News Update – Best of the Day

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The mobile breakthrough was first named probably about six6 years ago, if not earlier. John Bell now hints to 4 killer slides that demonstrate why 2011 could be the year of the mobile revolution, and tells us how to align your mobile strategy. He based his reasons on the growing use of social networks in combination with mobile, the evolution of the mobile device which could be a tablets or car technology, and the evolution of location-based shopping.

Some companies think about getting rid of email at the workplace. While the younger generation merges their private emails with business emails… The email management company Mimecast released a survey showing that “85% of what Mimecast dubs “Generation Gmail” – employees 25 years old and younger – have used personal email accounts to send work-related documents”. And the reason is nothing new… size limits of their official work email accounts.

Many companies are asking me how to create content for their YouTube channels. SapientNitro shows in an interesting video how old school journalism moves into modern journalism 2.0. Just go to the streets, interview people about social media usage and consumers relationships with socially-conscious companies. Generate different voices from offline to go online. Radio stations have done this the audio way, companies now can do it in audio-video quality easily. Make others and yourself heard in an intelligent way…

Salestainability – a phrase or a challenge?

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No, the word did obviously not exist before… Or can a phrase come to live with Google not knowing about, nor finding it with their intelligent algorythm? If Google has not indexed one website with the phrase yet, can I claim the phrase as my innovation? Anyway… So, I just created the word today. Horray…

How did I come across it? Let me tell you how I thought about sales and sustainability…

In my eyes the word salestainability defines the future of a successful long-term strategy in business – especially in our social web world… Salestainability. The merger of sales and sustainability could become the formula for clever and intelligent business for the next generation C-level. For those managers who aim to get the balance right between the desire to use social web efficiency and to credit their own customer base for loyalty and advocacy.

Last week, I thought about the challenge for business decision makers to align their web-strategy with new opportunities that social media and social networks offer. And quite frankly, I can imagine that marketers might become kind of “greedy” when thinking about the latest studies. When Deloitte and ExactTarget find that customers are mainly following brands because they want to get benefits, coupons or discounts, nobody would be surprised, if brands are sending rather than understanding.

The social web tends to offer many opportunities to do conversation with our customers without “spaming” them. If customer become Facebook’s Fanpages they declare their open mind to brand activity, and are not only “Likes”, or brand advocates. If people accept Dell’s promotions and let the IT vendor generate 5 Mio. US dollars via Twitter accounts, we need to re-think our sales business and integrate it into our web-strategy to leverage the sales approach to the next level of SocialCRM if they are capable of doing it. And if customers respond to Groupons location-based promotions, they follow the studies results and motivate brands and companies to reach out to them.

Some might pick it up and use their old email tactics – often unpersonalized, uncustomized, unhuman… Feedback might not be valued the way it deserves to be recognized. Companies will start pushing promotions out to them. Why not, if they ask for it? Why not, on a daily basis? Why not challenge their current capabilities at high frequency, harness their brand feedback and hand out permanent sales offers? Why not…? Another study might tell them why

So far, so good…

Sales is the key driver for business. Business can’t live without push, promotion and placement. Upsale is upscale. No gain, much pain. Companies love to take the money from their customers but do they really care about sustainability? But how can a company in a world of quarterly reporting, balanced scorecards and budget pressure pay attention and give credit to sustainability?

The value of sustainability in business from an executive management point of view was just highlighted in the study “Sustainability: The ‘Embracers’ Seize Advantage” from MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group. Managers who take the sustainability approach as a key strategic metric to their business will improve brand reputation, claims the study. And most companies are “looking towards a world where sustainability is becoming a mainstream, if not required, part of the business strategy”. Thus, having an essential impact on their sales and web-strategy…

Salestainability is where the worlds of sales and sustainability face the competition to understand which customers are the best ones and how to embrace, hug them and treat them. Who are the best…?

Those who don’t follow/fan/like and still get emails, newsletters and direct mail and don’t unsubscribe?
Those who like the brand on Facebook and do conversation around a brand but don’t buy…?
Those who buy through Groupon, take cheap offers and are one-stop shoppers, never seen again?
Those who follow and listen through Twitter for bargains and rate them with a RT or share it?

Who knows the answer? The answer might be: Find the right salestainability!

