Jeremiah: Working at Forrester is a capstone in my career, it could also be for you. Charles Telep, Forrester’s talent recruiter is guest posting here at the Web Strategy blog to find my replacement. I fully endorse working at Forrester here for a plethora of reasons, here’s just a few: 1) Jump start your career, 2) Work with some of the world’s smartest people, 3) Get connected with nearly everyone in your industry, (lots of travel) 4) Learn trends and market movement 5) Great upside opportunities, pay, benefits, and culture. 6) Develop analytical, consulting, and speaking skills, 7) Learn what “4C2Q1S” means. 8: Drink fine French champagne!
Are you up to the challenge? Do you know someone who is?
A bit about Forrester: We’re a global, independent Research firm that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. We research, strategize, consult, and help our clients with their biggest tech challenges. Forrester is a challenging workplace, and we’d like you to help identify how technology is changing consumer behavior.
The Forrester Culture: Our CEO, Chairman, and Founder—George Colony (Blog / Twitter) has been quoted as saying: “If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be here.” We’re a smart, innovative company that hires people of the same caliber. I tell candidates, “We hire rock stars and let them do their thing.”
• Am I in the Bay area (or ready to be in the Bay Area)?
• Am I influential in the social community? Questions like “How many Twitter followers do I have” or “how many comments do I average per blog post” should come to mind.
• Would I know any of the names of those who comment on your blog, link to your blog or follow you on Twitter (to represent quality of influence, not just quantity)?
• Am I interested in covering the application of communities and social networks for interactive marketing programs?
• Could I effectively analyze the future of social technology, and organizational models that support social media marketing?
• Can I articulate how social tools enhance the core analyst job?
Thanks for reading this; I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you Forrester! When I announced I’d be joining Forrester nearly two years ago, I knew it would have been one of the best moves in my career. I certainly feel I was right. Being a Forrester Analyst is a top role to have in any industry, and one that I’ll bear proudly for the rest of my professional career.
Working with the industry’s smartest minds in marketing, strategy, and social has been fantastic, the quality of my colleagues has always kept me learning. During my tenure I’ve been given the opportunity to segment the crowded community platform market, identify spending trends in social, and forecast the future of the social web. As one would expect, one of the greatest benefits of being an industry analyst is seeing where trends are pointing and identify the direction of the market. Having studied this market in-depth as an analyst, I’m looking forward to getting back into the field to apply them.
For those currently working with Forrester, my ever-gracious hiring manager Christine gives details on my transition and will keep the dialog going. As she points out, there’s a whole team of analysts that are focused on the social marketing, I’d like to recognize a few of my immediate colleagues Nate Elliott, Sean Corcoran, Emily Riley and of course luminary Josh Bernoff, who’s now working on his next book. I’ve relied on them for research and projects, and you should too.
Thank you so much for letting me serve the social space as an industry analyst –I look forward to the years of growth ahead. So let’s keep in touch, I want to get your feedback about my next role that I’ll be announcing next week, you can email me at jeremiah_owyang at yahoo.com or connect with me on Twitter.
I often get asked by brands: “How should we organize our company for social media?” or “Which roles do we need”, or “Which department is in charge”. So for our latest report (clients can access all the details) answers just that, it has data and graphs about spending, brand maturity in the social space, which department ‘owns’ the program, and how companies are organizing.
Companies organize in three distinct models
For this post, let’s focus in on how companies are organizing. There are three basic models that I’ve observed and surveyed brands:
The Tire (Distributed): Where each business unit or group may create its own social media programs without a centralized approach. We call this approach the “tire,” as it originates at the edges of the company.
The Tower (Centralized): We refer to this centralization as the “tower” — a standalone group within a company that’s responsible for social media programs, often within corporate marketing or corporate communicaitons.
The Hub and Spoke (Cross Functional): Like the hub on a bicycle wheel, a cross-functional group that represents multiple stakeholders across the company assembles in the middle of the organization. The hub facilitates resource sharing and cross-functional communications (via the “spokes” in the wheel) to those at the edge of the organization (or the “tire”)
The above graphic shows how brands we surveyed are organized
Which way should companies organize?
We believe the most sophisticated and effecient way is the Hub and Spoke, which provides centralized resources that can support business units. The business units still have the freedom and flexibility to dialog with the market –and should be in alignment with what other spokes are doing. Social doesn’t impact one department –but impacts marketing, pr, product, services, support, and development –every customer touchpoint.
Remember: 80% is Strategy only 20% is Technology
On a related note, thanks to heavy collaboration with colleague Zach Hofer-Shall we’ve also published a report for clients on a community launch checklist. This checklist reminds brands that 80% of their success is dependent on understanding their customers, defining an objective, and assembling the right strategy that encompasses: plans, roles, process, budgets, measurement, and training –not a focus on technology.
