Technorati Media just shortly released its 2013 Digital Influence Report which is replacing the former annual “State of the Blogosphere” periodical.
The report explains in detail why inbound marketing is on the rise at the moment, and how it influences consumer behaviour.
“When it comes to community size, 54 percent of consumers agree that the smaller the community the greater the influence … The survey findings also indicate that many of those consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase. Blogs were found to be the third-most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, only behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%). In fact, blogs were found to be the fifth-most trustworthy source overall for information on the Internet.”
Technorati makes clear what the real top influencers in digital marketing are doing in a different way than other marketers: 88% of the top influencers blog for themselves, and 52% have more than one blog. Furthermore, top Influencers are evaluating content differently when blogging. They keep monitoring different people, different blogs, different content sources in order to boost some extraordinary blogging experience.
When Richard Jalichandra, CEO of Technorati, was interviewed by Social Media Examiner, he states that close to 90% of all professional bloggers and 73% of bloggers are using Twitter as opossed to 14% of the general population. This also shows the high popularity and growth of the micro-blogging service.
But watch yourself what Richard tells us about influencers…
Some day, I have to be at CES, just to say I have been there, I assume. But time is money and the more projects you are juggling on a daily business, the less time there is for events. And the questions is if it all worth the traveling. So, the CES 2013 passed without me but the three main web connected inventions that caught my attention, shall be summarized briefly in this post.
At different events in 2012 you could hear many speakers talking of the car becoming the most expensive but also most connected mobile device in our lives in the future. CES speakers were following kind of the same lines. When Will Smith was handling many issues while driving his car in iRobot, it seemed all too far away for us those days. Now, just some years have passed and AUDI is already showing the first prototype that allows drivers to travel via autopilot with the option to check emails and social channels when driving under 30 miles per hour. More and more, the car is emerging towards a connected multimedia vehicle which also offers new advertising and marketing approaches through mobile and navigation systems that bridge new opportunities for brand integration. This Beet.TV interview with Rob Norman, Global Chief Digital Officer at GroupM, tells us how…
Magic Glass & Augmented Reality
When we have written about the Google Glass and the short film “Sight”, the vision of integrated and intelligent augmented reality technology seemed even further away from reality. At CES, another company called Innovega showed their version of augmented-reality eyewear. They previewed their invention of a wearable transparent heads-up display, enabled by iOptik contact lens technology, which delivers mega-pixel content with a panoramic field-of-view. An unbelievable “enjoyment of immersive personal media”? Well, the video shows us in two parts Innovega’s glasses why the approval of the FDA would be welcomed soon. And then I can see a future, where we will have the latest content and ads from our brand right in front of our eyes…
Do you still think, TV commercials are one-way communication? You might think again. Audible Magic, an audio fingerprinting and recognition technology company, will be able to detect content and then react on a second screen. The company will partner with three advertising companies (Accelerated Media, DG Mediamind and Cheshire Duo) to create interactive commercials. Those ads shall trigger users by detecting relevant content and then send “relevant” brand content to the viewer. Imagine you are watching a new James Bond film on TV with all their great commercials around “Skyfall”, Audible Magic’s technology recognizes the content and sends you a coupon or a video commercial on a second screen with a nice discount offer.
Although I have listened to Ford’s Community with similar visions where via GPS billboard content shall sync with a smartphone app to be remembered while passing those billboards, it still sounds quite far away.
But the other innovations have shown that the future is just around the corner sometimes. Maybe I need to go to CES 2013 next year to find some more brand power options. You never know…
Now, the IBM Institute for Business Value published a report, called The Business of Social Business: What works and how it’s done. The study surveyed more than “1,100 businesses around the world and conducted extensive interviews with more than two dozen widely recognized leaders in social business”.
And these guys had some answers, basicallly 3 main topics came out as their main ROI aspects:
a) creating valued customer experiences
b.) driving workforce productivity and effectiveness
c.) accelerating innovation.
And the final numbers? How about the ROI? Well, there are two other studies that need to be mentioned when quoting this study: the works of Deloitte and McKinsey. The McKinsey Global Institute study found that the top-line growth for Social Business can improve between 3 and 11 percent, while productivity can be enhanced by 2 to 12 percent.
The other study by Deloitte explains that 41% of responding business executives believe social networking helps to build and maintain workplace culture. Compared to the just 21% of employees with the same view, these results illustrate a massive perception gap between business leaders and their employees. Furthermore, 45% of business leaders think that Social Media has a positive effect on the workplace culture (vs. 27% of employees) and 38% believe it allows for increased management transparency (vs. 17%).