Spot On!
Salestainability is not a phrase, it is a challenge. Salestainability is getting the balance right between “want” and “wish”, and thinking about diversification and respect. It is an external strategic business attitude towards training the customer on the social web capabilities around a company and brand. Internally, it is about not exhausting the business immanent SocialCRM tactics. Letting the customers breath and take their own decisions without being pushed too hard, without getting under pressure – with the approach of willing to find and give the personal touch from and to the customer. With the pleasure for social shopping leasure.

That’s what I would define as the future salesforce. That’s what I would call… salestainability!

What do you think of salestainability, it’s definition and it’s future outlook for a business that creates a powerful and still customer-centric strategy?

News Update – Best of the Day

23.02.2011 von  
Kategorie: Daily Top 3

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Wait or step ahead? It is a question of long-term strategy versus short-term tactics and planless activities most often in companies. Corporate sustainability is it’s new term. That difficult management question was put in front of 3000 executives who gave feedback. The results now can be seen in the study called “Sustainability: The ‘Embracers’ Seize Advantage”.

Some of the key findings…
- General benefit: 70% of the ‘Embracers’ see their sustainability initiative helps outperform competitors, compared to the 53% of the cautious adopters who thought the same way
- Revenue benefit: 66% of the ‘Embracers’ indicate that sustainability has added to their profit, compared to 23% of cautious adopters
- Management guideline: 52% of respondents say sustainability is a “permanent” part of their corporate management agenda
The message of the study is: move early, communicate sustainability, let everyone make it happen, measure it and communicate expectations.

Chris Brogan shares some interesting insights in the future of the marketplace. He sees them distributed, mobile, integrated, subscription-based, weblocal, and “global for the little guy”.

It is funny to see how companies use “speed” as a unique selling point… Coke & Mentos guys have harnessed the explosive power of these geysers: What happens when you combine 108 bottles of Coke Zero and 648 Mentos mints can be viewed in this video…

Flip Phone – Is this the future of smart phones?

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Sometimes I am thinking smart phones have more or less come to an end in their potential for innovation. And I always have to admit: No, there is still room for inventions…

Just some week ago, I came across the flashy Motorola Flipout. An Android phone with 7 x 7cm touchscreen display while also offering an intelligent Qwertz typepad. It fits into every trouser pocket.

Yesterday, I found one of these latest smartphone visions. It’s called Flip phone and it looks really cool. The phone has three flexible AMOLED touchscreens and a keyboard on the reverse. The Flip phone is based on a concept concieved during a 6 week long workshop done by Kristian Ulrich Larsen, Ewa Sendecka, Jeppe Vestergård and Victoria Kusk. It was then developed further for a semester by Kristian Ulrich Larsen as part of his MA program at Kolding school of design.

This is how Yankodesign describes the Flip phone: “a smart triangular piece held together with soft steel mesh hinges, hosting a custom flavor of Android. The boundaries of a PC and phone have smudged-up big time and this is a sample of what that future looks like”.

Personally, I like the Flip phone idea. Especially if people can watch different videos on different screens at the same time. And you? What do you think about it? Is this something that catches your attention, a product you would buy in the future?

News Update – Best of the Day

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Social Media is not only Twitter and Facebook. A look around the world by Michael Bonfils reveals which social networks dominate other markets and what kind of trends can be seen in countries like Mexico, Brasil, China, Japan and India.

Creativity is not good for leadership qualification, says Wharton professor Jennifer Mueller and colleagues from Cornell University and the Indian School of Business. BUT: A recent survey of 1,500 CEOs by IBM’s Institute for Business Value turns tables upside down on this topic. It says creativity was named the single most important attribute for success in leading a large corporation in the future. Definitely a topic to watch for the future…

Interesting commmercial video of the German chamber of crafts. The video shows what would happen to our lives with their business… they would all dissolve. Just men would survive and look quite old then…

Burson-Marsteller: Large companies getting into Social Media

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The second annual “Burson-Marsteller Global Social Media Check-up” shows that 67% of of the Fortune Global 100 are on Twitter, and they are actively using such interactive tools as the “@reply” function. They respond directly to other users, and the “@mention” tool to gauge brand comments. This is a significant increase compared to last year.

Large companies even give more power to their audience. 74% of large companies on Facebook allow their users who “Like” them to post on their page walls. And they don’t leave them alone in their conversation: 57% are responding to those posts.

