Archive for June, 2010

Keynote: Three Ways Business Must Scale With Social Technologies


Guess what? For corporations, social media doesn’t scale.

Below is my keynote presentation at the Ragan Cisco conference in the heart of silicon valley in San Jose today. I was asked to present, where I see the future of social business, and I believe that many companies are headed towards a very challening cross roads: they won’t be able to scale.

Why can’t businesses scale with social technologies? If you work for a healthy company, you’ll always have more customers than employees. As social network adoption continues to move “up and to the right” in adoption graphs, the amount of discussion generated from customers is only going to increase while your internal social strategists and community managers may only marginally increase.

In the above presentation, I give three pragmatic examples of how businesses can –and must scale–when it comes to social technologies. They include:

  • Using all the voices in your ecosystem (the Rings of Influence) not just being the only ones to talk.
  • Develop more customer to customer technologies that leverage your customers to do your marketing, sales, and support.
  • Invest in Social CRM systems, while immature now, they will eventually help companies respond in real time –and maybe even anticipate customer need. (read the full report on Social CRM)
  • In addition to talking about the challenge, I give specific strategies, examples of who’s doing it, and pragmatic insights on what to do.

I look forward to speaking at your internal or public event, contact me anytime.

Thanks to David Thomas from SAS, he still practices the live practice of live blogging, see his notes here.

Slides and Recording: Social Marketing Analytics Research Findings


After launching the research report ‘Social Marketing Analytics‘ (also embedded below), my co analyst (also from Forrester) John Lovett and I recorded this webinar yesterday that had over 800 registrants and 300+ attendees during the hour long presentation.

In the spirit of ‘Open Research’ we encourage you to use, share, and adopt our research framework to improve your work, abiding by our creative commons licensing of attribution and non-commercial usage.

Social Marketing Analytics: A New Framework for Measuring Results in Social Media, by John Lovett and Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter Group on Vimeo.
Above: Webinar recording going over the framework, and our additional insights from the research

Social Marketing Analytics

View more presentations from Jeremiah Owyang.

Above: The accompanying slides, which can also be downloaded from Slideshare.

Above: The Research Report that started it all, which you can also download and see nitty gritty details

Recognizing the Ecosystem
This was completed with the community in mind, and we’d like to thank the following folks for their contrabutions:

Our co-authors
Charlene Li, Eric T. Peterson, Christine Tran

Our Ecosystem Contributors
Lisa Barone, Connie Benson, David Berkowitz, Blake Cahill, Adam Coomes, Monica Cordina, Bill Gassman, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, Rob Key, Justin Kistner, Scott Lake, Matt Langie, Alex Mann, Louis Marascio, John McCory, Aaron Neumann, Katie Delahaye Paine, Sean Power, Chris Ramsey, Boaz Ronkin, Shiv Singh, R “Ray” Wang, Alan Webber, Jennifer Zeszut

Vendor Contributors
Alterian SM2, Biz360, Cymfony, Lithium, Omniture, Radian6, Scout Labs, Social Radar StatsIT, SWIX, Trackur, Trendrr, LugIron, Visible Technologies, Webtrends

Next Steps
If you’re a social analytics technology or service provider (brand monitoring, web analytics, business intelligence) and want to speak with John and I, we can help apply this framework to your business. If you’re an analytics professional and need help applying this to making it your own, please contact us: john.lovett at or jeremiah at

Related Research From Altimeter Group:

We will continue to publish our research findings available to the public, please support us by spreading it to others.

Thanks for attending, I’ll be announcing some more research in the coming weeks.

Update: More Growth at Altimeter Group


We’re ten months in since I joined Altimeter Group, and we’re continuing to grow, nearly quadrupled from 4 to over 15 folks. I’ll give a brief update, with links to relevant resources.

  • Recently, we’ve hired Susan Etlinger, our first consultant, who’s going to work closely with Charlene and myself. Clients will get the chance to work with her on projects with me related to social business, research on consumer social behaviors, strategy, and getting your company ready internally.
  • Today we announced bringing on board Marcia Conner, a partner focused on enterprise collaboration.  She stems from consulting and research on the enterprise space, including learning, collaboration, microsharing.  Think of her as my internal counterpart.
  • Charlene’s book “Open Leadership” (the Groundswell sequel) is going to be on two best seller lists, they are best suited for your executives who need to understand how social can improve leadership.  I’ll update this post as the book continues to spread.
  • We expanded into a new HQ, which we affectionally call “The Hangar”, (pics) It’s located in the next tower over from our previous building, it’s over 3000 sq feet overlooking the San Mateo hills, open and airy.  We’re over 15 folks now, including with a lot of books (the top shelf are books authored by partners) and we’re filling it quickly.  Our address is here.
  • Open Research is working.  We’re sharing our research reports, webinars, and slides from speeches with the market –not hiding it behind a paywall.  As you share it, more interest increases (see numbers), fueling our ability to do more research.  Thank you for your help.  We’re still getting ‘ink‘ in press and media articles and continue to take briefings from vendors doing interesting things.
  • In some bad news, my dog @GoodBoyRumba isn’t allowed in the Hangar (says the property manager), despite Rumba’s intentions to be a proud mascot.

