Study: Social Media Marketing Budgets 2012

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A recent research by StrongMail states that companies will increase their spendings for Social Media in 2012. Only Email marketing beats the Social Media hype with a budget boost of 60%. And this still happens in times when some high tech offices abandon email from their office already.

However, 47% of the responding companies see the integration of Social Media into their Email Marketing programs as a necessary step into the future. They strive to strengthen the reach of their company web pages in Social Networks like Facebook or Twitter.

Still surprising for me though is that the biggest portion of their budgets will be going into Facebook Marketing with 39% of the respondents planning to spend more in the leading Social Network. Is Facebook still seen as the best ROI driver from a marketing point of view? Is no marketer thinking back and remembering to the old MySpace era these days…?

A good sign for me is that companies also start investing Social Media Management Tools (25%) and in Twitter (24%). Let’s hope they also start to understand the value of context, and don’t just invest in the broadcasting part of Social Media (app development, content production, etc.).

Spot On!
According to the study, the mobile marketing invest that marketers are planning goes predominatly still in developing and building apps for the relevant smartphones in the market (29%), followed by mobile advertising (22%) and still… SMS programs (20%).

Somehow scary is the fact that 24% don’t plan to invest in mobile and another 24% are not sure/don’t know if they want to invest in mobile. Don’t you think it is time to start seeing the mobile future?

And we will say… These were my Facebook days!

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Facebook is not new? Well, correct… Facebook is complete new! It writes our lives…

I just realized how Facebook ruled my last three days offline and online…

On Tuesday, I was shaking hands with Carolyn Everson, (Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions) after her presentation on stage at the dmexco Conference 2011. Yesterday morning, I enjoyed an espresso with Scott Woods, Commercial Director DACH at Facebook. In the afternoon, I was moderating a panel on engaged consumer advertising strategies. Topic: Facebook. Obviously, Facebook was one of the main topics we discussed…

And then, the evening came with the big announcements. I was on the train watching the announcement of the new Facebook features at the f8 conference. Techcrunch told us how to get into the new Facebook in minutes. However, only the owner can see it until the 30th of September.

And what can I say… Welcome to my Facebook life!

The main three changes for me…
– the massive lead picture – reminded me of a former Myspace design.
– the two frame structure – offers a quicker overview on personal infos, updates, activities.
– the missing picture gallery – enables people to do some personal or company branding with these pictures. Cool!

The main three „Likes“ from me…
– The coolest feature is the Timeline. If Google is changing our brain, then Facebook is pre-writing our autobiography.
– People can be creative in terms of the mixture of their conversational ingredients – text, video, audio. This makes a profile colorful and lively, apart from finally understanding that we do not „LIKE“ everything – we shop, we act and we like!
– It is much easier to see which updates were uncool and not engaging. Kill them to make your profile look conversational. Aren’t we kind of authentic…?

Facebook wants to get away from throwing sparks in our days – it aims for long-term relevancy. It wants to be the ever-lasting spark. Our memory…?! And when we are old, we won’t tell our grandchildren stories of the past. We will say… Just read my Facebook days!

LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook? Study finds leading social network from journalists…

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What’s your guess? What is the leading social network for journalists? And what does this mean to business decision makers, managers and PR professionals?

The answer by far is LinkedIn with 92% – with a remarkable increase of 7% compared to 2009. However, this does not mean that it is their main source of information. At least, this is what the latest study tells us which is called 2011 Arketi Web Watch Survey: Inside BtoB Media Usage of Social Media.

For me it was a bit of an eye-opener as I thought journalists might prefer to use Twitter to monitor sources for trending topics and breaking news. Probably, the statement has some value still. For Mike Neumeier, Pricipal, Arketi Group was not surprised…

„It comes as no surprise more BtoB journalists are participating in social media sites, especially LinkedIn. (…) LinkedIn provides an online outlet for them to connect with industry sources, find story leads and build their professional networks.“

The second largest still is not Twitter. It is Facebook. 85% of journalists are on Facebook (increase by 30% to 2009). However, Twitter comes in nearly at the same result (84%) and with the highest growth of 60% to 2009. And nearly half of the responding journalists (49%) say they blog or read blogs regularly.

„When compared to the 2009 Arketi Web Watch Survey, this year’s results show significantly more journalists are using social media tools (…) This means companies have more online channels through which they can reach media targets. This is both a blessing and curse for today’s PR professionals.“ Dr. Kaye Sweetser, associate professor of PR, University of Georgia’s Grady College

Findings where journalists have their news sources…
– 80% via public relations contacts
– 77% rely on news releases
– 74% turn to newswires (i.e. BusinessWire or PRNewswire)
– 71% get from email pitches
– 56% from blogs
– 44% from micro-blogs (such as Twitter), and
– 39% from social networking sites (such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Myspace).