Email, Facebook, Twitter – Why consumers “unlike” brands

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Credits: ExactTarget

While some businesses think whether to partner with Facebook, others might abandon email technology for their business. And many companies ask themselves if it makes sense to use Twitter for customer communication and if so, why?!

A recent research by ExactTarget-CoTweet states reasons why users get out of email lists, Twitter or Facebook. The US study shows that extensive messaging and little relevancy are major reasons why consumers leave Facebook pages and Twitter feed, or unsubscribes to e-mail list.

ExactTarget-CoTweet asked 1,561 U.S. online users between 15 and older in the time period of December 17th to January 10th, 2011. The report shows the main reasons why consumers abandon online brand activity from companies. Let’s start with the eldest technology and still most used communication tool. Although Social Networks will kill the traditional mailbox in the future…

Email…
- 54% messenges sent too frequently
- 49% content repetitive and boring
- 47% too many emails sent by brand
- 25% messages were irrelevant from start
- 22% subscribed for a one-time offer

Facebook…
- 44% company authored too many posts
- 43% wall became glutted with marketing
- 38% messages repetitive and boring
- 24% posts were overly promotional
- 19% content was irrelevant from start

Twitter…
- 52% messages repetitive and boring
- 41% stream became inundated with marketing
- 39% company tweeted too frequently
- 21% tweets were overly promotional
- 15% content was irrelevant from start

Social Media becomes more and more important for marketers, especially small business companies show big engagement in Facebook and Twitter marketing efforts. The temptation from marketers to be “too much engaged” in the new social networks and to lose the interest focus of their consumers has not changed. When 26% of respondents said they only “liked” a brand to benefit from a special offer on Facebook, it speaks a clear language. The user wants control, not the brands. They decide what to join and when to opt out. The difficult approach to find the right balance shows the following numbers: In Facebook 24% and in Twitter 27% “unsubscribe” as they do not get enough deals. Only 6% replaced their email subscription for Blogs, Facebook, or Twitter.

Would you agree with the findings? Do you think there is a difference in Europe? What drives you mad when brands approach you via these technologies or platforms?

News Update – Best of the Day

11.02.2011 von  
Kategorie: Daily Top 3

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Maintaining a thought-leadership position is a big challenge for all companies. Paul SLoane writes about the top best sources of trend information. Some of them you know better than anyone else: customers, your staff, competitors, and your favorite trade magazines, shows and websites. The rest could as well be new for you… Definitely an interesting project is the Happy Spotting community from Trendwatching.

Altimeter just released a new study and asked 140 company social strategists about their 2011 planning, their internal and external targets as well as their most relevant measurement metrics.

What internal social strategy objectives will you focus most on in 2011?

What external social strategy objectives will you focus most on in 2011?

What measurement metrics will you focus most on in 2011?

Hiring of “social media competent” people is going to be a big focus for human resources departments in the future. According to the Digital Marketing Outlook report which asked 199 brand marketers, 235 agency representatives, and 233 marketing technology-related professionals, 68% of respondents intend to increase the number of digital staff in their organizations this year (+11% compared to 2010).

The social sign-in revolution is happening…

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Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de

In the last weeks, I have been in the process of letting some of the publishers in our company know that the world of communities and forums is changing. The reasons are quite obvious: The world is getting social. New standards will become mainstream and as people have many registrations processes, passwords and combinations of login to remember, websites and online content production businesses have to change their mindset.

Here is the proof to my words (and yes, it helps me a lot…). A recent study by Janrain and Blue Research among “social media active” people concludes that for online publishers, site registrations will be out soon and social sign-on is trendy, and becoming the new standard. The study found out that 66% of respondents said that social sign-in, which allows users to sign in on a platform using their profiles from Facebook, Google, Twitter or other social websites, is a potential solution. Just 25% of users are inclined to hand over their information when asked to register on a website.

Most (75%) of the over 650 respondents said, they don’t like online registrations and, when presented with a registration request, may leave the site, go somewhere else, or not come back again. More than three-quarters of the respondents even said they are putting incomplete or incorrect information in online registration forms.

Social sign-on/sign-in even pays into company’s brand image. 42% agreed that companies offering a social sign-in option “are more up-to-date, innovative and leave a positive impression compared to those which do not offer this capability” on their sites.

