Study: Digital transformation still slow in companies. If there wasn’t the execution…

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It is one of the findings, we often experience in reality when we advice companies: The employees understand how the digital transformation works. However, the management -especially CEOs and executives- are not seeing the urgency in moving on with the digital transformation. In a recent study of more than 1500 executive people in 106 countries released by Capgemini Consulting in partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review these findings become clear again, although the study writers make clear that the common agreement is that the future is digital.

The results show that those company executive who have the digital transformation on their agenda almost four out of five executives (81%) believe that it will offer their company a competitive advantage. They also see that it will become a critical development to their organization within the next two years. Still, nearly two out of three (63%) see that the velocity of technology change in their organizations is not moving fast enough.

Not surprisingly, many employees are becoming more and more impatient with the development and progress compared to their upper managers. This stays against the fact that 53% of the CEOs think that the pace of the digital evolution inside their company is „right“, „fast“ or „very fast“. Especially, the middle managers and staff employees think that the progress isn’t enough toward a digital realm. Just 25% of managers see the pace is right. One of the comments in the report blamed that the management was guilty of „complacency, [and] ignorance of modern technology“. And another one stated „Clueless management“.

The study’s authors categorized four different stages of digital transformation:
a. Beginners: Have been slow to adopt, or are skeptical of, more advanced digital technologies like social media and analytics.
b. Conservatives: Have deliberately hang back when it comes to new technologies.
c. Fashionista: Very aggressive in adopting new technologies, but do not coordinate well across departments.
d. Digiratis: Have the vision, and are willing to invest what it takes.

Source: MIT Center for Digital Business & Capgemini Study 2013

Source: MIT Center for Digital Business & Capgemini Study 2013

The reasons for the slow adaption for the modern digital challenge is made obvious: Time. When 53% of CEOs and executives say that the „don’t have time for this right now,” it sounds like a normal common excuse when things are not familiar or understood in the importance for the future development of companies. They (52%) simply don’t know how to do that, or are resistent to move on „this is the way we’ve always done it“.

Source: MIT Center for Digital Business & Capgemini Study 2013

Source: MIT Center for Digital Business & Capgemini Study 2013

Spot On!
When the study finds that 65% of organizations have just begun to step into the digital transformation process, it shows that most managers have not yet understood where the world of mobile and social media is getting us in the future. And when only 15% of respondenting CEOs and executives can be considered „mature“ adopters of digital technologies, it reflects our view of how we experience the top management that comes to us and wants input on how to change the company towards the digital realm. And whent he study authors conclude that just some companies rank in the same category as a Starbucks or Intel, which are kind of top notch in digital transformation, we might still see potential for even them to become better. It is one thing, to have a chief digital officer at Starbucks that also enables customer mobile engagements. But it is another thing to make all employees follow the rules of the digital transformation. The challenge is on…!

PS: Study can be read here.

Study: Big brands could do better on social customer service

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Some weeks ago, we have written about the importance to be fast on response time on Social Media platforms. We made clear, based on some research by Convince & Convert, that companies need to react in not more than 60 seconds on complaints, customer enquiries and questions that appear on company’s and brands‘ social platforms.

Now, a recent study of some of the biggest brands in the U.S., like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Visa or Starbucks shows that providing a top standard of customer support on Twitter is not really as fantastic as it seems. Although some readings of all those good posts about these brands and their Social Media efforts might assume the companies do whatever they can in Social Business terms.

In the study, four Software Advice employees used their personal Twitter accounts to address customer service tweets to 14 consumer brands in seven industries – McDonalds, Starbucks (Fast Food), Coca Cola, Pepsi (Soft Drinks), Visa, Mastercard (Credit Cards), Wells Fargo, Bank Of America (Banking), Walmart, Home Depot (Retail), Apple*, HP (Consumer Tech), Gillette and Colgate (Personal Care).

They sent each brand’s Twitter account one tweet per weekday for four consecutive weeks, from „Urgent, to Positive/Negative, or questions about FAQ or technical issue. Then, brands were evaluated on their average response time and rate. See the results in the following infographic…

Facebook: Most Engaging Brands

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On their way to the IPO planned for later this week, some new data released by the social marketing firm SocialBakers might boost the company valuation from Facebook to a new level. A new infographic takes a look at which global brands have the best Facebook presence.