More than nine out of ten journalists responding (96 percent) say they prefer to receive news releases via email from companies they know, and 95 percent of business journalists say they prefer to receive news releases via email from companies they don’t know but are in industries they cover.

Journalists get crucial information regarding breaking news from the following sources…
– 85% Industry experts
– 81% Company website
– 80% Industry website
– 80% Other interested parties
– 57% Industry blog
– 53% Company blog
– 41% Industry Twitter feed
– 33% Company Twitter feed

Spot On!
Although LinkedIn is very popular among journalists, it does not seem to be the centre of attention to get a big story. Still, the direct contact and company websites have massive power and as they are probably the most trusted sources, they still lead. Still, social networks make it easy for journalists to get in touch with relevant people for good quotes. It should assume that investigative journalism is on the rise. Reading newspapers and websites today, I personally get the feeling that blogs have far more to offer.

What is your view?

News Update – Best of the Day

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All entrepreneuers and business managers try to create best possible brand awareness these days. Mashable author Benjamin Lang has some great 10 tips for entrepreneuers (and business decision) makers how to socialize their business and get more „free“ brand awareness. It reminds me that I still haven’t got the customized URL shortener up and running. Project for next week…

Mobile is the extension of print in the future, I wrote some weeks ago. Aurasma, a new app by Autonomy, gives again a proof for this thesis which I found on the IBM A Smarter Planet blog. It enables media companies to use it to relate to printed matter (i.e. print ads, posters, newspapers articles, etc.) to compelling video and online content.

The music industry, especially young bands and singers, are said to put their bets still on Myspace for the promotion of their new tapes. Interesting to see that MTV, the most popular music channel, and Corona Extra are using Facebook (and not Myspace) for the revival of their campaign in Germany. The contest „Experience The Extraordinary – The Challenge“ is for users that can describe and share the dream experience – and Corona and MTV will make it happen, they say. The proof from last year is in the video promotion. And I am still thinking what I am dreaming of but we will hand something in – be sure…

Corona Experience the Extraordinary – English from Corona Extra on Vimeo.

Real-time-bidding: How publishers and advertisers leverage online ads (a Michael Barrett interview)

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One-on-one interview with Michael Barrett.

Michael Barrett joined Admeld from Fox Interactive Media, where he was Executive Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer and oversaw worldwide revenue for all properties, including MySpace, IGN,,, and Before Fox, Mr. Barrett held senior sales positions at interactive leaders AOL Media Networks, GeoCities/Yahoo! and Disney Online.

The Strategy Web spoke briefly with Mr. Barrett about Real-Time-Bidding (RTB) and the benefit that Admeld can offer to publishers… and advertisers.

What is a private Ad Exchange and which role does Admeld play in this context?

The private exchange is built on Admeld’s core technology, it is an invite only marketplace. First, it leverages our yield optimisation engine, which connects to every major programmatic buyer. Second, it has an audience analytics module which enables the publisher to identify their most valuable users. And third, it has the analytics and controls necessary to help them stay aware of buying trends, price effectively and sell only to those they want.

Do you think, this model is right for every publisher?

The model makes sense for many large European publishers, but the solution isn’t right for every publisher. It’s meant for those that have the scale and brand equity to attract advertisers into their own marketplace. The private exchange is customized to a publisher’s needs, and delivers cutting-edge control over how you sell your inventory, to whom, and for how much.

Can you still put inventory through RTB on private exchange?

Yes, Admeld’s private exchange platform has been developed to primarily handle RTB and gives the publisher unprecedented, direct access to Admeld’s audience analysis and optimisation technology. The exchange platform works in concert with a publisher’s ad server and demand flows from the trading desks, DSP’s, and direct sold deals. This methodology gives the publisher truly informative access, control (including the ability to set price floors), and insights on their inventory, regardless of demand source.

Spot On!
The RTB technology approach is still quite new to the advertising industry. Admeld just recently launched a RTB network with quadrantOne on premium local audiences. sociomantic entered the European market last week – just some weeks after my company IDG signed a global agreement with Admeld to start their own RTB system called Techmediaexchange which will be going live soon. One of the latest studies by Forrester claims that RTB is accounting for 8% of the online display ad market in 2011. An interesting market for clients and publishers in the future…

Infographic – The history of Social Networks

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Have you ever thought of the first elements that platform offered in terms of Social Media? Did you know what was the first development that today is one of the features that makes Facebook and Co. as successful as they are? This virtual infographic gives us a 30-year backlook with some (probably unknown) background information on platforms like Usenet, AIM and Friendster amoung others.

