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?

Product strategists think social innovations could increase

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If there are more and more people engaging with brands on the social web, the opportunity to collaborate with the social community becomes a lucrative meaning for brands – and their product strategists. These managers could open up a new „external R&D department“ when they use social technology in order to increase product innovations by integrating their customers in the process of product creation and development.

A recent Forrester study of 181 consumer product strategy professionals from companies around the globe states that product strategists in companies strive for social innovations. Though Forrester makes clear that social innovation is not yet where it should be from the product strategist’s point-of-view. The study shows the familiar picture that we see in more or less all departments in companies: It is still early days also for product strategists to work with social media. And only some leverage social media in favor of social innovations.

Still it seems to be a big challenge for companies to find their way from being engaged with their customers on the social web to understanding the impacts and chances to social innovation management. This becomes clear when we see that 83% of the companies use social media to drive customer conversation but then not even half of those have product teams that influence product design, creation, or strategy by using social media.

It is also surprising for me to acknowledge that it is not the resources that are lacking. More than two-thirds of the responding product strategists have dedicated social managers or teams. On the one hand, it lacks the right technological connection bridges between the different company departments. On the other hand, when not more than one-fifth have formal policies in their companies for sharing data from social technologies with product teams, the road to succeed with social co-creation efforts seems to be long.

Spot On!
The best way to produce the right products for your customers is to ideally let them inspire a business. In the past, we had focus-groups which were cost-intensive, time-limited and time-consuming. The concept of social creation and social innovation can work on a day-to-day innovation platform. Just think of Dell Ideastorm, MyStarbucksidea, Adobe’s ideas lab or the IKEA Hacker approach. Nevertheless, companies should be aware that customers very often need or want some kick-back for their inspirational efforts. So, in my eyes the point of giving away some form of incentive will be necessary to get such communities started and make them sustainable.

Or will customers in the future co-create for free to receive better product-price-quality? What do you think?

My Starbucks Case Study – Connecting Offline and Online

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One of the famous examples we all hear when we join webinars and seminars on how to leverage your brand with social media is Starbucks. Starbucks is using Facebook and Twitter for customer care and yes, we can say that to increase sales. Case studies are a lot on the web and I often talk about them in my presentations. Asking my self if there is way to improve for Starbucks when connecting offline and online…

Now, sometimes you become part of a learning curve for brands as a prosumer. It happens quicker than you want or expect. And it happened to me at my last Starbucks visit.

When I was paying my bill, the friendly women at the counter started talking about my nice netbook. She was actually getting me inside of a comfortable small talk that was obviously intended already before I accessed their coffee shop. It is a part of their customer care strategy which connects offline and online in an interesting way.

When the cash desk threw out my receipe, the woman gets a smile on her face. She cut in our conversation with a „Hey, Congratulations! You have just been selected to take part in our customer online survey„. She hands over the recipe and explains that I have to answer some question and then will get a coupon for a free tall drink. I thought for myself „Nice idea!“, let’s see if they connect it with their social media efforts.

Now, obviously they were lucky in some way that I am a (business) blogger and always pay attention to such efforts of companies to look after their customers. I do not know whether she saw that I have logged in on that Starbucks shop via Foursquare while standing at the cash point. That would show how well trained the people at Starbucks are. She definitely knew that I will be working and going online during my stay in their shop. If the cash maschine has a customer care survey button, I don’t know. Anyway…

So, I took the survey and thus can interpret from their questions that there is an intention to get customers into a conversation. „Cluetrain in the offline world“ comes to my mind. The survey itself is a normal five minutes multiple choice research. Nothing special. In the end, I get the code for my free drink, write it on the coupon and get my drink. Their customer care process works!

Spot On!
Now, why do I write about this experience? Starbucks is said to have a good social media approach -some might call it strategy- to work with their customers. But when the survey was done, I was surprised that I did not find a button to become their „fan“ on Facebook. Which actually would lead me a step further in their process to think about their customer care card (see their app promotion). Or to become a follower of their Twitter account, so I can spread the word about my free drink and praise their cool customer service approach. And now, I am asking myself, is it better that they don’t ask for too much brand commitment. Or is it normal to give when you get? Maybe you can help my find an answer…

News Update – Best of the Day

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Just some weeks ago, I have been talking about the idea of replacing loyalty cards by social networking customer service to drive customer engagement. Now, the New York Times has extended the idea by the integration of location-based advertising using Foursquare… and of course replacing loyalty cards by social networks activity and mobile apps. The idea seems to be moving from trend to standard…

