About three weeks ago, I celebrated my first anniversary as Principal Analyst of Altimeter Group. And, it is with great pride that I mark the occasion with the release of my first official Altimeter report, “The Rise of Digital Influence.” Not a traditional market report, it was written as both a primer and a how-to guide for businesses to spark desirable effects and outcomes through social media influence.
With all of the momentum social media has earned over the years, the reality is that still today, it is very much siloed in marketing. The aspiration of using social technology to build a social business is not yet within grasp. In many ways, social media is much more about media than it is about opening two-way channels for interaction where information, empathy, and resolution travel inward and outward with all parties walking away with a sense of value and affinity. For what is a relationship without benefit or bond?
In 2007, I wrote an article entitled, “Social Media is About Sociology Not Technology.” It’s a statement that after five years (and counting), I thankfully continue to see shared every day on Twitter. As time passed and experience matured, I amended that statement to now read, “Social media is about social science not technology.”
Why did I change such a powerful statement? I believe that it is not only stronger now, it is also truer.
Rebecca Lieb, my colleague at Altimeter Group released a new report, “Content: The New Marketing Equation Why Organizations Must Rebalance.” The report helps organizations find balance in the creation of effective content strategies while delivering value to stakeholders and consumers and also the bottom line.
To those of you who lead “the Pinteresting life,” you’ve contributed to a phenomenon that is certainly putting its clicks where the hype is. By that I mean, Pinterest is a two-year old cultural sensation that is borderline causing dependency among its users and the rabid audiences they’re developed. This rapid fire network has pinned itself to a rocket with estimated unique viewership ascending 429% from September to December 2011…and I’m not even sure if the sky’s the limit here.
In this episode of (R)evolution, Nissan’s David Mingle, Director of Customer Management and Erich Marx, Director of Marketing join me for a refreshing conversation about social media’s impact on business transformation, customer experiences, and building an adaptive business model to learn and evolve based on new opportunities.
Guest post by Scott Forshay, creator and editor of mobi.luxe. Following him on Twitter @mobiluxe
Establishing consumer relationships through mobile marketing, as with any successful, productive relationship, inherently requires a mutual exchange of value. Whether consumers are opting-in for brand communications via SMS or engaging with the brand in a single instance through scanning a QR code, the onus is on the brand to deliver value in return for customers’ valuable time and information. Without the perception that value has been exchanged for value, the relationship becomes essentially one-sided and unrequited attempts at interaction on the part of the consumer will spell the end of the relationship – perhaps permanently.
Financial institutions are bound to rules and regulation than other companies experimenting in customer engagement, specifically in social media, can ignore. Over the years, SunTrust has stood out as one of several examples that understand how to use regulatory boundaries to inspire a new generation of customer engagement. The result is finding balance between risk and reward to meet customer expectations and improve customer experiences now and over time.
As I’ve always believed…constraint forces creativity.
Guest post by Dan Zarrella, author of Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness
The key to applying science to marketing is being prescriptive. Calculating and analyzing data that is interesting is fun, but information becomes useful when it tells you how to achieve a specific goal. Throughout my career, one of the goals I’ve focused on is the engineering contagious ideas. I’ve worked for years, using science and data to understand how to craft content that spreads like wildfire.
During Blogworld Expo in Los Angeles, I was given the opportunity to interview Jim Farley, Ford’s Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service live on stage. The discussion was focused on a powerful theme, putting your brand in the hands of customers. Certainly for any business, large and small, the idea of empowering customers to shape and steer your brand can be perceived as both frightening and dangerous. But here, Farley brings a refreshing perspective on why businesses, including Ford, need to engage customers in a more human and genuine manner. He looks beyond marketing to bring executives, employees and customers together in building a stronger brand, more relevant products and services, and investing in meaningful relationships to ultimately create a remarkable business…a business that matters beyond its goods.
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.
His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.