by December 9th, 2013
We’ve been reading and commenting about CMOs and CIOs lately (for example, see Is There a Blurring Line Between CIO and CMO?). With the maturing of Customer Experience Platforms (CXP or CXM) and Marketing Automation, the interplay between marketing and technology is rapidly growing.
Virginia Backaitis published today at CMSWire an article titled Hey CMO! Hey CIO! Work Together or Lose Everything. She argues, as we have done here at Perficient, that CMOs and CIOs need to be in lockstep when it comes to digital strategy and customer engagement.
Ms Backaitis shows an image from Gartner showing a Digital Transit Map – a hypothetical map of how all the technologies, marketing teams, and everyone are connected. The map is complicated because there are so many different technologies and people involved.
Here are a couple of her tips to get starting working better together. You can read the article on CMSWire for the rest of the tips.
- Look at your business processes. Imagine them with the customer at the center of everything you do. Literally. Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes.
- Look at what it’s like to do business with your company. Ask: is it easy? Is it satisfying? Learn the customer’s journey first-hand.
I think many CMOs and CIOs realize that they must work together, but of course there are many who resist.
by December 6th, 2013
James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester, discusses the concept of Digital Disruption, and has a book out by the same name. It’s also available in the Kindle Lending Library. I’ve not read it yet, but will post a review in the next few weeks. However the gist of the concept is that the traditional corporate view was that only a few very large companies had the budgets to bring a few disruptive offerings to market. Since around 2010, and the dawn of the “Age of the Customer” barriers to entry have been falling to extremely low levels, which results in more ideas coming to market at a significantly low cost per idea. This is happening in all industries, from automatic to zinc extraction.
I believe key components of Digital Disruption are collaborative and digital experience technologies. They enable disparate groups to initially share and exchange ideas, and by the way, this could include sites like popular blogs or Wikipedia articles. And, they ultimately enable better interaction with a diverse range of customers, and developing an important feedback loop.
A new startup called, called Coin, hopes to disrupt the wallet or purse industry by helping customers lighten their load of credit, debit, membership and store cards. Essentially what they hope to do is consolidate all your cards onto a single “Coin” card and your iPhone. I doubt the wallet industry has seen this coming.
by December 4th, 2013
Google’s Wildfire commissioned a study on the How Brands Staff and Budget With Social. It’s far too long for me to replicate but here’s a couple nuggets:
There’s a lesson here and it’s that social media has become a defacto part of corporate life and interactions with customers. See the whole info graphic here.
by November 20th, 2013
Patrick Stokes, VP for Product Management at Salesforce provided highlights of the social roadmap for their Marketing Cloud. The following are the four areas that are the focus of the roadmap:
The social tools in the Marketing Cloud include Radian 6, Buddy Media and Social.com. These tools are integrated with ExactTarget to provide an overall platform for marketing. As an example, they are tying Social Advertising available through Social.com into the Journey Map tool in the Marketing Cloud. You can build a campaign and at the appropriate time trigger a notice to your Social.com participants to kick off
social advertising at the right time.
The social product managers have the following themes on their roadmap:
Emerging Social Networks – this includes enhancing adding integrations for emerging or changing social networks and added functionality for Facebook pages. Radian 6 is also working to include China social networks (Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo) into the listening and engage areas.
Easier Access to Relevant Data – this includes making the dashboards and consoles easier to use and adding other enhancements to the products.
Finally, Mobile, Mobile, Mobile. The team is add full capabilities on the mobile platform so you can use your phone to access all the Marketing Cloud tools.
To me the biggest item is mobile access. Marketers can be on the go and being able to monitor campaigns, publish content and more will be truly valuable to them.
by November 20th, 2013
Brian Andersen (LUMA Partners) and Robin Bordoli (Marketo) gave a great presentation on the Marketing Technology Landscape. This area is to broad to get into details in one hour, so they presented an overview of the market and then suggested the following three tactics to cope with the vast amount of change going on:
- Accept that buyers are in control – it used to be that the buyers contacted the seller well in advance of a sale and the sales team took over to convert that buyer into a customer. Now buyers are waiting until way into the process, so marketers have to have several touch points with potential buyers to move them into and through the sales funnel.
- Measure Marketing Spend by Revenue Impact – marketers are under pressure to justify their budgets and struggle with matching marketing efforts to business impact. Robin suggested the best thing for marketers to do is really track and measure their efforts all the way to revenue generation. Naturally Marketo has tools to help with this.
