Archive for the ‘Reports’ Category

Upcoming Altimeter Research Report: Integration of Paid, Owned, and Earned


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:

  1. Earned (social content) has become mainstream. We’re past the point of experimentation. Nearly every industry requires mass deployment.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. Brands that integrate paid, owned and earned media will benefit because they will reach customers in the most effective manner.
  5. 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  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

Enterprise Social Networking: Focus on Relationships (Altimeter Report)


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.

Fig. 5 Enterprise Social Networks Have Only Moderate Impact On Business Goals
Key findings that attracted my eye include:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.



Buyers Guide: A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation (Altimeter Report)


Get account control now –or risk a career of continual social media sanitation. To match the growing consumer adoption of social media, many companies have launched social media efforts with little planning. As social media spreads beyond corporate communications and marketing, business groups are deploying social media without a standardized process. In fact, enterprise class corporations (those with over 1,000 employees) have an average of 178 social media accounts and this number will only grow if left unchecked. Companies that don’t control these accounts are at risk of having abandoned accounts, lack of consistent experience, or untrained employees creating a crisis.

Join Altimeter’s webinar to discuss this report.
We’ll cover the market trends, industry problems, provide new data not in this report, give insight to the future of this growing space. We’ll also be featuring case studies of success of how top brands are showing success, please submit case studies for review. Register for the webinar on Feb 7th, 2012, and we’ll dive in deeper.

This report puts companies in control based on business needs.
Buyers are confused by the number of vendors claiming similar offerings, and as a result spend months making decisions on who to short list. To fast forward the industry, this report serves to accelerate the process, this report contains the following elements:

  1. A Thorough Methodology: including 71 interviews, a survey to 144 buyers, a survey to 27 vendors, and analysis from a dedicated research team. Read page 4 for more details
  2. Five Business Use Cases: Based on interviews with buyers, we sought to find out their needs, rather than focus on software features.
  3. Altimeter Radar: a decision-making matrix that will help buyers to determine which vendors are best for them.
  4. Pragmatic Guide: At the end of the report, we feature 11 steps with examples and pitfalls to avoid guide all buyers must complete.
  5. A resource checklist: buyers should use to ensure that they make the best decision with regard to their social media.


Above is the full report, feel free to read, download and share.

This is just the start of this growing space.
We coined the Social Media Management Systems market and started the first industry list in March, 2010 (read all the posts on this topic). Over the past few quarters, we worked closely with Altimeter Research’s Andrew Jones, and we’ve compiled over 13,000 pieces of data about vendors and what buyers need, case studies, and dozens of interview notes. Our experience helping 3 global companies make decisions on these SMMS vendors has helped us to realize the struggle the entire industry is going to have when it comes to keeping track of this fast-moving space. This report, which is a snapshot in time, documents the industry, and we’ll continue to publish changes in this space over the coming years.

Five Use Cases for Social Media Management
Above Graphic: First, Align by the Five Use Cases for Social Media Management.Altimeter Radar:  Choose The Right Social Media Management Systems based on Business Needs
Above Graphic: Then, Choose The Right Social Media Management Systems based on Business Needs.

Open Research: Use it, share it, and we’ll publish more.
While there are many types of decision-making reports on the market, this one is unique for the following reasons: 1) We realize that one size does not fit all and we do not lump all vendors into one diagram; instead we segment by use case to show different capabilities, 2) Rather than focusing on enterprise class only, we include those that can serve medium-size companies, as this space is dynamically changing, 3) We publish under Open Research so it can be read by all, rather than sold by subscription, and 4) We disclose our client relationships, including vendors that are clients that were in this report, so you have the utmost confidence in our recommendations.

During the editing process, we pulled out pages and pages of content in the editing process, so expect many future blog posts, webinars, and speeches to continue this discussion.

Related Resources
In the following section, we cross-link to thoughtful reviews of the research report. We look forward to comments from those in the community.