I had forgotten that the first email was sent out in 1971, I remember which nearly killed our network bandwith in 1997 at work, and I learned that the MySpace code was developed in just 10 days…

The creation was done by Enjoy, remember and learn…!

What were your first experiences with Social Media? Do you really bring email in context with Social Media anymore? Let us know what you think about the past of Social Media.

How Cisco’s SocialMiner helps improve the conversation with customers (a John Hernandez interview)

14.01.2011 von  
Kategorie Web Strategy

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One-on-one interview with John Hernandez

John Hernandez is General Manager of the Customer Collaboration Business Unit (CCBU) at Cisco, which provides contact center and interactive voice applications to enterprises and service providers. In this capacity he oversees product and market development, and is closely involved in the business with the Cisco sales force and partners.

The Strategy Web spoke with him about the launch and benefits of their new customer care product SocialMiner.

What were Cisco’s most successful social medias tactics in the last 2 years? How did Cisco came across the new solution SocialMiner? Why is social media monitoring so important from a strategic point of view for businesses?

Cisco is very active in social media. Our employees were some of the earliest adopters of Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social sites. We have tens of thousands of active social media users in our company, as well as a robust and vibrant corporate presence on the social web.

Social media monitoring can become a key strategic advantage for businesses. From a contact center perspective, social media could be treated as „just another channel“ in a multichannel approach. However, the public nature of social media, along with the sheer volume of social media postings, makes social media as much a business intelligence tool as a new way to engage with customers. Cisco believes that proactive social media customer care will have a transformative impact on how companies engage and serve their customers.

The concept of the SocialMiner product came from our observation of the changing communication habits and Internet usage of consumers. As consumers have adopted social media channels for their individual communications on an ever-increasing basis over the past couple years, it is only natural that they would consider interacting with a business via social media. This concept of social impacting customer relationships is a very active topic within the emerging „Social CRM“ community.

Is SocialMiner just a Customer Service product? Bearing in mind that social conversations on the web affects the whole business…

Cisco SocialMiner is an engagement product, not a „listening product.“ SocialMiner is designed to scale the quality and quantity of social media interactions performed by a business. SocialMiner can be used for a variety of business functions such as Support or Sales, but we believe the customers that derive the most value from social media will also use these engagements to drive business process change. For example, an organization could use SocialMiner as a source of business intelligence to provide real-time customer appreciation or criticism of a product or service (or of a competitors’ product/service). Social media can direct their business strategy. Cisco believes that companies that learn from social media will become closer to meeting their customers’ expectations and this will drive overall business success.

Which three benefits do business users have using SocialMiner compared to other tools in the market (Radian6, Alterian, etc.)

1. Cisco SocialMiner is complementary to brand monitoring dashboard solutions. It is designed to support scaling social media by leveraging the best practices from contact center type operational models: Queuing, Service Level Metrics (Average Speed of Answer), and productivity metrics for users. By contrast, many of the brand monitoring dashboards have pieces of workflow capability, but these capabilities are either relatively limited or recently introduced functions.

2. Cisco SocialMiner is a component of the Cisco contact center portfolio which currently includes an installed base of over 10,000 customers. SocialMiner is packaged, priced, and delivered along with Cisco Unified Contact Center Express and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise solutions, and therefore it supports the same installation, deployment, serviceability, and user experience as these other Cisco collaboration solutions.

3. Cisco SocialMiner is a very easy to install and operate software appliance. It runs on premise or in a customer controlled data-center hosting facility and offers unlimited capture capability. Cisco SocialMiner is an API-first product with 100% of functionality available via REST API’s and all user interface delivered as OpenSocial gadgets with documented source that can be modified by Cisco channel or customers. This model supports the preferred consumption model of most enterprise organizations along with a broad customization capability.

Can it be used as a stand-alone product or only in combination with other Cisco products for customer service? Do you have any case studies of success?

Cisco SocialMiner can be used as a stand-alone solution. We have several case studies that illustrate SocialMiner’s success. Zone Labs is one of them. The small wellness company was looking to accelerate revenues & grow 1000% in next 3 years, implemented Cisco SocialMiner to increase customer engagement, customer satisfaction and sales. Zone Labs started developing social communities on their own website as well as Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. They used Cisco SocialMiner to route and queue contacts to experts within their organization.