We have more clients signing up, as a result, we’re expanding rapidly, and have a few job openings in sales, accounts, and  a research intern who will work closely with me.  Tomorrow, we’ll be having an all hands, and our folks will be flying in from Colorado, and East Coast to meet at the Hangar.  Stay tuned, I plan to give some exciting updates soon about some new research, events, and hires in the near future.

One last thing.  I learned a whole ton about business by starting my own.  In fact, it’s kinda hard to think that an industry analyst who hasn’t run their own business really knows what it feels like for entrepreneurs to go out and build their own dream.  I have a new found respect for all the entrepreneurs that I interact with frequently, it ain’t easy, I’m learning everyday.

People on the Move in the Social Business Industry: June 6, 2010


The job changes continue, as the market continues to plow forward.  Expect more senior level social strategist positions to get filled as social media becomes a mainstay in the integrated communications across multiple departments at companies. I’ve been tracking new hires in this space since 2007, see the archives.


People on the Move in the Social Business Industry

  • Gavin Baker, formerly responsible for social and emerging media at Ruby Tuesday Inc., has joined Moxley Carmichael as director of digital media.
  • Michael Brenner joins SAP Americas as Director Online and Social Media Driving focusing on paid online media and social strategy for SAP North America
  • Kerry Munro joins Syncapse Corp as Chief Operating Officer Manages for day-to-day client and growth strategy for global social technology company
  • Paull Young joins ‘charity: water‘ as Director of Digital Engagement and Fundraising who will focused on leading digital strategy to meetorganizational fundraising goals.
  • Evan Hamilton joins UserVoice as Community Manager He’ll be responsible for reading and responding to community feedback, encouraging evangelism and helping spread good community management practices. I’ve worked closely with Evan in the past, and have built a friendship with him, what a great hire and a true champion of customers.
  • Craig Hepburn joins Nokia Global Director, Digital To increase focus and visibility on social media and digital strategies in alignment with Nokia business objectives.
  • Alan Belniak joins PTC Director of Social Media Marketing and will serve as an internal consultant, leading both strategic and tactical approaches toward better incorporating social tools and themes into PTC’s products and connecting with and engaging customers.
  • Erica Swallow joins Mashable as Editorial Assistant focused on writing and editing features posts for
  • Vadim Lavrusik joins Mashable as a Community Manager community outreach and social media management.
  • Colleen Reilly joins as Vice President of Marketing and she will manage the marketing and content teams.
  • Scott Derringer joins as Vice President of Product and he will manage the product and engineering team
  • Apurva Desai as Vice President of Finance who will lead and manage all finance and administration at Scrapblog

Submit a new hire

Seeking a job?

  1. See the Web Strategy Job Board, which includes paid submissions from the top brands in the world.
  2. Community Manager jobs by Jake McKee
  3. Social Media Jobs by Chris Heuer
  4. Social Media jobs, filtered by SimplyHired
  5. Social Media Job Network by James Durbin

Additional Resources

Please congratulate the new hires by leaving a comment below.

Personal vs Career Brands, it’s all in the Mindset


First, I need to set the context for this post, it’s mainly in regards to individuals in the workplace, not so much applicable to celebrities, musicians, or politicians.

While anyone who blogs or actively tweets is creating a brand around their persona, there are two fundamental approaches.  This trend is unavoidalbe as the brands of individuals are popping up, and they are sometimes supercededing that of the brand.  Yet, as you look deeper into branding of individuals, you’ll see there are two different kinds:

  1. The first approach is called a ‘personal’ brand, which focuses on that of the individual.  The ‘personal’ brand focuses on the individual, essentially focusing on ‘me’.  While there’s nothing wrong with that, it is fundamentally a different mindset from the second type.
  2. The second type of approach is what I call  a ‘career brand’.  The difference is simple.  This is a brand that’s focused on “what can you do for your clients or employer”, with a focus more on ‘we’.

It’s easy to spot the difference between the two brands, you can see it in the content, or in the the focus.  And employers are paying attention to this too. Some brands want to promote their employees to have personal or career brands, but at the same time, they’re fearful, as they now become an asset that can easily be ‘sucked’ right out to another firm.  The real question is this: can a companies business model support those types of brands?

I’m actively trying to focus on a career brand, and write for interactive and digital marketers at corporate. This blog is written by me, but for them.  Love to hear your feedback on this topic, which was a point of controversy during my speech in Hong Kong.

So in the end, there’s a place for both, I’m suggesting you be cognizant of which type is for you, and be deliberate as you foster either your personal or career brand.