Often the question comes up which brands are the most valuable in the world. Millward Brown’s Optimor BrandZ Top100 Most Valuable Global Brands report gives us some insight. The key findings…

– Google is the most valuable global brand worth $114 billion (2nd is IBM with $86 billion, 3rd Apple with $83 billion, Microsoft was fourth with $76 billion.
– Social Media is a winner: Facebook has a brand value of $5.5 billion. Use of social media was a key trend across many of the successful brands this year, i.e. HSBC’s Expat Explorer online community.
– Strong brands such as Samsung (80% growth in brand value) and Starbucks (17% increase) are evidence that businesses with strong brands recover from adversity faster.

Heineken commercials know how to dive into the hearts of their main target group. „Men with talents“ is another fantastic example after their „walk in fridge“ idea… Sorry ladies, but we man love it!

5 strategic reasons why brands need a mobile app

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Many companies ask themselves whether it makes sense to set up a mobile app. Now, often customers may ask themselves if their needs or the business interest of the company is the main driver for this decision. One thing is for sure: Mobile Apps and the mobile web, not just because of the iPad hype, are getting more and more attention from a business perspective – from companies and brands as well as from prosumers.

But apps are not completely undisputable as a verhicle for company content. Some people are already talking about an apps economy and argue apps are „valled gardens“, going against the ideology of the web 2.0 and provide content censorship. Others appreciate the user-friendly approach they offer. App developers -according to a study by Appcelerator– are more and more interested in Android then in iPhone or iPad development. And another study shows that the user adoption of apps is comparable for both systems.

The discussion about the relevance, necessity and sustainability of mobile apps will continue. The hype is there and cannot be mistaken. This is the main reason why companies think about setting up an app. But before companies start to set up an app, they should be thinking about the customers intention to use such apps. In the end, apps serve the brands interest to keep customers and make them happy with their products.

In the last days, I have set up 5 reasons why companies should produce an app for their brand, product or service as an important tactic for customer engagement.

1. Trendsetter
Innovation is the quicksand for the future of a brand. Is a company’s strategic orientating going in the direction of an outstanding position for market development, the mobile app is expected internal and external. If the external perception by customers is similar, no company will miss the permanent access opportunity to talk communicate with their customers. Especially when the brand can offer all news to the customer any time, any place, anywhere in short and essential information flow – without any possibility of distraction that the web 2.0 offers. And, only customers that see themselves as trendsetters follow the news of a brand in real-time.

2. Brandsetter
Being the first and best brand is and was always a competitive advantage – not only in the real-time web (see Starbucks, Dell, Amazon, Spreadshirt, etc.). It generates powerful PR and the wonderful buzz effect of the social web community. In a competitive market landscape brands need to have a closer look at their presence and sustainability. The omni-presence and power of a brand can be optimized with as mobile app. Especially, in a consumer engagment driven economy marketers often asked: „What’s the latest cool app?“ As soon as you show it to them, the app is being downloaded, tested and gets (in most cases) feedback by reviews. It climbs up in the app ranking and gets the desired brand attention from the app economy.

3. Fansetter
As brands are becoming more and more exchangable, the prosumer is more likely to swap from brand to brand. What Facebook offers with their Facebook ad strategy (including fan pages), is the app for the mobile user. It is a closed surrounding for interaction between customers and brands, in which brands can concentrate in the customer dialogue. Customers who „like“ their brands will take time for it (even flyers and catalogues are used as cross-selling products and get their awareness) and want to be the first to know. In the past, Nokia and the symbian system owned the market. The iPhone has revolutionized this market. Android followed and offers some good alternative for the future. The choice for a mobile is changing quickly. Brands who want to keep their fans need to offer an app for all systems.

4. Standardsetter
Brands that want to keep their market leading position should set a standard. They can set up „rules“ (standards) for industry sector processes, or may be offer those to the market. Often these lead to common sense standards which supports convergent markets and boost the brand. This applies for communication, product development and customer service. And although companies might learn from the mistakes of the competitors, the question is: Why not setting the standard for the competition? This is the idea of the web 2.0 ideology. Nothing is perfect from the beginning. if something is missing, it can be optimized, adjusted or set up anew – from the brand itself or from the community of the prosumer.