Using SocialMiner, experts were able to proactively answer health and wellness questions via Twitter, providing encouragement to consumers on the Zone Diet, customer service and expert advice on questions such as vitamins and healthy recipes. Zone Labs saw improved agent productivity by automating capturing and responding to social media posts (currently estimated at ~10x). They gained greater customer satisfaction & brand mind-share from faster first inquiry resolution on the web, and were able to compete on comparable scale with larger companies. Their social media activity reduced their customer acquisition cost and created a larger funnel with more leads, that were converted more easily and more quickly than before.

Within 4 months of using SocialMiner, Zone Labs saw tremendous results:
– Web site transactions up 189%
– Revenue up 203%
– 202% increase in total visitors to

Thank you for your time, John. And by the way: I like your commercial for the product…

LeWeb10 – Learnings & Review

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Before I came to Paris to participate in the LeWeb10, I was quite amazed how excited everyboody was about the event. Tweets went to and fro about what we can expect as revolutionary input (comparable to Cebit in the 90’s when companies were launching their most important technology inventions). On Facebook people were awaiting the great party with DJ Bob Sinclair. And people did their networking via Presdo which was used as the „official social network“ for participants.

So, what was my impression of LeWeb10? Of an event where 2500 devices got connected, 300 Gigabytes of data were going in and out…

Obviously, the networking part is the most important topic of all events in this business. And so I was networking with many people from interesting people (like Jeremiah – interview follows…) and companies like Pearltrees which introduced new technology or business opportunities. As some could not make it, we will have to evaluate Presdo’s real social networking after-event benefit in some days. So far, so good…

They keynote by Carlos Ghosn, Chairman & CEO, Renault S.A. & Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. was impressive and honest. It showed how much the automotive industry and the IT are coming together, although the former cannot keep up with the speed of innovation the later embraces. The New Megane will have as much IT build in as the first Airbus 300 about 20 years ago. Global warming (also air polution), oil price and the future of mobility will be challenges the car industry will neeed to tackle, Ghosn said, facing the fact that there will be 2 billion cars globally by 2020. A topic I have actuall picked as a futuristic project for me and IDG…

The plenary hall talks were the usual PR outlooks (most not much enlightening…). Interstingly enough, for the first time I saw somebody praising openly the quality of their competitor’s device. Marko Ahtisaari, Director of Design Strategy at Nokia, mentioned the „beautiful elegant“ and „easy to learn“ of the Apple UI. Obviously, these words were to underline that their new Meego-based platform will kind of „revolutionize“ UIs in the future (launch in 2011). He also mentioned that Nokia has 1.5 billion mobile handset users a day and 3.5 million app downloads a day in their Ovi store. Seeing this under the findings of the latest Handmark Mobile Media Consumption Report that mobile replace desktops for breaking news and events consumption, Nokia does well to make their devices more user friendly. Most of my friends don’t have Nokias anymore. Apple and Androids are their choices. So, the competition will be interesting…

For some months, we have been discussing internally the value of MySpace. Or if their market has gone already. Mike Jones, the CEO of MySpace, reaffirmed (or redefined?) their new positioning to the world. MySpace does not want to be a social network anymore but a social entertainment platform (which explains the mayor partnership with Facebook). MySpace is reinventing itself. User shall get recommendations for music, TV and other entertainment content, in some way similar Facebook’s social graph approach (250 mio. peoplle use Facebook Connect button). Music seems to be the focus for them in the future.

„My goal is you come to MySpace, you listen to some new bands and connect to those bands. I don’t wanna be the place that replaces iTunes. I wanna be the place where you learn about music and then take that to wherever your music consumption happens. If we connect you to curators who bring you the best content, your repeat visits go dramatically up,“ concluded Jones.

Some of the Ignite speeches were mentionable and thought-provoking (Fumi Yamazaki about the Japanese Geek culture of openness and collaboration).