- Take an ecosystem perspective – there is no one solution that is going to address all your needs, despite what many vendors will tell you. There is also no silver bullet. If you look at the Marketing LUMAscape chart created by LUMA, you will get a sense for the eco system.
To me the marketing technology area is fascinating. There are so many players and big players have been buying up cool companies to expand their presence. The portal, content and social technologies that we work with and blog about at Perficient are well represented in this ecosystem.
by November 19th, 2013
Barbara Meskin from Jim Beam presented how that brand learned how to engage customers through social media on a global scale. The journey that she decribed included the following steps over two years, although these things were not done linearly all the time:
- Social Audit – here they had to figure out what they had and how social media was used across the world. They found 28 Facebook pages, all with inconsistent message, inconsistent branding and multiple personalities
- Stakeholder Alignment – at this stage they had their audit data and could go out to stakeholders to internally sell the need for change. They also put a lot of time into regional coordination to make sure local marketers would buy in to and follow the program.
- Develop Strategy & Goals – establishing goals and objectives helped guide everyone globally to
- Develop Supporting tools – to make sure everyone followed the plan, they developed global style media guide and implemented Buddy Media for everyone to use to publish and monitor content
- Organize for Success – her team needed to make sure that the stakeholders had access to the tools, content guidelines and training
- Global tools & Content – This included seeded content, optimized labels in Buddy Media, and common global analytics that could be tracked and reported
- Continuous Improvement – finally, now that the program is in place, they are look for ways to continually improve their social media presence. This includes making sure marketers are content planning many weeks in advance, sharing best practices sharing, testing new concepts and learning as they go.
Results showed that they increased their global fans 63%, which is tremendous. They also now have consistent global branding and messaging, along with local in-country specific content.
Take a look at Jim Beam on Facebook and let me know if you think they have been successful.
by November 18th, 2013
I attended a panel discussion on the power of content in your marketing efforts. The panelist agreed that content is really important, but it is becoming clear that lots of content is more important than spectacular content. Content like white papers or blog posts take a lot of time to put together, so you may not be able to have a lot of white papers or blog posts. Ideally you want to create different content for your personas, different content for where the reader is in the sales funnel, etc. For 5 personas and 5 levels in your funnel, you need 25 different content items. As you personalize content more and more, you need lots more content than you think. There are companies that can help generate lots of content, such as compendium.com, which was recently purchased by Oracle.
They also talked about how distribution of content is equally or more important than the content itself. They sited statistics that showed people are much more likely to convert to customers based on trusted sources of content. Which content do the trust? Recommendations by friends is obviously one highly trusted source. It turns out that content from an employee’s personal account is much more trusted than content from your brand account. So if your employee sends out a tweet using their own account, readers are more likely to engage with that content than if the exact same content was distributed via the company’s Facebook page.
Think about that. We put a lot of time and money into our company’s Twitter or Facebook account. But people will pay more attention if your employee tweets from their personal account. Getting employees to post on behalf of the company is a challenge,
but there are many ways to enable this, including some new systems such as addvocate.com.
So a big takeaway for me is that you need to have a strategy around content marketing and take content distribution techniques very seriously.
by November 18th, 2013
We had a panel discussion today on the use of Social Media in Regulated Industries. We focused on Healthcare and Life Sciences, but the same info applies across the industry landscape. In regulated industries, social media is especially scary because conversations can be negative, can involve complex subjects and can involve regulatory compliance issues. For example, if you are a pharmaceutical and you blog about a product, the FDA might need to approve your content. If a patient talks about an adverse reaction, there are legal and compliance reporting issues that must be addressed.
The Dreamforce panel talked about the following challenges and how they addressed the Roadmap – how do you plan the journey into social media and how fast can you go from startup to fully engaged?