5. Servicesetter
24/7 service and support is a set standard for the modern customer. The more mobile the humen being becomes -not only in terms of web usage- the more it is awaiting the ‚always-on’acces to brand service. And the quicker the prosumer finds relevant data like hotlines, the happier he/she will be. An example? OK. This week, my wife called meand said: „Hey, you have the Nespresso app. Can you tell me their service hotline? The mashine is broken…“ – „Sorry Darling, I can see their latest commercial, can buy tabs, etc. – but the hotline number is nowhere here…!“. Interested to see if Nestle understands what I mean (I doubt they will reply. On XING there was no feedback for weeks when I send them a message).

Spot On!
37% of smartphone user have bought with their mobile in 2009 according to a Compete study. And 91% of the Americans use mobile devices for social networking. if this is not enough to see where the trend is heading to, then I maybe misunderstanding the future and necessity for apps there.

BTW: The Strategy Web also has mobile apps which were nicely produiced by Motherapp – one for Android and one for the iPhone. THX, guys – you are doing a great job!

5 strategische Ansätze, warum Marken eine mobile App benötigen

12.04.2010 von  
Kategorie Mobile Business

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Zahlreiche Unternehmen stellen sich die Frage, ob es überhaupt sinnvoll ist, eine mobile App programmieren zu lassen. Ob dabei unbedingt der Kundennutzen oder eher die kommerziellen Interessen im Vordergrund stehen, sei mal dahingestellt. Fakt ist: Die mobilen Apps und das mobile Web (Studien-Ausblick bis 2015) bekommen, nicht nur durch den kürzlichen iPad Hype, zunehmende Aufmerksamkeit in der breiten Masse der Prosumer.

Allerdings sind die Apps als Zugangsvehikel zu Unternehmens Content nicht ganz unumstritten. Manche Insider disuktieren über die App Economy und sich sind uneins, ob Apps als perfide Content-Zensur gesehen werden soll oder höhere Benutzerfreundlichkeit liefert. Andere dagegen frage sich, wie man diese in die Plattformstrategie einbindet. Und die App-Developer sind -laut einer Studie von Appcelerator– immer mehr interessiert an Android Entwicklung denn an iPhone oder iPad App. Eine andere Studie belegt, daß das Nutzungsverhalten von Apps durch den User auf beiden Systemen vergleichbar ist.

Die Diskussion über die Relevanz, Notwendigkeit und Nachhaltigkeit von mobilen Apps wird sicherlich noch lange andauern. Der Hype hingegen ist nicht zu verkennen. Und ganz schnell könnte man als Unternehmen zu dem Ergebnis kommen, man sollte es einfach mal machen. An erster Stelle sollte bei allen Überlegungen der Kunde stehen. Schließlich will man den ja auch weiterhin mit seinen Produkten und Services beglücken will.

In den letzten Tagen sind bei mir 5 Gründe eingefallen, warum ein Unternehmen durchaus eine mobile App für seine Marke, ein Produkt oder eine Dienstleistung als startegische Massnahme einsetzen sollte.

1. Trendsetter
Innovationen sind der Treibsand für die Zukunft einer Marke. Geht die Strategie eines Unternehmens in die Richtung der Vorreiterstellung bei Markteröffnung und -entwicklung, wird die mobile App den standesgemäßen Erwartungen intern wie extern nahezu gleichgesetzt. Ist die Außenwahrnehmung durch die Kunden der Strategie entsprechend, wird kein Unternehmen auf den permanenten Zugang zum Kunden verzichten wollen. Zumal das Unternehmen alle Neuigkeiten dem Kunden jederzeit und an jedem Ort je nach Wichtigkeit kurz und bündig mitteilen kann – ohne Ablenkungsmöglichkeiten, die das Web 2.0 nunmal bietet. Aber nur wer sich auch als Trendsetter fühlt, verfolgt die Neuerungen einer Marke (nahezu) in Echtzeit.

2. Brandsetter
Der Erste und Beste zu sein, ist im Echtzeitweb ein Wettbewerbsvorteil (siehe Dell, Starbucks oder Spreadshirt). Es garantiert PR-starkes Feedback der Social Web Gemeinde und den gewünschten Buzz-Effekt. Im stark umkämpften Mitbewerbsmarkt müssen Marken stärker auf ihre Präsenz und Nachhaltigkeit achten bzw. dieser frischen Nachdruck verleihen. Die Omnipräsenz und Wirkungsstärke der Marke beim (potentiellen) Kunden kann mittels mobiler Apps optimiert werden. Gerade im Consumer-Engagement geprägten Markt, habe ich oft die Frage gestellt bekommen: „Hast Du mal wieder eine gute App gefunden?“ Sobald ich diese zeige, wird sie auf dem eigenen Device installiert, gestestet und erhält (manchmal) eine Bewertung. Schnell kann sie im Ranking steigen und die gewünschte Marken-Aufmerksamkeit durch die App-Economy generieren.

