Resolutions 2010: Interpreting Marketing Trends Report 2010: Where does Social Media Stand?

Post found at http://jeffbullas.com/2009/08/13/marketing-trends-report-2009-where-does-social-media-stand

2009 August 13

by jeffbullas

Social Media 3What are the marketing trends for 2010 and where does Social Media Figure in the mix? A report by Equation Research indicates some interesting trends that highlight that “Social Media” is certainly past being a fad and becoming mainstream.

The 5  Highlights

1. Current and Intended Social Media Use

  • Yes, it’s currently part of our marketing activity 59%
  • We’re planning to implement social media 28%
  • No, we’re not using or planning to use social media 13%

When you break this down by company size, there seems to be a schism between Social Media use among small brands. Half (56%) of these smaller companies are currently pursuing Social Media tactics, yet almost a third (29%) are not planning any move into the Social Media space –small B2B in particular seem reluctant. Note: My experience in presenting proposals and interacting with different size companies seems to bear this out

Implication:

The adoption of Social Media is well past critical mass –multiple published studies support this finding. While the quality of the implementations is difficult to assess, Social Media is now table-stakes. No business professional should be without a solid understanding of how this new world affects them.

2. Barriers To Using Social Media

This report seems to reflect similiar issues from another survey which I highlighted in a previous post “Survey Reveals: The Top 5 Social Media Channels Companies Are Using” where the survey conducted by Minneapolis-based Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law in July 2009 also mentioned very similiar barriers to using Social Media, with the two major barriers being

1. “We don’t know enough about social media to know where to begin” (Fear of the unknown and lack of knowledge) 37% of respondents

Note : This highlights an opportunity for social media consultants to educate and provide expertise

2. “There’s no established way to measure the effectiveness of social media (ROI)” 37% of those surveyed

For a more detailed list of the barriers for companies avoiding using social media see my recent post “28 Reasons Why The CEO Is Afraid Of Social Media”

3. Main Social Media Channels

Again the Top 5 are very similiar to those revealed in the survey conducted by Minneapolis-based Russell Herder

  1. Facebook Page 89%
  2. Online videos 68%
  3. Facebook Group 58%
  4. Twitter 53%
  5. Blogs 53%

4. How are you measuring the effectiveness of your social media efforts?

  • Tracking website hits 58%-70% (This range is dependent on the size of the company)
  • Tracking links on sites 39%-45%
  • Tracking mentions on sites 32%-48%
  • Tracking sales/new business leads 37%-40%
  • Measuring buzz 27%-34%

5. How do you see this allocation (of Marketing dollars) changing in the next year?

This is where the report gets interesting where Social Media, Search Engine and OnLine Marketing take the top 3 positions in Marketing Trends for 2010 with traditional media, (such as TV and Print Media) taking a distinct back seat on Marketing growth trends.

Percentage of Companies saying that they would see a significant increase in spend in

  • Social Media with an indicated 25%
  • Online Advertising with 17%
  • Search Engine Advertising at 20%

Compare this to the percentage of companies saying they would significantly increase spending in traditional media.

  • TV at 3%
  • Print Advertising at 1%

So what did the report say were the implications of this distinct trend to Social Media and Online Marketing dollars being spent

Implications

  1. Print and TV advertising continue to suffer. As consumers move away from these mediums, so will ad dollars
  2. Advertising and ways of thinking about advertising needs to change as channels shift and morph. There is no easy translation of a traditional Print, TV, or even Online campaign to the world of Social Media.

Equation Research is a full service research execution and strategy firm working with an extensive list of Fortune 1000 clients including brands, advertising and PR agencies, other research firms and magazine publishers.

So what are your spending plans for Social Media in 2010?

Read more at http://jeffbullas.com/2009/08/13/marketing-trends-report-2009-where-does-social-media-stand

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Resolutions 2010: Implementing Jeremiah Owyang’s How Customer Support organizations must evolve

Great summary for any leadership in any organization!
Customer support is tactical, a cost-center, and the clean-up-kids at the company.
Well, that’s the mentality that needs to change.  Instead, customer support can be strategic, a value center, and proactive towards customer needs.The lines between marketing and support continue to blur, as customers share their experiences (most recently, Dooce vs her Whirlpool washing machine) the support experience she has becomes a PR task. Support organizations must quickly evolve as customers connect to each other –and share their stories –using social technologies.

How Customer Support Organizations Must Evolve:
Companies need to stop treating support as lowly department to deal with customers problems, and start to advance their role.

