We all know that our society is changing in terms of how we are learning today. But in which way does information communication technology redefine the way we learn in the Networked Society? In an interesting video Ericsson draws a nice collection of pictures with different experts and educators on how technology has enabled us to interact, innovate and share in whole new ways. They come to the conclusion that the dynamic shift in mindset is creating profound change throughout our society. The video “The Future of Learning” identifies that change as a “potential to redefine how we learn and educate”. It will take you away from a world of traditional methods of learning based on memorization and repetition to more holistic approaches that focus on individual students’ needs and self expression.
While Facebook turns more and more to search and ad exchange budgets, Google is still riding the mobile wave. In many moderations over the last two years, I could listen to their attitude towards building mobile websites, and why these are important to the business of the future. However, companies often resist to face the mobile evolution and still stick to their conventional desktop websites. Not to mention what this does to their brands when the user experience is driving into a nightmare of usability and readability.
To get more attraction for their mission, Google has now published some research data on their blog that will help them to evangelize in the mobile business world approach. The benefit for Google is obvious. The more people use mobile sites, the better the experience in mobile usage, the more people tend to approach the Google search which means more marketing budgets into their hands.
In their research of about 1,100 U.S. adult smartphone users conducted by market research firms Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, Google gives some handsome advertising tips to make marketers better understand and evaluate the power of mobile.
The key findings can be summarized as follows…
- 67% of smartphone users state a mobile-friendly site makes them more likely to buy a company’s product or service
- 74% are more likely to return to the site with a good experience later.
- 61% made clear that when they don’t find what they’re looking for (in roughly five seconds), they’ll click away to another site.
- 50% of respondents said even if they like a business, they’ll use its site less often if it doesn’t work well on their smartphone.
- 72% see a mobile-friendly site important to them, however 96% have visited sites that aren’t.
The Google study advices marketers to create a fast mobile site with big buttons and text, and simplify the mobile experience in terms of keeping steps to complete tasks to a minimum. For sure, Google did not forget to promote the site with Google mobile ads with some good results: two-thirds of people who use search find a site. Their conclusion is that “having a great mobile site is no longer just about making a few more sales. It’s become a critical component of building strong brands, nurturing lasting customer relationships, and making mobile work for you”. There is not much more to add.
Still, we would be happy to hear from your mobile experience – with or without Google. Did you change your site lately and what did it do to your sales?
Study: European B2B Buyers use Content Marketing & Social Media for their purchase process, process complex though
The “2012 Buyersphere Report” conducted by The Base One Buyersphere Team interviewed 800 B2B customers in the France, Italy, Germany and the UK. The study reports that B2B buyers in Europe are actively using supplier-produced content and Social Media in order to speed up their purchasing decisions. It defines the importance of combining content marketing with inbound marketing tactics like (social media, search, or PR) for revenue generation.
The study concludes that B2B buyers find most whitepapers (86%) and blogs (71%) via web search. However, seminars and videos (44%) get recognition via e-mail. Still, search (71%) is the most important purchasing information sources, followed by word of mouth (55%) and Social Media (20%). However the general use of vendors’ web sites (73%), articles in the trade press (47%), supplier e-mails (39%), and downloaded white papers (20%) suggests that the world has not massively changed in the last two years.
Nevertheless, for the B2B world, face-to-face is again a key element in the influence process. Offline events and webinars get more and more influence on the information gathering and purchase process.
Mobile is on the rise: Accessing information from mobile devices is increasing. 13% are using their tablets and smartphones to access buying data. The way information is shared is still quite traditional though: 90% emails and 44% company intranet. Seems it is still a long way to become social.
In terms of Social Media the study made clear that B2B buyers are more selective when using modern media. LinkedIn generates half of the social media mentions with an increasing trend. When using Facebook for business only 5% were using the platform in 2012 compared to 15% last year. For the under 30 year olds Social Media was more useful than word of mouth. The report suggests that Social Media is WOM to this group which I would fully understand as well.
In the buying process B2B buyers use different information sources at different stages, the study reveals. First they are relying on white papers, industry press articles, and press advertising when they are defining the demand. When it comes to detect suppliers, web search, Linkedin and supplier websites become important. And when the final supplier is selected, supplier emails, Twitter, Facebook and word-of-mouth lose their importance. Interestingly enough, the importance of communities are almost stable in their influence throughout the purchase process. The study makes clear how important a multi-platform communication and clever content marketing strategy becomes in the future.