3. Fansetter
Der Prosumer ist aufgrund der Austauschbarkeit von Marken, Produkte und Services (Preiskampf!) wechselwilliger denn je. Was Facebook mit seinen Anzeigen den Unternehmen bietet, ist die App für den mobilen Nutzer. Eine für die Marke geschlossene Umgebung, in der sich Unternehmen auf das Wesentliche konzentrieren. Wer als Kunde seine Marke liebt, wird sich mit ihr beschäftigen (selbst Flyer und Kataloge werden heute noch genutzt!) und will die Neuerungen als Erster wissen. Hatte früher Nokia aufgrund von Symbian die Nase vorn, so hat das iPhone den Handymarkt revolutioniert. Android hat nachgezogen und bietet gute Aussichten für die Zukunft. Schnell ändert sich die Wahl des Handies. Wer seine Fans behalten will, kann nicht umhin für alle Handyplattformen seine App anzubieten. Zumindest wenn man seine Fans nicht im mobilen Web verlieren will.

4. Standardsetter
Wer die Vorreiterstellung im Markt übernehmen will, muß Standards setzen. Er stellt Regeln (Standards) für Abläufe und Prozesse für die Branche auf bzw. stellt und schlägt diese dem Mitbewerbsmarkt vor. Schnell ergeben sich hieraus allgemeingültige Vorschriften, die konvergente Märkte bedienen und somit die Marke stärken. Das gilt für die Kommunikation, in der Produktentwicklung und im Kundenservice. Auch wenn man aus den Fehlern der Mitbewerber lernen und eigentlich erstmal mit der Entwicklung einer App abwarten kann, kann man aber auch selbst Standards für den Mitbewerb setzen. Das entspricht dem Web 2.0 Grundgedanken. Da ist nicht gleich alles optimal. Wenn etwas fehlt, wird es optimiert, nachjustiert und neu aufgesetzt – vom Unternehmen aus oder von der Community der Kunden.

5. Servicesetter
24/7 Service und Support ist für den heutigen Konsumenten schon (fast) zum Standard geworden. Je mobiler die Menschheit -nicht nur im Web- unterwegs ist, umso mehr benötigt sie den schnellen Zugriff auf Markenservice. Und je schneller der Mensch die relevanten Daten wie zum Beispiel Hotline Nummern findet, umso zufriedener und weniger „abwanderungswillig“ ist er/sie als Kunde. Erst gestern habe ich mich geärgert, als meine Frau mich anrief, die Kaffeemaschine sei hin. „Check mal schnell die Nespresso App nach deren Hotline Nummer!“ – „Herzblatt, die haben zwar eine App, bei der ich einkaufen kann, aber die Support-Hotline fehlt leider…“ Versteht Nestle wohl, was ich meine (fragwürdig… da man nicht mal auf eine XING Anfrage reagierte)?

Spot On!
37% der Smartphone User haben 2009 gemäß einer Compete Studie schon online gekauft. Und 91% der Amerikaner nutzen bereits mobile Telefone, um Social Networking zu betreiben. Wenn das nicht grundsätzlich schon klare Trends sind, als Brand oder Unternehmen mal über eine App nachzudenken, dann muß mir jemand die Zukunft des mobilen Internet und Shoppings erklären. Aber vielleicht liege ich ja falsch? Was denkt Ihr?

PS: Von The Strategy Web hat mir die Mannschaft von Motherapp eine Android Version und eine iPhone Version erstellt. THX, guys – you are doing a great job!

News Update – Best of the Day

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Content strategy becomes more and more important as customers approach companies and get engaged in company buzz. In order to be prepared companies should have a good content strategy in place. Shay Howe writes about the relevant tactical steps involved in developing a content strategy and offers great case studies with it.

Marketers want to get insight in what kind of advertising are seen and what is not being noticed o the web. The book „Eyetracking Web Usability“ offers some answers based on an eyetracking study. Only close to 36% notice ads on a web page. 52% look at purely textual ads, 52% view ads where image and text were separate, 51% of viewers noticed sponsored links on search engine pages. Ads carrying text on top of images is not very successful.