Go Beyond the Official Support Domain
Some companies only support customers on ‘official’ requests such as calls to 1800 numbers or support tickets generated in help systems.  The evolved support organization must go to where customers already are at, like in the social web to find, triage, and respond to customers.  For example, Logitech was proactive in responding to my customer needs in Twitter –shifting the conversation to email and solving my problems.  The many companies who have joined Get Satisfaction, conduct support on Twitter and Facebook are already demonstrating this value.

Become A Strategic Asset to Marketing
Outsourced support site Get Satifaction’s credo that “Support is Marketing” is spot on.  As customers share their product experience with their trusted peers –they influence their network.  Comcast’s Frank Eliason and his Comcastcares team as an indicator of a PR blessed support individual becoming a marketing asset. As a result, customer support experiences are indeed the scope of marketing.  Perhaps the most trusted members of a company are not the VPs of marketing and their shiny blog, but the rough and tumble support technician who resonates and resembles a customer.

Influence Product Development
Customer touching groups have more insight to the needs of the market and must integrate with product development teams. For example, Intuit integrates community in their actual product –enhacing how customer voices influence their next-generation. Customer interactions should be recorded, prioritized and share with product teams who are designing the next generation of products.

Let Go and Allow Customers to Self-Support Each Other
In many cases, customers as a collective know more about the product set than a support team or product team do.  Microsoft and other tech companies have developed a thriving community of customers that self-support each other in their developer forums. Companies struggle letting go of answering questions about products, but should instead use the right collaboration and knowledge capturing tools to allow customers to self support each other.

Become Proactive, Not Reactive
Support organizations must not only be responsive and wait for customer issues to go awry, but be proactive and head off issues before they become customer problems.  Beyond companies forced to issue recalls, asking customers how their experience is going on a regular basis is key.  Expect support organizations to develop advanced monitoring strategies and couple with CRM systems to instantly alert stakeholders of issues that can be corrected.

Anticipate, And Move Beyond Real-Time
Most companies already have 24/7 support organizations that can handle customer needs round-the-clock yet need to prepare for real time responses.  Shuffling customers with issues (esp influencers) into a queue only amps frustration.  The truly evolved support organization anticipates customer issues using proactive techniques mentioned above.

Get Actionable:
The path to the evolved state of support isn’t easy, to start with, companies should get started by:

Measure based on Value –Not as a Cost Center
Support organizations must not only measure based on customer sat, number of calls received and closed, but develop marketing and PR metrics. Measure on how many crises were diverted, new knowledge gleaned, and interactions in the open web.

Develop An Internal Marketing Plan
Get a seat at the table by demonstrating the strategic component of customer facing support efforts. Show marketing, product development, and leadership teams why your scope has increased –as should your internal influence.

Enhance Your Existing Processes
Put in processes that enable support in the real-time open web. You’ll need the right roles, processes, and tools to grow where your customers already are. Develop a triage system that integrates marketing’s efforts in social with your own internal processes to identify, triage, and react to customers.

Conduct Internal Training –and Fire Drills
New technologies require new processes, skills, and roles. Support organizations must train staff to learn new tools like mobile, social networks, and brand monitoring tools. Conduct internal “fire drills” and have contingency plans to avoid staying off this list.

Expand CRM and Customer Systems To Connect to Social Web
Customers are off the reservation, as should your systems. Learn to identify, prioritize, and capture customer interactions as they spread to social platforms and the to mobile.

Read more at http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2009/09/09/how-customer-support-organizations-

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Building Customer Relationships is a Journey: Does Your Social Media Plan include a Map?

Regular readers of this blog may be aware that I do not believe in the paradigm of true relationship between customers and organizations. I check the report mentioned. It was delivered in 2007. A long time ago before the crisis and its gigantic impact for the public and the customer morale. Anyway a good read because the point of views can contribute to creating your construct and context!

Found at http://www.customerthink.com/blog/building_customer_relationships_is_a_journey_does_your_social_media_plan_include_a_map

By John I. Todor, Ph.D., The Whetstone Edge, LLC

Strong customer relationships are essential to a company’s ability to sustain profits and have a shot at growth. This was the clear finding of a worldwide study by the Economist Intelligence Unit. They found that 90% of senior executive concurred. Here’s the way they put it:

…the winning differentiator is no longer product or price, it is the level of engagement—the degree to which a company succeeds in creating intimate, long-term relationships with customers.

Intimate relationships imply an openness—a sharing of concerns, challenges and desires. But this type of relationship requires two-way trust. Unfortunately, customer trust is very low.