- One panelist spent time on psychographics on patients to create segments involved in Social Media; two segments stood out at first:
- New Moms
- Tweet in exam room
- All panelists started with a lot of listening – they called this the “Crawling” stage
- Next they evolved into the “Walking” stage and started posting on Facebook about events
- Some grew from there by “jogging” – they did a campaign using patient stories: What’s Your Word – a cancer patient campaign – “Jog”
- Its a long way to go to get fully engaged and you must be aware of legal and compliance issues along the way
- When to move between Crawl, Walk, Run sometimes involves different leadership and can change depending on circumstances of your institution
- One panelist used Trust Agents – people trusted to engage on social media to handle criticism or promote messaging. Use Radian 6 workflow to assign conversations to the Trust Agent
- Listening has helped learn and validate what they thought
- Monitor conversations to make everyone more comfortable to move on
In the area of Legal and Compliance –what are the top challenges? The panelists came up with the following thoughts:
- Engage the legal and compliance team early. They need to understand how they are engaged – they are there only to make sure you don’t mess up, not to figure out how to manage converstions
- There are things you just can’t do, there are things you can do, but maybe don’t want to. Involve Legal and Compliance to figure these out.
- There are lots of things you can do and you don’t need legal/compliance here.
- Radian 6 helped with the conversation with Legal. Sentiment analysis showed that most of the conversation was neutral.
Overall this was a good session and gave the audience some insight into how these companies dealt with social media in these regulated industries.
by November 6th, 2013
Over on Symplur.com, Dr. Michael Katz talks about connected health care. In this blog post, Hashtags in Cancer Care: Embedding Meaning in Digital Health, he proposes a more formal set (“ontology”) of hashtags for cancer information. While hashtags have traditionally been a means of spontaneously organizing Twitter tweets, I think Dr. Katz’s idea has a lot of merit. Let me explain why I think this.
Dr. Katz points out that many of his patients are reluctant to search the internet for information about cancer because they can’t trust much of the information they find. What they want, I think, is more expert guidance on what to read. One way patients do this is to “follow” their doctor and other respected healthcare providers on social media sites to “hear” what they have to say and recommend. Very often a doctor may tweet or post on Facebook a link to an article that they find worthwhile, and their patients want to read the same.
Since hashtags are a way of organizing things on social media, it makes sense to try to organize posts about cancer under the #cancer hashtag. But that is to broad of a tag, since there are many types of cancers. Left to grow organically, hashtags for cancer might lead to more confusion and less access to content. For example, how to hashtag a tweet about breast cancer? #breastcancer takes up to many precious characters. #bc really isn’t descriptive. #brstc maybe. #brcncr maybe. But when each person is left to come up with something that makes sense, we are left with thirty different tags and a loss of organization.
So Dr. Katz has proposed a “structured system” for cancer hashtags that allow tweets to be organized in a commonly understood and accepted fashion. While it may take some time to learn the ontology, it should make it easier to find information by being able to look at well known hashtags. For example, if you are interested only in breast cancer, you could look for content under the hashtag #bcsm and not have to wade through the thousands of other tweets.
Dr. Katz recognizes that a top down approach to hashtags doesn’t usually work. But I think this effort is a worthy one. Social media can easily get out of control and then people will be back to the point of having to search blindly for content. Providing this structure and leadership to our social networks is important to the people who want expert guidance to information on the internet. Over time, these hashtags can be tweaked where needed, but it provides us with a great starting point.
by October 29th, 2013
Forrester and Nate Elliott just released a short but insightful paper on Why FaceBook is Failing Marketers. He and the other authors include survey feedback from the value marketing professionals receive from Facebook. It’s worth it to read the whole article if you have access to Forrester.
What I like best is his analysis of the promise of Facebook marketing vs the actual result.
Facebook no longer supports social marketing. Yes, you heard us right. Sure, the company still teases marketers with the promise that it will better connect them to their customers. (see endnote 9) But in reality, it rarely creates such connections. Everyone who clicks the like button on a brand’s Facebook page volunteers to receive that brand’s messages — but on average, Facebook only shows each brand’s posts to 16% of its fans. (see endnote 10) And while Facebook upgrades its paid advertising tools and offerings monthly or more, it’s done little in the past 18 months to improve its unloved branded page format or the tools that marketers use to manage and measure those pages. (see endnote 11)
Personally, I agree with Nate and his fellow authors. When I use Facebook I view ads that have no relevance to me and yet Facebook knows my religion, what I like, where I live, the fact that I have a family, am married, and even the location of pictures I post. I should be a marketers dream based on what you can piece together about me. Instead I get this:
What facebook decided I should see
Just so you know, I have never posted a recipe or indicated I have a new business or like Asian food. I do like Asian food but anyone from Perficient reading this should not assume I’m looking to leave my current position for my new business. You can assume that someone just paid for an ad impression to nowhere……..