The faster brands can realize that approaching social marketing and collaboration isn’t about technology, but about process and change management the better off they are. You’ll find simliar thoughts from David Armano –who’s scoping out different models within their framework of social business design.
Love to hear from you: Which way is your brand organized? In a tire? tower? or hub and spoke. In my experience, I often ask stakeholders in companies to vote by raising their hands on which model they think they are –most often, not everyone agrees –but most want to evolve to hub and spoke. Try polling your internal teams to start a lively discussion.
Today’s social experience is disjointed because consumers have separate identities in each social network they visit. A simple set of technologies that enable a portable identity will soon empower consumers to bring their identities with them — transforming marketing, eCommerce, CRM, and advertising. IDs are just the beginning of this transformation, in which the Web will evolve step by step from separate social sites into a shared social experience. Consumers will rely on their peers as they make online decisions, whether or not brands choose to participate. Socially connected consumers will strengthen communities and shift power away from brands and CRM systems; eventually this will result in empowered communities defining the next generation of products.
We found that technologies trigger changes in consumer adoption, and brands will follow, resulting in five distinct waves, they consist of:
The Five Eras of the Social Web:
1) Era of Social Relationships: People connect to others and share
2) Era of Social Functionality: Social networks become like operating system
3) Era of Social Colonization: Every experience can now be social
4) Era of Social Context: Personalized and accurate content
5) Era of Social Commerce: Communities define future products and services
Timing of the Five Overlapping Eras:
It’s important to note that these eras aren’t sequential, but instead are overlapping. We’ve already entered and have seen maturity for the era of social relationships, have entered social functionality but haven’t seen true utility, and are starting to see threads of social colonization with early technologies like Facebook connect. Soon these federated identities will empower people to enter the era of social context with personalized and social content. The following diagram demonstrates how we should expect to see the eras play out in the future –with social commerce the furthest out.
Interviews with 24 of the top Social Companies:
Research isn’t done in a vacuum, that’s why we conducted qualitative research to find out what we should come to expect. We came to these conclusions based on interviews with executives, product managers, and strategists at the following 24 companies: Appirio, Cisco Eos, Dell, Facebook, Federated Media Publishing, Flock, Gigya, Google (Open Social/stack team), Graphing Social Patterns (Dave McClure), IBM (SOA Team), Intel (social media marketing team), KickApps, LinkedIn, Meebo, Microsoft (Live team), MySpace, OpenID Foundation (Chris Messina), Plaxo, Pluck, Razorfish, ReadWriteWeb, salesforce.com, Six Apart, and Twitter.
How Brands Should Prepare
What’s interesting isn’t this vision for the future, but what it holds in store for brands, as a result, companies should prepare by:
Don’t Hesitate: These changes are coming at a rapid pace, and we’re in three of these eras by end of year. Brands should prepare by factoring in these eras into their near term plans. Don’t be left behind and let competitors connect with your community before you do.
Prepare For Transparency: People will be able to surf the web with their friends, as a result you must have a plan. Prepare for every webpage and product to be reviewed by your customers and seen by prospects –even if you choose not to participate.
Connect with Advocates: Focus on customer advocates, they will sway over prospects, and could defend against detractors. Their opinion is trusted more than yours, and when the power shifts to community, and they start to define what products should be, they become more important than ever.
Evolve your Enterprise Systems: Your enterprise systems will need to connect to the social web. Social networks and their partners are quickly becoming a source of customer information and lead generation beyond your CRM system. CMS systems will need to inherit social features –pressure your vendors to offer this, or find a community platform.
Shatter your Corporate Website: In the most radical future, content will come to consumers –rather than them chasing it– prepare to fragment your corporate website and let it distribute to the social web. Let the most important information go and spread to communities where they exist; fish where the fish are.
If you translate this blog post, I’ll add your link here and credit you.
This project took a team effort, and I’d like to thank Josh Bernoff a guiding force in my career, Emily Bowen who kept the project going, Cynthia Pflaum for the quantitative data, Megan Chromik in our editing team for the polish, and Jon Symons in our PR team for the media outreach.
Forrester’s Marketing Forum in Orlando Florida, see other photos tagged FMF09
Yesterday’s theme was to take risks and engage in innovation –even in times of economic hardship. Armed and excited with examples from the speakers and panels, the conference was now focused on the ‘how to’, with a focus on engaging your customers to be involved, guide, and lead your company in tandem with your own leadership.
Forrester’s Peter Burris: Engaging the Innovative Customer
First we heard from Forrester’s Peter Burris, who focused on the theme o engaging your innovative customer, he suggested that as you take risks, let your innovative customers be your guide. The conference focus met the needs of multiple industries, and Peter gave data and insight not just how B2C can win but how B2B customers’ reliance on each other –and social tools – changes the marketing game. He referenced IBM’s Sandy Carter’s programs as best in class for bringing community into the forefront of B2B marketing including how they’ve integrated community into next week’s IMPACT event.