Interview: “Social Business = Creating a smarter workforce & a proven solution to business challenges”
One-on-one interview with Ed Brill
Ed Brill is Director, Social Business and Collaboration Solutions, at IBM. Brill is responsible for the product and market strategy for IBM’s messaging, collaboration, communications, and productivity products, including Lotus Notes and Domino, IBM SmartCloud Notes, IBM Sametime, Lotus Symphony, IBM Docs, and other related social business solutions. Brill’s focus is on extending and growing the success of these solutions through customer engagement, partner ecosystem development, and harnessing the breadth and depth of the IBM organization.
The Strategy Web spoke with him about the relevance and future of Social Business.
Why is Social Business not only a buzzword?
Leaders in every industry are leveraging Social Business technology to disrupt their industries and create competitive advantage. They are improving productivity and unleashing innovation by tapping into the collective intelligence inside and outside their organizations. With social, they’re creating a smarter workforce and proving that social business isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a proven solution to business challenges.
According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016. According to IBM’s CEO Study, today only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, but that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years.
What does it take to make a business “social”?
Organizations have quickly learned that a Social Business is more than just having a Facebook page and a Twitter account. In a Social Business, every department in the organization has embedded social capabilities into their traditional business processes to fundamentally impact how work gets done to create business value. A Social Business utilizes social software technology to communicate with its rich ecosystem of clients, business partners and employees.
Social business is a strategic approach to shaping a business culture, highly dependent upon transparency and trust from executive leadership and corporate strategy, including business process design, risk management, leadership development, financial controls and use of business analytics. Becoming a Social Business can help an organization deepen customer relationships, generate new ideas and innovate faster, identify expertise, enable a more effective workforce and ultimately drive its bottom line.
What does it mean to change the culture of a company?
Changing an organizations culture to embrace social must start from the top. Senior leadership must buy in and promote a culture of sharing, transparency and trust. Recent studies by IBM see this shift, today’s C-Suite recognizes the potential of social. Consider this, according to IBM’s 2012 CEO Study, today only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, but that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years. Similarly. IBM’s 2011 CIO Survey of 3,000 global leaders indicated that more than 55% of companies identified social networking as having a strategic significance to their company’s growth. And finally, 2011 IBM CMO Study reports that CMOs are using social platforms to communicate with their customers, 56 percent view it as a key communication channel. These senior leaders are the key to social business adoption and there’s a real shift occurring, social business is now a business imperative.
What role is the flexible workspace playing in the process?
Companies are able to build virtual teams out of expertise and leadership, regardless of their physical location or title on the organization chart. Today’s workforce expects to be able to share, post, update and communicate with colleagues, customers, and ecosystem using social tools to get real work done. Through those tools, employees who work remotely, use flexible “hot desks” in company offices, or open floorplans can leverage tools for instant e-meetings, video and audio tools, and embedded applications to process knowledge and activities faster and deliver more value to the organization.
What’s your advice for companies to become a “social business”?
Companies around the world are now focused on becoming Social Businesses, Forrester Research estimates that the market opportunity for social software is expected to increase 60% annually. But perhaps the most daunting part of becoming a social business is how to start the journey. That’s where creating a Social Business Agenda plays a vital role. In order to become successful in social business, an organization needs to create its own personalized Agenda that addresses the company’s culture, trust
between management and employees and the organization and its constituencies, engagement behind and outside of the firewall, risk management, and of course, measurement. The sponsorship for such an activity can be driven by leadership, lines of business, or other organizational catalyst roles.
dmexco 2012 is over – the pure numbers show the trend of the digital marketing show…
Visitors: 22.200 – increase by 15% compared to 2011
Exhibitors: 578 – means over 135 exhibitors more than 2011
International attendance: 25% of visitors and 20% of exhibitors
The challenges for marketers are increasing. They have to face the explosion of data and how to make use of it in the future. They have to find clever data experts and technical specialists in order to cope with the evolution of adtechnology – or to find the right agency to manage the data for them. They have to evaluate the balanced strategy between going to market with long-term “content strategy” (community, monitoring, pull) and the short-term “campaign” (banner, SEO, push) approach – whether in local commerce, mobile or social. They have to, have to, have to… Well, I could continue this list of tweets.