Low Trust Customer Relationships

Trust-Curve

Distrust of a company usually happens for one of two reasons. The first is the customer suspects or detects a one-sided agenda: the company is most interested in a sale and less interested in delivering what the customer needs or values.

Seventy-seven percent of people stop doing businesses with companies they don’t trust. But it doesn’t stop there. They tell others, and 33% spread the word over the Internet.

Low trust in business, as is now generally the case, leads to suspicion which leads customers to adopt a one-sided agenda of their own. At best the relationship becomes competitive, at worst, adversarial. The classic example is the perception that a used car salesperson will say whatever it takes to sell a car. As a result, customers push hard for a lower price or other concessions.

Low trust contributes to closed mindedness—customers become immune to persuasion making it hard for a company to communicate effectively. This customer indifference has a serious consequence. Customers treat products like commodities bought on the best trade-off between price and convenience. There is no relationship, nothing to bring customers back to a particular business.

While many businesses believe they are the good guys and are worthy of customer trust, assuming customers believe the same thing is a big mistake. The general low trust in business tars everyone with the same brush. Companies can overcome this by deliberately shifted the focus of the relationship from their offering to the value customers get from using or consuming it. But customer must experience this. When they do, they are likely to become advocates.

Getting Started on the Journey

In the trust curve, there is a barrier between companies that are perceived to be focused on the sale and companies that are customer-centric. To get over the barrier the company must attract customers with a hopeful proposition: A proposition leads to a gratifying customer experience. I call this hopeful trust.

There are many online strategies that will attract a customer to a website or landing page. Some may even make a sale. But if they fail to accrue trust that convinces the customer that it is not a gimmick, it is a one shot event.

To get past hopeful trust companies must come through on a promise that is meaningful to the customer. They must also repeatedly engage with customers to demonstrate that the relationship has future value. Relationships build trust when customers believe the company will be there for them in the future. Trusting relationships simplify things in a fast-changing and increasingly complex world. With this kind of trust customers want the company to be around.

Does your company have a deliberate plan to develop this type of customer relationship?

My book, Addicted Customers: How to Get Them Hooked on Your Company spells out the psycho-economics principles that get customers engaged and lead to relationships customers value and reward with commitment and loyalty.

The Whetstone Edge, LLC, has applied the underlying psycho-economic principles to social media and customer relationships. Our framework enables someone to deliberately build in ways to build customer relationship rather than tactics that work temporarily and/or encourage customers to adopt a competitive or adversarial relationship.

If you are interested in learn how this psycho-economic framework can apply to social media, I suggest you consider my upcoming online course:

Building Customers Relationships and Advocacy with Social Media

This 3-session course is sponsored by the Social Media Academy. To register or for more details go to: Social Media Academy

Read more at http://www.customerthink.com/blog/building_customer_relationships_is_a_journey_does_your_social_media_plan_include_a_map

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Wave examples Google´s drive to Design Driven Innovation

It is now in the month of the launch of Wave.

And I’m halfway Roberto Verganti’s book about Design Driven Innovation.

I may be coincidence but his wordings seem to be very appropriate for the forthcoming introduction of Wave.

Having read about the Wave concept up to now (from a distance because as an operational manager my time spent is always confined by customer and staff requests) today this post made me even more curious (i tried to become one of the 100.000 first users).

Why?

These are the wordings of Verganti:>
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Somewhere, sometimes, someone will eventually have a technology epiphany: a manifestation of essential and more powerful meaning of a technology. You and I may refer to classical cases of the Wii or the Ipod.

These are hardware examples but the impact on competition was disruptive.

A technological epiphany may occur when someone understands that a radical new meaning can emerge in a community or market. And that therefore the audience, the general public, a market is open to that new technology.

But also a technology epiphany may occur when a company searches for more-powerful meanings that that technology embeds….

What are the bottom-line implications of this analysis:

  • The full potential of technological breakthroughs is achieved only when someone uncovers the more-powerful quiescent meaning of a new technology
  • A technological epiphany is usually more disruptive to competitors than is the technological breakthrough itself.
  • As soon as a new technology emerges, companies should rapidly look for the technology epiphany before their competitors do.

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If we define technology as `the way things are done or how` I say that Wave suggests a new technology epiphany.

And from a organizational, professional, customer or personal point of view it might imply a breakthrough. Because it enables us to communicate realtime, simultaneously with all media and channels available. And even more interesting it appeals to the need of everybody to check your communication in a more consistent `controlled´ way!

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