Still, it also suggests that most companies have best prctise guidelines in place but still worry too much about those guidelines in these changing times that comes alongside the employees’ use of Social Media. They demand a better workaround process concerning the risks.
However, these might sound obvious to those people familiar with Social Busines in general, all studies emphasize the importance of the cultural aspect of Social Business. Reading through them, they give straight hints to how to make your business culture become social-driven…
1. Figure out how to incorporate social metrics into traditional efficiency processes.
2. Be clear on the risks involved and how to manage them.
3. Although managers hate this word: change management. It still is one! nevertheless, it will nonetheless require tried and tested techniques to influence corporate culture and performance.
With a sub-sample of Social Business savy companies the IBM study makes clear that the percentage of companies using Social Business for promotional benefits will increase slightly (from 71% to 83% in two years). The amount of businesses that use Social Business to generate leads and revenue will increase dramatically (from 51% to 74% in two years). Another massive benefit will come from post-sales support which is expected to increase form 46% to 69%.
The long discussion whether Social Media impacts sales in the business-to-business (B2B) space gets some new basis. According to the Technology Decision-Maker Study by Hill+Knowlton Strategies, many executives and IT managers are in exchange with their peers when it comes to making B2B technology purchases. The study shows the increasing role Social Media plays in driving revenue and reputation for technology companies. Although traditional media is still leading the bunch in tech, word of mouth drives B2B technology revenues in terms of comments from peers and experts.
The research conducted by Research+Data Insights (RDI), a division of H+K Strategies, interviewed 813 IT purchase decision-makers in the US and UK. The basic intend of the study was to understand which communications channels had most impact on purchase decisions, and tried to figure out how much participation theses decision makers put in Social Media, and what makes them contribute content and opinions online.
These were the main findings from the respondents…
- The top two drivers of technology purchase decisions are word of mouth from peers and industry analyst commentary.
- Financial analyst reports, corporate web sites and traditional media sources (both online and offline) followed close after.
- 48% responded that word of mouth from peers frequently changed their decisions about their business priorities, not just their purchase decisions.
- 76% said they actively post opinions and comment on what they read online at least a few times per month, with 49% saying they actively comment at least weekly.
- If marketers want to generate most effective online commentary from B2B decision-makers, the best option is to publish a thought-provoking question related to current events.
- Most impact on final purchase decisions have analyst commentary and consultations.
“We’re seeing a change in how technology purchases are being influenced. Word of mouth from peers and industry analysts has grown in influence significantly since the 2009 study, and social media is the carrier signal for that influence. These findings lead us to strongly recommend communications programs for B2B tech companies that integrate reputational research, social media, analyst relations and traditional media.” Joshua Reynolds, Executive Vice President, H+K Strategies.
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!
Every Christmas season, I am looking out for the latest gadgets that I think my readers might find cool as well. And, you can win one of those in a draw on 20th of December 2011. That’s cool, right…?!
The last time around Christmas, I focused on the 7 brand gadgets. This Christmas season, we will keep it more general on freaky, funny and fantastic gadgets which I think were the coolest gadgets in 2011. Yes, we are not talking about the 5 best toys for boys, women will love these gadgets as well. So, please find my 5 coolest gadgets in the second half of 2011…
Always Run! – NIKE GPS Sportwatch mit TomTom
This Nike+ Sensor enabled sports watch with GPS system from TomTom lets you find out how you can start tracking your run instantly, and how to get accurate speed and distance information, indoors or out. It tracks your time, distance, pace, heart rate and calories burned. Can you imagine it mapped route, with pace data, and changes in elevation on Nikeplus.com? And it can do so much more for your fitness…
Always Air! – Philips Fidelio SoundRing
What I like about the Philips AirPlay technology? It lets me stream my entire iTunes music collection to the Fidelio docking stations – wireless music from the iTunes program on the computer, iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to any AirPlay-enabled speaker at home. Just make sure the speakers are connected to the Wi-Fi network. And AirPlay lets you play simultaneously on every speaker in every room. So your favorite tunes will follow you into the rooms you go.
Always on! – Innergie Adapter
One of the best conversations I have seen this year: Wikipedia “I know everything!” – Google “I have everything!” – Facebook “I know everything!” – Internet “With me you all are nothing!” – Electricity “Keep talking b*itches!” This loading unit might help us in what what we need most for our modern lives: energy. Innergie’s mCubePro got a sleek design and unique features that will surely make us and our devices reload again. Get your device charged from every device everywhere you go. Reload your batteries!