However, it is better to share the tweets refering to the most tweeted keynotes from some international speakers that we had in the conference program.
…and in case someone might ask why I am still smiling. Just read this tweet and you know why… THX so much, Timo!
In my third year as a co-moderator, it was a great special pleasure to have the honour to moderate
the Women Leadership Panel with Colleen DeCourcy (Socialistic), Sarah Wood (Unruly) and Stephanie Fierman (Mediacom). Thank you ladies, you were smart and terrific!
Also, challenging the panel with the CEOs Jack Klues (Vivaki), Randall Rothenburg (IAB) and Nick Emery (Mindshare Worldwide) on the relevance of big data for the media and marketing business. Learnings? Restrict them to 5 minute intros and expect them to take 10. Allow for 140 character answer and get blog posts. Thank you gentlemen, you were brilliant in big data digging!
Looking forward to the next dmexco in Cologne, September, 18. and 19, 2013 – CU there!
The GlobalWebIndex has launched its latest report Social Platform Adoption Trends 2012. It offers insights how consumers use social media platforms like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, and what these platforms play in their lives. The international study has interviewed over 152,000 individuals in 31 key internet markets.
The report make clear that Social Media is part of the modern internet experience: 90% have an account on at least one social platform with 70% of them contributed in August 2012. The emerging internet markets which are responsible for the growth numbers are Indonesia, China, South Korea, the Philippines and Russia.
Not surprisingly Facebook users are the most active of all the global social platform users. In the last month, 64% of its users were contributing to the social network via PC, tablet or mobile (653 million). This means a 40% increase year-on-year. 43% (273 million) were active via mobile devices. However, 192 million of the 845 million people who visited Facebook in the past month did not make a single contribution. Trend data expects Facebook to hit 1.5 billion users by the Q3 2013 and 2 billion users by the end of 2014 as of emerging countries like Brazil, Indonesia and India while countries like US, Sweden, Hong Kong and Singapore are declining. Sharing photos is the most important activity on all the devices used by Facebook users (and on all other social networks).
By integrating the rest of the Google product range, G+ counts 336 million active users (58% increase in the past six months) these days. China, India and Indonesia lead the usage. On a global level, 120 million active users have shared photos through the service while 108 million have hit a +1.
On the 140 character platform more and more people are creating accounts (517 million users) but just 262 million were active in the past month. While posting comments is the number one activity (48%), it gets followed by photo sharing as the second-most important activity in Twitter (41%).
The photo and picture sharing platform is on the rise with already 53 million active users. A great success bearing in mind it came out of beta in August 2012.
“Mass market social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have truly enabled all internet users to become social. They are globalising the internet by providing localised services that users across the world are adopting as their default internet experience. Fast-growing internet markets will continue to drive user base growth and will define how social services are shaped into the future. Despite this globalisation in platforms, local trends remain distinct, with every country showing different patterns of usage. It’s never been more important for brands and marketers to understand their users.” Tom Smith, Founder, GlobalWebIndex
The study shows some obvious trends in Social Media usage. The passive users are emerging in Social Media all over the world. While it was meant to publish personal experience and share knowledge in peer-to-peer conversation, activity is lowering at the moment. Most users are increasingly following and staying up to date with people they know or that are popular or can make a difference for their lives in terms of information input. The communication level in terms of contribution is decreasing by 16% from 69% in Q2/2012. Many questions are arising from these trends: Why are people inactive? Are they lazy? Is the ROI of Social Media difficult to identify for many people? Or is the value of personal branding disputable when engaging in social media and social networks by sharing links and their personal insights? Let’s discuss…
PS: We will discuss many of these questions in the Women Leadership Panel “Brand perception and the value of social marketing” at dmexco 2012. Join us if you can!
Those references and quotes would help us raise awareness. It would define and differentiate customer confidence. It would foster our sales funnel. And it would be the key to convert our sales opportunities much faster.
In other industries like hotels or restaurants, there was always a guestbook. People could tell the owners and managers what they liked, why they liked it and what made the location appear different from the competitors. In a B2B world, this was not possible. And there were reasons for it…
Who wanted to ruin the company’s tough won conditions of purchase?
Who would risk annoying their bosses for deeper supplier engagement?
Who said openly how highly rated the quality of a supplier’s communication effort was?
Who started positive questions and conversations by themselves without having a need to?
Who rates, reviews and recommends a B2B solution or a product without a need?