With 901 million registered global Facebook users, the numbers show that only 17% of the Facebook members are based in the US. The impact and opportunity for companies is massive. The five biggest companies generate each more than 26 million fans with Coca-Cola being the winner, calling 42 million fans their territory on Facebook – more than 21%! The runner up are Starbucks that are best in the food retail sector and Converse.

The SocialBakers figures also show the winning countries where global brands are most engaging their audience. Although the U.S. might be ahead of other countries in population penetration with brands like Starbucks, McDonald’s or Xbox. Brazil is the number two with L’Oreal Paris and Trident (Kraft), India number three with Vodafone and Pepsi, and Germany at least number 10 with McDonalds as well.

It was interesting for me to see that the fastest moving global brands are Halls, Axe, and Nokia – brands that have left my scope of attention in the last three years. Now, it would be freaking cool if we knew which ones of the 488 million mobile users are the most active on brand engagement?

Which brands catch your attention most and where are you most active?

News Update – Best of the Day

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The latest market outlook by Deloitte predicts that in 2011 social networks are likely to surpass one billion unique members and may deliver over 2 trillion advertisements. Although this sounds impressive, it is modest compared to other media, the CPM remains low and the market share remains at only 1% of the global online ad spend. The per member annual advertising revenue is approximately $4 which implies total 2011 advertising revenues of about $5 billion.

Will the publishing industry see a revival of print again? Everybody says social media is challening the print publishing industry. All of a sudden, the Content Marketing Institute has launched a media that is in some way a spin-off of the modern social web development, Chief Content Officer. The circulation is 20,000 marketers, with additional digital distribution. Yes, obviously there is a „digital spin“ off as well…

Nike signed a big sponsoring agreement with the national football association of France (FFF). After years with Adidas, France signed a contract with Nike for their national football dress. And then they did this fantastic commercial with reference to my most admired work and poem from „Cyrano de Bergerac“, ending with the famous words „J’ai touche!“. Let’s wait and see what the French team will touch us in EURO 2012

PS: At Starbucks mobile payment becomes reality. At least in the US where you can swipe your phone in front of a scanner that is checking your Starbucks account.

News Update – Best of the Day

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Finally, Twitter starts their first trials rolling out their first advertising into individual users‘ Twitter streams. The first clients are from Starbucks, Red Bull and Virgin. This new monetization strategy called Promoted Tweets was announced some while ago and will kick off addressing Hootsuits’s 175 million users with showing them paid tweets. Interested to see how the users will react…

LinkedIn powers the company profile pages by integrating new company pages. Companies can now „showcase their products, services and associated recommendations“. The company pages allow brands to showcase recommendations from their customers which becomes benefitial for the brand virally and credibly on LinkedIn. When memebers on LinkedIn endorse products or services of a brand, their recommendations become visible to all of their connections. The viral effect is obvious. Thus, brands get some of the most credible, authentic endorsements of their products on Company Page’s Product tab. The question is whether the user likes the idea to become a brand testimonial…

Although I am not a huge fan of plastic toys, I have to admit this Barbie commercial gets the message across. „When I grew up“ is a good example of kid ads targeting adults…

Can Facebook Fan Pages become the new brand websites?

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One of the latest articles of AdAge highlights the reach of the biggest Facebook fan pages of brands.

The article makes clear that many marketers have more success these days with their social media presence than with their traditional „owned media“ – their brand sites. The question arises if the new „owned media“ will become the Facebook sites where companies invest a lot of effort in these days. In just one year the shift from „onsite to offsite“ becomes obvious when we can obey that Coke’s brand website and NabiscoWorld.com are showing a massive decline in traffic figures based on Compete data. Only Starbucks seems to maintain their brand sites web-traffic with significant e-commerce traffic success.

Many marketers are still not quite sure how and in which way to get engaged in all the social media hype. And if they do, a recent study by the Brand Science Institute shows that 73% had to show ROI figures after 12 months, although only 27% had a clear understanding of who their customers are… and probably none of how they interact on the social web. And 92% (!!!) were not aware of their Facebook dependency…

The expectations are high on social media… and especially when Facebook becomes part of the social media strategy. Posts like those of AdAge suggest that Facebook fan pages will become the new brand sites, or at least replace the importance of traditional brand sites.

And now to the experts… What is your take on this?

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 (http://www.golffriends.com/welcome/community). 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?

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!

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.

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