What is the formula of social media success? With Starbucks we have an interesting show case which was summarized by Ayelet Noff that highlight their powerful social media tactics and strategic motivation.

Social Media für die Produktentwicklung – AUDI läßt Facebook Fans das Auto der Zukunft designen

17.12.2009 von  
Kategorie Social Media

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Immer mehr Marken wagen den Versuch, mit der Social Web Welt die Kreativität der Social Medians anzusticheln. Egal ob Brauerei oder Automarke – Social Media ist im Trend. Der Unterschied: Die einen nutzen es als Marketing-Tool und die anderen zur Unterstützung der Produktentwicklung.

Nachdem die Crowd Scourcing Ansätze von Dell und Starbucks erfolgreich waren, will nun AUDI das Auto der Zukunft mit dem Designer-Wettkampf „Youth Mobile 2030″ entwickeln lassen – von Facebook Fans.

Inzwischen hat man auch hier erkannt, daß man sich vom loyalen Kunden das beste Feedback holen kann, um das Brand zu stärken. Als taktisches Mittel Social Media einzusetzen, erscheint als Kundenbindungsinstrument immer beliebter zu werden. Nun will man also auch AUDI die kollaborative „Masse der Bekennenden“ zum Innovationsinput motivieren.

Audi stellt Videos des Designprozesses in Facebook ein, begleitet den Contest mit Informationen und hört genau auf das Feedback und die Fragen der Teilnehmer um herauszufinden, welche Tools die Fans im Auto der Zukunft haben wollen. Bei fast 400.000 Fans wird sich wohl ein ordentliches Engagement zur Zukunftsvision eines Autos einstellen – und AUDI hat sein Ohr ganz nah am Kunden.

Spot On!
Die Meinungen gehen jetzt schon auseinander, ob man die Konsole mit Twitter oder Facebook im Auto integriert haben muß – wie inzwischen auch Google Earth im A8. Grundsätzlich macht die Idee von AUDI was her. Ob Sie erfolgreich ist, hängt aber nicht nur von der Einigkeit der Community ab. Erst kürzlich hat Mercedes den Versuch gewagt, die Community der Marketing-Bloggoshpäre einen neuen Claim entwickeln zu lassen. Die Anzahl der Einträge war zahlreich, das Ergebnis ernüchternd. Die Idee blieb erfolglos. Mercedes änderte nichts. Man hat weiterhin keinen Claim. Die Ernsthaftigkeit der Aktion erschien fragwürdig. Hoffen wir, daß es bei AUDI ein besseres Ende hat…

The Evolution of the Engagement Economy

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Banner Social NetworksTalking about new trends on the social web, marketers always love the point of view when brands are involved. They love to negotiate, as I call it, on the „cost per engagement (cpe)“ level. Businesses and their communication suppliers always try to get customers engaged in brands. Some years ago, this was difficult. Now, it seems easy. And this topic becomes even more relevant for future marketing strategies when you think about today’s engagement economy.

The engagement economy nowadays is doing things companies never thought would happen: There are people forwarding brand videos (which generate massive engagement), admitting to be emotionally involved in brands. We’ve got people publicly telling their peers how much they love products, services or companies. And then there are people discussing about products and how they would change these products and services in order to make them more profitable for the manufacturer. This is all happening right up to the point where people are basically saying „I am a brand maniac of…“ – fantastic and unbelievable in one go, right?

So, if we take a look back and analyze this trend from a long-term web-strategic point of view, companies need to rethink the future of their web-marketing efforts as the social web transforms the value of processes in sales and marketing.

At an event last week a marketer I know quite well took me aside and asked: „Why are people not as engaged when clicking banners as they are when becoming fans or followers of brands on the social web?“ And my first reaction was to give a shrug. But then I realized the huge potential of the thought and I said: „Gimme some days and I will try to blog an answer.“

whyblog_1In my view, a major part of the explanation to this phenomenon lies in the evolutionary process of the engagement economy and their brand commitment when people even want to become social VIPs or brand-vangelists and accept the ads from their favorite brands in their social graphs.

The emotional-impact of banner advertising and of „social media engagement“ is completely different – on those who ‚follow‘ the people that click on traditional advertising (display or affiliate) and on those who become fans or followers.