Peter brings forth a framework to help marketers plan for innovation: PLOT a path forward, which includes: Persona, Develop customer needs through social interactions, Location: Allow customers to create groups, and gives the example that Adobe hosts 700 user groups. Serena software embeds customers in its development & launch processes. Then Option and finally, Test.
His recommendations were very clear for engaging innovative customers:
Position marketing as a resource that B2B customers can use to drive better business outcomes.
Blend social media with traditional tactics to create new marketing forms –and new levels of productivity.
Align marketing and development to lower the risks
Ending notes: Innovative customers are ready, willing, and –thanks to social media—able to guide your efforts to manage risk.
Case Example: Microsoft’s Craig Dewar on Community
Next, we heard from Craig Dewar of Microsoft, hailing from New Zealand, he discussed how Microsoft has engaged. His first example, Craig gives the example how Microsoft launched a gaming console into a saturated market where Sony was a leader, and they launched the Xbox product. Each Xbox user can establish their own online identity and can interact with others. As each new game came out a new forum and dialog was formed. The second example is Channel 9 an online community for developers. The third example is Microsoft Dynamics Community, a CRM tool. The goals are: learning, networking, support, and feedback.
Even if you build it, they may not come.
Critical Mass in a community is hard and will take longer than you think.
You won’t get community right, so be prepared to optimize.
Want to learn more? Blog Coverage from David Berkowitz
Long time friend David Berkowitz covered the many sessions, and even was adding pictures in near real time in his live blogging. Pretty dang impressive, even if I may say so myself. See all his posts that are tagged “conferences” to get more detailed coverage of the event. You can also see the hundreds of tweets tagged FMF09, and if you live blogged any of the sessions, leave a comment below.
I enjoyed this year’s show, it’s amazing that we had around 500 attendees registered even during a tight economy, it goes to show that now is the time for marketing to step up and innovate. I enjoyed having dinner with clients and drinking a bit too much EJ Gallow wine, heh. I was told that we had a wait list of over 30 vendors that wanted to be in the showcase, it was currently filled to capacity, so the demand for partners who wanted to help brands is clear. It was universally said that Forrester’s Shar stole the show, even with her opening musical rendition (see video from day 1, about 9 minutes in). I quick Forrester factoid, Forrester keynotes are encouraged to rehearse 20 times, many times in front of colleagues. We’ve already several more forums lined up, including the Marketing Consumer Forum in Oct in Chicago, see you there.
Here’s the archive of the live ustream of Day 2 opening keynotes.
Forrester’s Christine Spivey Overby kicked off the conference, first reminiscing on how great innovation comes out of times of economic struggle. Her example, which is so suited for Forrester’s marketing conference in Orlando, is Walt Disney’s creative genius to develop an iconic entertainment franchise. She stresses that now is the time to do marketing differently by thinking differently and embracing innovation.
[Marketers should innovate now, despite the perceived risk]
Why innovate now:
VP/Principal Analyst on the Interactive Marketing team, Shar VanBoskirk spoke next. She indicates that a recent forecast shows that mobile, social, email, display, and search marketing will increase at a CGR of 17% in 2014. She gives some funny examples of some silly Twitter examples from overzealous customers. Risks: we take them because of the thrill, or the innovation.
A marketing program development that you can pursue within your own role in order to solve problems or improve business results. It’s not limited to your CMO or your corporate strategy group. An accessible innovation should have the following traits:
Enhance: Replace incumbent channel with an unproven one.
Include: Incorporate community perspective
Empathize: Relating to your community
Iterate: Speeds developing
Shar notes that BestBuy’s remix is a great example of innovating during a recession. They’ve provided an API for third party developers – I’ve outlined the program – the most unique is GPS discovery tool and Camel. With all innovation comes risk, in Best Buy’s case the risk is letting anyone use brand assets.
7-11 Takes Risks with Simpsons tie-in
Next, we had Rita Bargerhuff, the VP of Marketing, discussing how 7-11 takes risks. She outlines there are four requirements before diving into risk: 1) is it right for your Brand 2) is it right for consumers 3) is it right for internal stakeholders and 4) Is it right for the environment.
Rita eloquently gave a case study of how they aligned the 7-11 brand with the popular Simpsons movie, which while was risky as the show paints “Kwik-e-mart” in a culturally sensitive parody, see a public flickr set. Taking the risk required intensive stakeholder buy-in, which resulted in movie tie-ins, movie product tie-in (squishee), and even creating a Kwik-e-mart store. Did it pay off? Yes, there were lines wrapped around the store to get into the store.
Her closing remarks? “Success leads to success You’ll attract new business partners” well spoken.