is called spreading your bets on the roulette table.
2) Laser: Ford’s Fiesta Movement Amplifies a Smaller Target
On the other hand, take for example the competitive car, the Ford Fiesta, which also plays the young hip efficient car for today’s youth. Ford’s approach was more focused, they put most of their eggs into reaching only 100 drivers that were social savvy influencers to get them to spread the word. This “Fiesta Movement” (NYT) was targeted at social influencers, empowered them although it’s unknown what the final impacts of the expensive loaner car program is.
Web Strategy Matrix: Social Marketing Approaches, Shotgun vs Laser
||Hiring multiple agencies to conduct social campaigns
||Building a deeper relationship with a core group of influencers
||Interactive Advertising, “Fishing”
||Influencer Relations, ‘Friending”
||Efficient way to get started, identify hot spots to pursue.
||Deeper relationships with core influencers who may spread word of mouth, and become brand evangelists.
||Brand burnout on community, risk of appearing disingenuous
||Spending more resources on a smaller few reduces chances of spread.
||Inexpensive. In this case, it was 15k X 8 agenices, for a total of 120k.
||Costly. Relationship marketing estimated 50-100k in agency costs. Loaning 100 economy cars at 15k each around 1.5 million.
||Ideal for the company that doesn’t understand social marketing and is willing to test on their own customers.
||Ideal for company that’s ready to invest time, people and money on relationships.
Brands Should First Start With Understanding Customers
So which way is better? First, let’s start with the most important factor, people. While padding the top line for revenues in a slumping economy continues to be important, it’s important to note that burning out your relationships with your community can cause long-term drain. Rather than test eight campaigns on a community causing ‘brand overload’, first do the research to find out the social behaviors (we call this SocialGraphics), identify who they trust online, and where they are located at online before doing anything. By first starting with data, you can reduce eight campaigns to two, or maybe one, and avoid burning out your brand –and community.
So what does this means to Toyota and Ford? Toyota’s social efforts come across as young, they’re not sure what they’re doing so they’re hoping to see which (interactive+advertising) agency will figure it out for them. On the other hand, Ford comes across as slightly more mature as having true influencer relationships (Similar to PR Influence Relations) and spend the time to build these real-world relationships.
Update: Thanks to Barbara for the “Fishing vs Friending” analogy. Apparently the CEO of Ford read this post, welcome, an honor.