Somebody who clicks a banner ad is not engaged in any kind of brand emotionality: This person is just interested in the offer or the message that grins in his face saying: „I am nice, ain’t I?!“ So, why not take a glance at the offer (especially when coupons or incentives are involved) as it is a short-term sales boost via email or some other traditional online advertising format. The person who is clicking on a fan page wants to know more about the brand values, why people have become fans, who they are. This is someone who wants to give some kind of emotional kick back to the brand and the „engaged brand peers“. And just by becoming a fan, they give the brands more positive rewards than they probably realize – kind of like an ultimate pay back which has never existed in that form or to that extent before.

People who participate in banner advertising come from the passive „lean-back economy“. Some experts are already wondering, if banners are dying. My answer is: No, as banners follow a different purpose than the social web marketing activity! The benefit for traditional online advertising is the click, resulting in the quick consumption of news and information. The engagement economy loves to lean forward and get in the driver seat of the brand communication and discussion. Emotionally motivated by the sweet feeling of competence, this engaged person argues about the good and bad of the brand values. When you look at Nespresso and Starbucks social media activities and other impressive examples on Facebook or Twitter, or you take the latest example of the IKEA Facebook campaign all what companies are doing is throwing some communication crums in. And the fans „crowd together“ and pick them up with greedy brand enthusiasm. They give the companies and their peers input and feedback with comments, questions and by sharing the brand content and ideas. The emotions get their pay-off by little brand incentives and keep the wheels of engagement buzz turning.

Think about how much time people spend with a brand when clicking on a banner versus being on a fan page. A banner is meant to save time – as does an offer – just by its intention and nature, as well as the message it carries. Check the offer and then be off as quick as possible. Is this the way a banner works? I think so. Rate this short interaction against the time of a brand experience on a fan page. People listen, learn and participate in the conversation about the brand, and come back to see how the communication proceeds. Not because a banner asks for their time to do so, but as the people want it themselves. The customer is the active part of the brand communication, not the company. The customer pays attention to the brand and donates „engagement time“ as the new value or ROI for all brand communication efforts.

And then, why do they stay longer on a fan page? The answer is easy: Their „brand friends“ are there. They feel to be in good company and this is what builds comfort, driven by a „warm feeling of friendship, networking and community“. You are not alone, you have something in common just by spending time on the same topic: a brand commitment.

Spot On!
The engagement economy is in charge of brand communication and brand commitment. The company still owns it but they are being managed by engaged brand fans. Now, my question to you: Is this true? What is your experience and your strategy when working with this new engagement economy?

Studie: Live Online-Hilfe bei Kundenservice bevorzugt

09.10.2009 von  
Kategorie Sales, Social Media

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kundenWie wichtig Live Online-Kundenservice in unserer modernen Webwelt ist, wird permanent von Social Media Begeisterten in den Vordergrund gestellt. Beispiele von Twitter-Accounts wie Bank of America, Starbucks oder Dell sind der lebende Beweis dafür, daß zeitnaher Kundenservice immer stärker online gewünscht wird.

Die Kunden sind aber auch von anderen Online-Formen des Kundenservice begeistert, wie jetzt eine aktuelle Studie von ATG (Art Technology Group) unterstreicht, die die Wichtigkeit des Live Online-Kundenservice zur Förderung der Kundenbindung in den Mittelpunkt stellt.

Die Studienbefragung beleuchtet die Eindrücke und Vorlieben von 1.000 Internetusern, die sich für Live Online-Hilfe Möglichkeiten aussprechen. Es ging dabei um die Frage, ob die Kunden Click-to-Call und Click-to-Chat nutzen, wenn sie online auf Shoppingtour gehen.

Die interessanteste Erkenntnisse der Studie ist, daß 67% dazu tendieren, idealerweise beide Optionen zu haben: ein Live Text-Chat und ein Live-Voice-Konversation, um Hilfe zu bekommmen, wenn Sie Online einkaufen.

Der Trend, mit jemand online in Echtzeit sprechen zu können, nimmt demnach klar zu. Lange Wartezeiten, bis jemand auf eine Email antwortet, sind demnach eindeutig ‚out‘.

Spot On!
Weiterhin ganz oben auf der Wichtigkeitsskala der Angaben auf einer Webseite sind Preise für Produkte und Services sowie einfache Usability beim Browsen und Suchen. Interessant ist noch zu erwähnen, daß der durchschnittliche Online-Einkaufswert bei 73% weiterhin im Bereich zwischen 1-100 US Dollar liegt. Unverständlich sind allerdings die Zahlen in diesem Sheet, da sich hier keine 100% am Ende ergeben…

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