“The findings of the survey clearly show that consumers are frustrated with the traditional online registration process and will favor brands that make it easy for them to be recognized.” Paul Abel, Managing Partner, Blue Research

Spot On!
In my eyes, the reasons affirming the statement “pro social sign-in” is easy. You don’t need to remember all singin passwords, and forgeting one is not an issue if you have many social accounts. At least, you will remember one login. And platform owners are not losing out of users then. 45% stated they have left a website after forgetting their password or log-in information. They just don’t answer the security question or use the “Reset my password” functionality. Automation is wanted: 55% said they were more likely to return to a site that automatically recognizes their identity. Many publishers (60% according to a study by Gigya and Edge Research) have realized the opportunity to upscale on traffic and engagement by users and include sign-in options now.

Would you agree with these results? What is your way of using personal sign-in? Is social sign-in the future?

Do we have to talk about “conversation”…?

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It’s the basis of humans living together. It’s the essence of people getting in touch with each other…, and finally doing business together. It builds the fundament of collaboration, of cooperation. It’s the breath of the age of social. What is “it”…? Well, it’s not rocket-science. And still it seems to be the never-ending challenge for companies, for brands, and especially for people who are running the business. It is… conversation.

“Often I wish people understood the word “Conversation” – To start a successful collaboration we must learn to lose fear of networking.”

Do managers really have to talk about “conversations”?
Yes, we do! Don’t you agree? And we all know why. We are getting sad about the way managers (don’t) encourage themselves to engage in conversations. How often do managers not respond to a written letter? How often did they not pick up your phone? How often have they not replied to emails? How often not shown any reaction to Facebook, Twitter and the likes?

Hello managers – wake up! There is somebody trying to have a conversation with you? You cannot argue what somebody wants before having listened to them, can you?! Ignoring is so easy and it happens so often. You can do better. You can participate. And your words have significance when you take part in a conversation.

How will traditional managers get new inspiration? How will they generate new connections? Yes, conversation is the answer…

Do brands really have to discover how to do conversations?
Yes, they do! They need to figure out what they want to be: person or economic construct. Active or passive conversationalists? Motivator or creator? Former sender or modern vendor? Brands might build a consitent dialogue but only value their opinion, playing according to their rules. Listening is where relevance brings brands back in the driver’s seat, and not making them sit still and beg that the driver (who ever that consumer is) knows the way towards to the targets.

Productivity, creativity, innovation, thought-leadership and ROI counts for brands. This M&M philosophy often goes straight against lose conversation. Brands have been shaped and formed around formal structures (organisations and meetings), planned grouping (= not Groupon but agendas), lead work-flows (step-by-step approach). In earlier years, conversations came with a coffee break, some biscuits, a cigarette on the floor. Conversation today comes with an email, a tweet, or a status update on LinkedIn at your desk. And they appear different in character and tonality, “the conversation mode is changing” as Eric Schmidt called it at the DLD11 in his augmented humanity speech.

How will brands find innovation in the future? How will brands get response to products and services? Yes, conversation is the answer…

Do companies really have to reinvent the human dialogue?
Yes, they do! Companies are made from (and made by) people. People always had not enough time in their lives. Conversations cost time. Time builds trust and drive efficiency. Email took us time, too. We had to learn how to communicate online. Not now anymore. We know how it works. It is just a different platform or technology every crucial department of your business will be using in the future, called Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Quora or blogs. They will control our marketing efficiency, our sales opportunities, our upscale, our revenue sheets. And we won’t even know, when we don’t embrace and value the conversation on the social web.

Power to “processes, people, potential and possibilities” means opening up our mindset to a new way of conversation. A way that shows the value of starting the talk. A way that shows clients how companies rate their review, input and sharing of brand messages and product conversations. Customer just want to get the feeling that it is not a maschine out there they are buying from. They want to see the personal human touch that makes mistakes, laughs about themselves and answers when getting questions.

How will companies renew their strategy, their tactics, their visions…? How will companies build products that their customers want? Yes, conversation is the answer…

Spot On!
Conversations are the basis of your future business-strategy, as well as your web-strategy. This is nothing new, you knew it before. Companies have them multiple times every day. Brand can get engaged in them every minute on a day in the future. And you even more. Every minute you can have the chance to have conversations today. The only difference is that conversation is also happening online – not on the phone, not via fax, not via mail, not on the floor, or in meetings. You just have to embrace conversations… it is that easy.

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