Related Research

Related Webinars

News Media

Domain Experts

Agency Reviews

Software Vendor Reviews

Other Notes

Update Jan 5th end of day: We corrected the report to notate a correct total of 71 interviews, not 70.

(Report) Social Media Crises On Rise: Be Prepared by Climbing the Social Business Hierarchy of Needs


What’s a crises? We did analysis on the list of social media crises aka “punkings” to find out what went wrong, why, and what should have been done.

First, a workable definition on Social Media Crises for this report: A social media crisis is an issue that arises in or is amplified by social media, and results in negative mainstream media coverage, a change in business process, or financial loss.

To refine further, while crises may happen on a daily basis we wanted to focus on crises that had the actual outcomes: We categorized each crisis according to three severity levels: Level 1 is for crises that result in negative coverage in mainstream media; Level 2 is for crises that result in negative coverage in mainstream media, and a significant response or change by the company; and Level 3 is for crises that result in short-term financial impact.


Above: Social Media Crises (as defined above) are on the Rise

To make matters worse, we also saw a slight uptick from unavoidable NGO attacks against brands (like Greenepeace vs Nestle/Mattel), which is a new form of one organization and its members attacking another, causing their social media efforts to quickly be overrun from hundreds to thousands of NGO fans.

Most Crises Could Have Been Diminished or Averted if Company Was PreparedCauses of Social Media Crises

Above: Yet most can be Diminished or Averted, and Causes of Most Crises Originate from Company

Interestingly, we found that 76% of these crises could have been prevented or diminished had the brand been prepared and had proper training, staff, and processes to respond (Read the report in detail to learn more).


Above: Embedded is the report, which details the methodology, findings, and recommendations. 30k views in 24 hours on slideshare.

In this Report, Learn How Advanced Companies Prepared
What you’ll find in this report, is we found out how the advanced companies (I’d also add that many of them have experienced crises as a turning point, like Dell) used this to their advantage to spearhead internal change momentum.   We found there are four common ways brands are investing in internal readiness, and we dissect their business benefits, as well as where they need to continue to invest.   Here’s the full report, embedded below, you can download it from slideshare at well, there are no registration pages.

Social Business Hierarchy of Needs
Be Prepared: Companies Must Ascend the Social Business Hierarchy of Needs
In a tribute to Maslow’s work on our individual hierarchy of needs, we noticed a pattern than companies undergo a similar growth.   Companies must fulfill the requirements at the bottom of the pyramid and then layer on top of success, building each layer.  To date, we found only a few companies that are getting near enlightenment, which we will feature in our upcoming work. Here’s a pattern we found from the advanced companies:

1) Foundation: First, develop a business plan and put governance in place.
2) Safety: Then, get organized by anointing a team and process to deal with crises.
3) Formation: Next, connect business units to increase coordination and reduce duplication.
4) Enablement: Grow by letting them prosper – give business units the support and flexibility to reach goals
5) Enlightenment: Finally, weave real-time market response into business processes and planning.

Open Research: Read it, Apply it, Spread it
The more you spread it, the easier it is for me to produce more reports. This research was 100% funded by Altimeter Group, and we are releasing it under Creative Commons so you can use it in your planning, presentations, and blog posts. You can download the report directly from Slideshare, and use the images provided below for your slides. I’ve embedded sharing buttons on the upper right side of this post, for your convenience. This six month plus research project was conducted by a team, and I’d like to thank Andrew Jones, Christine Tran, and Andrew Nguyen.

Coverage: Related Links About This Report
I’ll cross link to valuable reviews and mentions.


Brand Side

Press, Media, Interviews

Thought Leaders


Social Software Providers

Professional Organizations

Learn More: Upcoming Speeches and Webinars Discussing These Findings
Here’s a few upcoming locations I’ll be discussing these findings, to learn more, see my speaking page.

Related Reports:  Career Path of the Social Strategist, How to Budget for Social Business, Facebook Best Practices, view all research.

Update: Thanks Jon Spangler for noticing a typo, which I’ve corrected