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Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

NTC 2010

April 10th, 2010

It’s time for the Nonprofit Tech conference and this year it is here in Atlanta! Check it out at http://www.nten.org/ntc.

If you’re around, please attend my session on Saturday morning from 10:30 -12 and the Omni CNN Center. The session is hosted by our friends at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and the topic is how to improve your fundraising efforts through integrated marketing.

Session Description:

Join us for a discussion on how to improve your fundraising efforts through integrated marketing. It’s important to understand the changes taking place today in both disciplines, and how these shifts are reshaping the way we approach both fundraising and marketing. In this workshop, a seasoned veteran with 15+ years experience as a nonprofit leader and business executive will outline exactly what you need to do to be successful at both.


The Future is Now for Social Web

May 13th, 2009

In his recent Forrester Report and blog post, The Future of Social Web, Jeremiah Owyang divided the future of the Social Web into five distinct “eras” which will unfold over the next five years.  It is clear the paradigm of how consumers communicate online, both with each other and the organizations and brands they support, is undergoing a major shift.  This breakdown provides not only a great understanding of the common question on where social web is heading, it also makes it clear that the time to add these tool sets into your planning is now.  Understanding and keeping up with this shift is crucial for organizations that don’t want to get left behind!

Five Eras

Let’s take a look at the Five Eras.  I’m going to borrow this summary from destinationCRM.com :

  1. The era of social relationships: Beginning in the mid-1990s, people signed up for online profiles and connected with their friends to share information.
  2. The era of social functionality:As it exists today, social networking is more than just a platform for “friending,” but one that can support a broader array of what Owyang calls “social interactive applications.” However, identities are essentially disconnected silos within individual sites.
  3. The era of social colonization:By late 2009, technologies such as OpenID and Facebook Connect will begin to break down the barriers of social networks and allow individuals to integrate their social connections as part of their online experience, blurring the lines between networks and traditional sites.
  4. The era of social context:In 2010, sites will begin to recognize personal identities and social relationships to deliver customized online experiences. Social networks will become the “base of operation for everyone’s online experiences.”
  5. The era of social commerce: In approximately two years, social networks will be more powerful than corporate Web sites and CRM systems, as individual identities and relationships are built on this platform. Brands will serve community interests and grow based on community advocacy as users continue to drive innovation in this direction.

It is important to note that while their are five distinct eras, they actually overlap on the timeline, all playing out over the next five years (see chart below).  Here in mid-2009 we are well into the Era of Social Functionality and entering the Era of Social Colonization.  This is exciting as we start to see integration opportunities between the multiple online networks we are part of.  You will be able to control your online profile(s) and track your various networks with common tools, merging your networks together from a user experience point of view.  We are quickly reaching the point where social web will be the driving force for online experience, and organizations need to take head.  It is also clear that with this medium fully maturing over the next 3-5 years the time to incorporate the social web into your planning is now.  It can often take three years to launch and build a successful online community to the point of critical mass, and if you don’t engage your constituents now, it may be too late in 3-5 years, or at least much more difficult.  The noise might be too loud to get their attention by then.

 

 

Timing Of The Five Overlapping Eras

Shift in Online Experience

The chart below provides a breakdown of how this fundamental shift in the user web experience will play out for consumers, brands, social networks and other media.  For one, social web will begin to dominate the online user experience.  Consumers and supporters will move towards working with peers and within communities to become directly engaged with the brands and organizations they support, while purchasing and donation decisions will be largely driven by peer information, with commerce will take place right in the social online experience.  Consumers, donors and supporters continue to grow their expectations for more and better engagement opportunities with the organizations and brands they support.  Brands will not only provide these opportunities, but continue to derive more information on product development and direction from the social web.  Social Web will also begin to play a major role in the way corporate communications and public relations is delivered.

  Chart from "The Future of the Social Web," by Jeremiah Owyang, Forrester Research: The Evolution of the Social Web Affects Consumers, Brands, and Social Networks

 

So, where do we go from here?

If you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare for the social web and consider how online communities can support your brand or mission.  I’m going to borrow again from destinationCRM.com , because I fully agree with the recommendations they offer:

  • Don’t Hesitate: These changes are coming at a rapid pace, and we’re in three of these eras by end of year. Brands should prepare by factoring in these eras into their near term plans. Don’t be left behind and let competitors connect with your community before you do.
  • Prepare For Transparency:  People will be able to surf the web with their friends, as a result you must have a plan.  Prepare for every web page and product to be reviewed by your customers and seen by prospects –even if you choose not to participate.  
  • Connect with Advocates: Focus on customer advocates, they will sway over prospects, and could defend against detractors. Their opinion is trusted more than yours, and when the power shifts to community, and they start to define what products should be, they become more important than ever.
  • Evolve your Enterprise Systems: Your enterprise systems will need to connect to the social web. Social networks and their partners are quickly becoming a source of customer information and lead generation beyond your CRM system.  CMS systems will need to inherit social features –pressure your vendors to offer this, or find a community platform.
  • Shatter your Corporate Website: In the most radical future, content will come to consumers –rather than them chasing it– prepare to fragment your corporate website and let it distribute to the social web. Let the most important information go and spread to communities where they exist; fish where the fish are.