Side notes… Finally I saw the first Promoted Tweet activity appear in my Tweetdeck account pop up. And I agree with the findings of a study by TWRTCON and oneforty about promoted tweets: Yes, it is was a positive experience (as long as it comes up like this… see picture) and No, it did not target me, so I did not click…

The food was really good – THX to the founders Geraldine & Loïc Le Meur! Maybe work on the registration process. Standing in the rain for an hour is „sub-perfect“… ;-)

Spot On!
The funny thing in the last two weeks was that wherever I was going (Munich, Paris and London) the world collapsed as of serious snow conditions. Two hours waiting on a plane, getting stuck in Heathrow for another day, and no cabs available in Paris for hours were my learings on how much we depend on nature. No matter how clever our technology is. And then you realize how much you use modeern technology. You pick up the iPad and watch TV (live or on-demand) and participate in webinars or conferences. Conversations continue consistently. And sometimes you ask yourself: Do we really need to fly to these countries to join these events anymore? Especially, when these events can be viewed on a live stream? And then you think about Bob Sinclair and listen to his fantastic party tune „World hold on!„…

You answer this question or add thoughts to the future of mobility and events if you may… Much appreciated!

News Update – Best of the Day – 250

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Let’s celebrate…! This is News Update number 250! The plan was to write it every working-day. To be honest… A day has only 24-hours (it’s shame it hasn’t 36…!). Sometimes I do need some sleep. And I have the plan to write one post a day as it is a weblog and not a publishers magazine… ;-)!

We will be celebrating this special edition focussing solely on the future of social networks… AND…
I will be drawing an excellent bottle of Italian wine and 3 specially designed The Strategy Web aluminium keyring bottle openers for everybody answering one of the following question!

Location Based Services Social Networks
Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite were the first mobile location-based service social networks. Now, Facebook starts with their Places.
The question is… Who will survive and why…?

Business Networks
LinkedIn, Bebo, XING, Facebook, hi5, orkut.
The question is… Are „private social networks“ winning against real business networks…?

Private Social Networks
Facebook, MySpace, friendster, Perfspot, Zorpia, Netlog
The question is… Will private and business networks merge in the future…?

Outstanding Countires – Social Networks
Tuenti (Spain), Bebo (India, Portugal, Brasil), Lokalisten and VZ Networks (Germany), Nasza-klasa (Poland), Vkontakte (Russia)
The question is… Will these networks survive against the global networks in the long-run…?

Looking forward to your feedback and Good luck for the draw on September 01st, 2010!

Social Networks – Are niche communities the future of networks?

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More often people are fed up with all that self-referential talk of individuals on social networks. Or, companies which do not understand the idea of an online conversation, including clients and not just broadcasting the old-fashioned marketing and sales way. Just today, I had some people in my Facebook stream and my Twitter updates telling me how the weather was, what their kids had for breakfast, or that their wives don’t understand their affinity to social networks. OK, nice, fair enough… Interesting? No!

And then I hear my wife saying… „Why keeping up the contact to so many people if there is no option to even get actively into 10 per cent of the conversations happening in these online relationships?“ True, but you never know when some contact might need you, or vice versa.

Checking Facebook and staying up-to-date on Twitter becomes challenging on a busy day, with kids that are happy to see dad in the evening for some minutes, and long-time friends complaining why they don’t hear anything from you anymore.

So, is there another trend coming up in the future that might go for niche social networks, niche communities? Why? We had that offline for ages. Years ago, people have spend hours in their football club bar after a training session, or went to book readings to enjoy the discussion afterwards, or went to a vernisage in order to „philosophy“ about the latest gallery exhibition with someone they don’t know. The reason for doing it was just their share of interest in something, a hobby, a passion, or a kind of affinity. So, are we seeing social networks for art geeks going on virtual gallery tours in the future?

My father was telling me that he uses a Bridge community and plays daily for one or two hours. A friend of mine is a DJ and he spend hours in communities for DJs like My DJ Space or Mix DJ. Some even still (or again?) love vinyl and become members in a community there. These music enthusiasts do nothing more or less than share their interest in being DJs, and obviously loving to mix tapes. The special interest is the centre of their community engagement.

Some years ago, somebody approached me with the idea of an international golfer network ( As I love playing golf (though don’t have enough time to play often…), there was some interest to become a member, if not more to become more engaged in the business idea. But then, time and the thought of managing many private interest networks -as I have quite some hobbies- next to my business networks and the top networks made me not investing too much time in that vision. Maybe I should have done…

Mothers share their passion for coffee on Cafemom, and if we think about all the Starbucks communities it does not surprise us. Games exchange ideas and thoughts on Raptr, or real social activists use Care2. Even more „nichy“ is the passion of men for their moustache that they express online to the public. And others share their interest in Whisky or Wine networks.

So, my question is if niche networks could take a big portion of the market share of global social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc.) in the future? Can you see people going away from the self-gloryfying popular networks that the mainstream web user is engaged in? Tell us of niche networks you know and how you see this trend?

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