Always live! – Vivitek Qumi
If you want to get a projector with 300 lumens that is weighing more or less nothing (1.1 pounds), maybe consider the Qumi by Vivitek. It is a very innovative pocket LED pocket projector that is 3D-ready via DLP Link™. And what is so freaky about it? The Qumi connectivity can be used with a variety of devices like smartphones, laptops, netbooks and tablets, digital and video cameras. The Qumi is the perfect device for sharing digital content at work and play.
Always wake up! – Logitech Clock Radio Dock S400i
Is it something special to wake up and fall asleep to your favorite songs while charging your iPod or iPhone in 2011? No! If an audio system does it with speakers that produce rich, full, stereo sound? Well, it might be! This black systems is small, smart and stereo. Not like in old times where the systems were massive and mono. Thus, this system will recharge your personal energy. I just like it. It looks cool, geeky (big silver control knob) and it had the chance to listen to it on Heathrow airport. The right push, the right music… at the right time.
Always iStereo! – Hohrizontal 51
Can a functional shelf on the wall play music, images and videos from the iPod® or iPhone®? Honestly, I could not believe the sound of the HOHRIZONTAL 51 when I listened to it in Zurich. It has got some powerful bass and room filling sound which comes from the integrated soundsystem. And the system can even be connected to your TV or plug your computer in. Remote control gives you the right flexibility and relaxing opportunities in great Hi-Fi quality. You can even choose from different designs and colours. Like it!
How to enter the competition?
Most companies have given us one product for a draw. Just write a Retweet (RT), comment, send us an email, and tell us which product you like most and why. Then you will get a ticket for the competition to win one of the products!
End of participation and date of draw: 20.12.2011. There is no right of appeal. Good luck!
An online study along with in-depth interviews of 400 “Millennials”, ages between 20 through 29, and 200 IT managers the U.S. from mid-sized to large corporations gives some interesting insights in the expectations of the Millenials when it comes to IT. The study was conducted by Isurus Market Research and Consulting with analysis by GigaOM Pro, and underwritten by Bomgar.
Millenials are growing up in an “instantaneous world” of social web conversations, mobile phones, and almost permanent WiFi access. This brings new challenges for IT departments in the future as expectations are these young people are high. Millennials expect more or less immediate answers on IT support questions and all options of multi-channel communication. However, the worst is: Ideally, they could solve their technology issues themselves.
Some key findings what Millenials do…
- 71% state to have done a Google search for a solution finding at least once.
- 61% don’t turn to company support first to solve problems, while 71% say they have done a Google search for a solution at least once.
- 58% prefer to communicate in chat or text messaging, not the phone.
- 40% use a mobile device for work “on a weekly basis.”
So, if Millenials are responsible for their own technology, as it is their private device, IT could get away from the omnipresent IT support issue as they will have less responsibility, costs will decrease for IT, and it is a sustainable Green IT approach. Or who wants to carry around two mobile phones, two tablets, two notebooks, and so on?
The challenge for company bosses? Millennials say that their job satisfaction is “strongly affected” by the type of mobile device their employers provided. Isn’t this great? Just ask them what they want and you can increase personal productivity and work efficiency. Correct?
“Our research highlights the biggest challenges for IT departments: Millennials expect immediate responses, prefer a wider variety of communication channels and, when it comes to problem solving, often turn to Google and outside resources before contacting support,” David Card, Research Director, GigaOM Pro.
Millenials will become difficult to handle though. 60% think that good support time for a technical problem to be solved is less than 10 minutes. Compared to IT managers who think that a reasonable time frame for solving tech problems was an hour or more, this calls for problems between the work forces in the future. No wonder, 80% of IT managers see Millennials as “different or very different than their older peers in terms of technology expectations”.
However, these two studies might sound like a massive IT change process for companies in the future. It has to said that 75% of Millennials rate their IT departments a six or seven on a seven-point scale. Maybe IT should think about setting up IT knowledge wikis instead of letting their employees loose time surfing on Google for a solution. Millenials are not expecting something outrageous, they might just be brighter in terms of technology handling, and show us that collaboration on social networks and in communities works when they are solving their issues without the IT department. They are just another generation. The transition managers need to rate that aspect, too…
What is your view on these new challenges for it?