 

 Quick Video:

Jeremiah published the video on his blog, an interview with him by Blake Cahill from Visible Technologies.  It provides a summary of the five eras in case you don’t want to read the above! 

       

Social Mapping to Build your Social Media Strategy

April 10th, 2009

The second workshop I attended at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Fran was a great presentation by Mark Silva and Susan MacDermid from Real Branding.  During this interactive session we looked at matching your target audience’s technographics (similar to demographics, but groups users based on their level of interaction with social media) to the social media markteting and/or toolset you plan on using to engage your consituents.  It’s a great process to go through as you get ready to plot or improve your own social media marketing plan and/or online community strategy.

First, let’s take a look at technographic breakdown and some handy tools to help you hone in on what might be the best offerings for you target audience.  Then, let’s apply them to a few markets I’m getting ready to target and see how it works.  Not surprisingly, our friends at Forrester have some great resources to get started on their Groundswell website.

Social Technographics.  Forrester’s Technographic Ladder provides the groups web users into.:  Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators and Inactives.  The brief slideshow below explains each of these “rungs” (categories) on the Ladder:

View more presentations from jbernoff.

Here’s slide 10 from Forrester’s presentation with explanation of each category to refer back to as we look at the different technographics of the age and sex breakdowns available.

 technographics-ladder12

So now that you have an understanding of the various categories, let’s apply this to social media planning.  A quick way to do this is with the profile tool from Forrester’s Groundswell.

Let’s start with the United States.  You can also pull information on Europe and certain other countries.  I’m going to go a little crazy with the charts here, so bare with me.  Here are all age range demographics in the US for both male and female users, so we can track the differences and match up available social media tools to each group.  This first chart represents how adult web users (18 & older) in the United States interact with Social Media.  

us_all2

When planning strategy, match your target market, donors, customers, etc., to the age and sex breakdowns offered in the tool.  Then you can match their preferred type of engagement to the toolset you will either need to offer or reach them through to resonate with that group.  For example, if you are building an online community or planning a Social Media campaign targeted to young adults aged 18-24 you can pull the following two charts:

us_male_18to24

us_female_18to24

While the spectators categories is tops in all age groups, let’s look at what stands out.   First, the overwhelming majority like to be joiners by maintaining profiles and visiting social network sites.   They are also almost twice as likely as the general web user, males slightly more than females, to be creators.  Look for opportunities to let this group publish blogs, create their own web pages, upload videos and artwork that they create, and tell their own stories.   Third, this age group likes to interact by critiqueing, rating and commenting, so be sure to offer these abilities in your plan.  Online social networks like Facebook and YouTube also provide good outlets to reach these groups with Social Media campaigns.

OK, here are the other breakdowns you can pull:

 us_male_35-44 us_female_35to44

us_male_45to54

us_male_45to541

us_female_45to54

us_male_55

us_female_55

 So, we can definately see several trends – the younger you are, the more active you are in social media.  This may be no surprise, even with the rapid adoption among 45+ age group of social media.  However, there are also several trends we can see regarding the types of media you prefer to interact with at different ages, and perhaps life stages.

The joiners group falls in half after age 24, but still maintains strength (and is growing) through age 45.   And the desire to rate and comment content as part of the critics group remains strong across all age group, and is one of the highest points of involvement over those 45+ years old.

Finally, here is a short list of some of the opportunities for Social Map marketing.  You likely know of many more, and the list continues to evolve.  These also represent several related toolsets to use in building an online community, including blogs, wikis, ratings, video sharing, widgets, social networking, friend following, microblogging, IM, presence, and virtual collaboration tools.

Social Networking

  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Hi5
  • Gather
  • LinkedIn
  • Orkut
  • Plaxo

Photo Sharing

  • Flickr
  • Picassa
  • Photobucket
  • Snapfish
  • Slideshare

Blogging

  • WordPress
  • Podcasting
  • Tumblr
  • Typepad

Microblogging

  • Twitter
  • Yammer
  • Facebook (new feature offers similar microblogging functionality)

Bookmarking:

  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Blogmarks
  • StumpleUpon
  • Ma.gnolia

Video Sharing

  • Youtube
  • Google Video
  • Livecast
  • Yahoo Video

 Data from Forrester Research Technographics® surveys, 2008. For further details on the Social Technographics profile, see groundswell.forrester.com.