Today, people do that. In the B2B space maybe less than in the B2C world. But they do. And a reference in a B2B business has more value, more credibility and more sales power than when somebody likes a chocolate bar or some pair of sports-shoes – especially when not done on a social network but a corporate community.
But there are challenges coming along with this modern B2B reference development…
Companies and brands need to listen and monitor what their community is saying, and where they mention them. They need to categorize the value of a “Like” versus the impact of a comment on a corporate blog. They need to define ways for measurement criteria. And they have to know when and where to store a comment – whether positive or negative.
Positive comments are a blessing. But what if the comment disappears on Twitter after some weeks? What if the Facebook comment losses attention as of permanent posting in a company’s timeline? What value has the “Like” in general, if people don’t value Facebook as a B2B platform? Anf what if your company has a high Klout score but your clients have no clue what the impct of Klout score has for B2B?
Negative comments are an opportunity. Why not take the chance to answer to someone who was disatisfied with the solution or product? Assuming there are other clients experiencing the same problems, challenges, or undeliverables, B2Bs better respond. Is there a better chance to learn in order to get more references? Being “open” is authentic, is valuable, is generating more conversations.
Companies and brands should be grateful. Today, we have platforms where we can get references: corporate communities, forums, blogs, social network accounts and so on. But we need to make sure, we create Social Media guestbooks which display and keep the reference, the business people that have shared them, those that have retweeted, repinned or “re-used” them. Or why did we create and display case studies on our B2B websites for years?
I am asking myself the question, why are companies giving their hottest assets in the hands of Facebook, Twitter and the likes. And why they are not just changing their mindset. Answers welcome…!
The way the biggest search engine started their revolution is kind of a tipping point for companies today to get orientation in their creative evolution for further development: The Agile process. These days, Google wants to help companies and brands participate in that world of experience to help them elaborate new ideas and new ways walking on a more fluid way of creativity and innovation in order to keep track with the digital future. Their latest learning hub is curated by Think with Google. It offers a good range of Agile creativity tips and tricks from the leading agencies in the world.
A nice education piece for marketers, and don’t forget: “We are living in a world, where the only thing that is constant is change!”
Some years ago I remember saying to my boss: “Content marketing will become the future”. Well, here we are…
Companies create their own media, attracting their customers through content services in different shape or form: text, audio, video or image. Marketing strategies are getting their turns with new social media opportunities by customers contributing to what brands are shaping for them. Paid is “out”, owned is “in”.
By creating their own digital publications inside their websites or with hubs through Facebook pages, Linkedin groups or Twitter accounts, the world of media has turned around as more and more consumers use the possibility to generate and add content to brands. Brand perception, compared to brand awareness in the past, gets some complete new impact that we never had in marketing history.
Some weeks ago, The Content Marketeer created some slideshow on content marketing which gives guidance and shows best practice to marketers from different companies like American Express, IBM or L’Oreal.
Furthermore, the guys from Copypress have now conducted a nice infographic that illustrates the Content Omniverse, as they call it. It offers facts and figures of YouTube, Facebook and other platforms which makes clear the power that these platforms have to leverage brand perception. The most interesting facts on this sheet come in the end – The Copy Content Universe.
- There are 7.38 Billion web pages indexed.
- An average day at WordPress gets 500.000 new posts but only 400.000 new comments.
- By 2013, user-generated content producers will increase from 82,5 to 114,5 Million.
The challenge to increase brand awareness through content marketing efforts will increase. But do the figures in the Content Copy Universe suggest that comments will go down while word-of-mouth will go up? What’s of more value for brand perception then? What does it mean from a user point of view? Will users be able to follow the big content marketing offering, or simply shift their attention focus in fast intervals? Will brand perception still be handle for brand marketers, and how will the value change through user generated content? Many questions. Maybe you have got some answers…
We have already discussed the challenges that arise for CIOs and IT managers when it comes to supporting the IT usage and habits from Millenials.
Millenials do not want to get the IT and mobile devices from the company. They want to use their own smartphones, tablets and notebook at work. They want to bring their won device (BYOD). And some weeks ago we shared a lovely video on how BYOD constitutes in the 21st century.
BYOD is not a trend. It is an opportunity for the future – and much more. And more and more businesses and educational institutions are adopting the BYOD policy. With their latest infographic OnlineCollege covers the what, why, who, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of such policies.