Time to Stop Playing Around! (with Social Media…)

March 17th, 2009

Two new reports are recently out this month, both reminding us that Social Media is not only here to stay, but is essential to future marketing and customer engagement strategies.  Playtime is over and it is time to get serious when in comes to investment in this channel!

This point is summarized in the title from Forrester’s Social Media Playtime is OverJeremiah K. Owyang explores how corporate spending continues to rise in the recession.  Some of the main points include:

  • According to 114 Global Social Media Marketers at companies with over 250 employees, 53% of them plan to increase investment in Social Media, and only 5% plan to decrease investment during the current economic turmoil. (see charts from the report below)
  • Further, they indicated that they would continue to increase investment in social media if the economic turmoil continues, even while decreasing other channels. (see charts from the report below)
  • Budgets for Social Media remain very small (too small?), with 75% budgeting only $100,000 or less (and 30% spending $3000 or less!).  This is largely due to the exploratory and experimental social plans to date as companies seek to answer how social media can help them thrive (and it can!).
  • It’s time for companies to stop experimenting and get serious -  those who are the most innovative and forward thinking will develop a long term plan.  Advertising Age quotes Jeremiah from the report: “…As one of the few marketing budget items increasing during a recession, social media marketing needs to be taken seriously and treated as a corporate asset. To be successful, social media marketing must be managed as long-term programs, not short-term experiments. To succeed, make sure you have dedicated resources in place, including both social media strategists and community managers.”  He further ads:  “If you continue to fund social applications only as experiments, you’re unlikely to be able to do enough to make an impact, or to have a secure source of funding for the future. One way to put these efforts on a firmer footing is to concentrate on objectives and measure progress… rather than just experimenting to see what happens.”

social_media_marketing_budget_breakdown

The time really is now to get serious.  As Marketing Pilgram’s Andy Beal pointed out: “If you spend peanuts on social media, you’ll get…peanut butter–not filet mignon–when it comes to seeing results.“  I love this quote, and based on my own research and experience, I couldn’t agree more.  If you are going to invest in social media, you need to consider what level of invests will be required for technology, marketing, promotion, customization, training and support – and then to integrate where necessary into your own organizational structure while still accomodating your customers’ social graphs.

social-media-spending

 

On March 9, 2009, Nielsen released “Global Faces and Networked Places:  A Nielsen report on Social Networking’s New Global Footprint.”  Findings included:

  • Time spent in ”Member Communities” (include both social networks and blogs) growing 3x faster than Overall Internet Rate
  • 67% of the global online population visit Member Communities
  • Communities account for 10% of all time on the Internet
  • Biggest increase in visitors to Member Communities in 2008 was among the 35-49 age group
  • Mobile access of Member Communities increased 249% in the UK and 156% in the US in 2008

 

This report is packed with way more information than summarized above so be sure to check it out!  I’m sure we’ll be visiting it again in this blog when to look at various global markets.

Nielsen Global Faces Charts

charts from Global Faces and Networked Places, The Nielsen Company.

 

Note:  You can purchase “Social Media Playtime Is Over” from Forrester for $749.

Weathering the Storm

March 14th, 2009

I attended a great presentation last week  put on by the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Marketing Association at the Town Point Club here in Norfolk, Va.  Russell J. Held, Deputy Executive Director of Virginia Port Authority, shared many of the marketing challenges and opportunities faced by The Port of Virginia in the current economic storm with a great message for us all as we face our own challenges today.

The important message:  Now is a good time to go after new market share.  Thanks to the willingness to invest in the technologies and global messaging to differentiate the Virginia Ports and their benefits, they have increased market share during the economic turmoil over the last year.  Once the economy improves and import/export volume begins to increase again, market share increases will translate into increased revenues and profits, continuing to push the Ports forward.

I agree.  Now is the time for those who can invest in the strategies, technology and marketing to get your message out and increase customer share and customer engagement.   Building a larger customer base and increasing loyalty will help the difficult times and make the good times better.  In many cases, media is now cheaper to purchase and better negotiations are possible for purchasing technologies to improve the infrastructure that will allow you to deliver your message and engage your customers.  Plus, there just might be less noise to contend with to get your customer’s ear as competitor’s cut back on getting their message out.

On another note, guess what the number one export leaving the Ports is.  Waste paper products.  Yep, our number one export there is more or less trash we generate.  It heads to Asia where it is turned into cardboard boxes, which are filled with goods that are shipped back as imports.