Last week I was asked to talk with BBC World News Anchor, Adnan Nawaz, to talk about the controversy around Big Papi, David Ortiz, taking a selfie with President Obama during the teams trip to the White House. In my opinion there really wasn’t much of a controversy, as you will see from the interview below. What do you think? Was Big Papi right or wrong for taking his pic with the President?
Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category
Social Media has grown to become a major channel for B2B marketers. The team at RealBusinessRescue put together a very telling infographic that highlights the trends of B2B social media usage in 2013 while offering advice for B2B use in 2014.
Here are some interesting statistics pulled from the infographic:
- Social Ad spending will grow to become an $11B+ industry by 2017
- Linkedin and Facebook are tied as the most popular B2B social marketing channel at 86.4%
- B2B marketers plan to increase their social marketing budgets in 2014
- 2 of the top 5 goals for B2B social marketers are lead generation and customer acquisition
The entire infographic is below. I’d love to know your thoughts on the infographic. Do any of these stats and figures presented surprise you?
Wondering if LinkedIn or Pinterest are right for your brand? You are not alone – marketers have been focusing their efforts on the Big 3 (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) but increasingly are looking to LinkedIn and Pinterest to build a presence and connect with their constituents. As a follow-on to our latest white paper, Five Killer Strategies to Dominate Social Media’s Big 3: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which offers insights into how the leading social platforms can be used for marketing success, we turn to dissecting the best social marketing practices on Pinterest and LinkedIn, among the most popular social platforms of our days. LinkedIn boasts 147 million users and Pinterest recently hit 10 million unique active users. These two social networks hold untapped potential for reaching new customers waiting for your brand to make connections with them. Here are some ideas on how marketers can approach the social platforms along with some suggestions for tools they can use to get the most of their efforts. We also bring two great examples of brands doing it right on Pinterest and LinkedIn.
How to Use Pinterest and LinkedIn
While the social channels may seem different, marketers can successfully apply the same strategies to each by using different specific tactics. For example, successful use of Pinterest and LinkedIn requires great content, but on Pinterest it’s best to “avoid self-promotion” (see Pinterest’s terms and conditions), while LinkedIn content focuses heavily on company and product updates. Pinterest and Linkedin can be used by brands to effectively achieve key marketing goals such as:
- Increase social reach
- Engage fans through effective content
- Identify and engage with influencers
- Increase lead generation
- Integrate activity with analytics
Although Pinterest is still in its earlier stages, it’s clearly here to stay. Tools are popping up left and right to help marketers increase the effectiveness of their Pinterest efforts. Tools such as PinReach and PinPuff make identifying influencers easier and more efficient. Content development tools for Pinterest, such as Pinstamatic, Snapito, and Pinerly, allow brands to be creative and visually stimulating with their pins.
Chobani, a yogurt brand, uses Pinterest as a way to tap into their customers’ lifestyles and create a sense of brand loyalty. The themed boards are based on their target audience’s interests, such as recipes using yogurt, nutrition, and being active. Chobani uses creative titles, such as “Chobani Fit” and “Chobaniac Creations”, a clever strategy that have helped the brand gain over 6,000 followers on Pinterest.
LinkedIn has gained a reputation for successful lead generation, with marketers ranking the platform as 277% more effective than other platforms in a marketing study conducted by HubSpot. The “Products and Services” tab that displays customer-generated recommendations make LinkedIn an extremely effective lead generation tool. Embedding the “Recommend on LinkedIn” widget on your homepage is one way to encourage customers to actively promote your brand.
Juniper Networks, a business-to-business company that offers high speed, reliable switching routers to satisfy ISP-level performance, has a great LinkedIn company page. With over 40 products and services listed, Juniper Networks has 215 customer recommendations on their “Products and Services” page. The “Overview” tab is effectively utilized with widgets that give the most important and updated information about the company.
With the right strategies, LinkedIn and Pinterest can be powerful platforms to add to your social media toolbox. If you are looking to the make the most of your Pinterest and LinkedIn efforts, download our complimentary whitepaper, Beyond the Big 3: 5 Killer Strategies to Dominate LinkedIn and Pinterest. To learn more about how to boost your brand’s success on Pinterest and LinkedIn, download our recent white paper, Five Killer Strategies to Dominate Social Media’s Big 3: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
As a marketer, you probably daydream about impressing your CEO with unforgettable statistics from your social media campaigns that clearly articulate the ROI. There is a budding business discipline around social analytics, which aggregates and analyzes online conversations and social activity generated across social channels and enables organizations to act on the derived intelligence to drive business results. But how does one get to the ultimate state of social media bliss? To achieve social analytics Zen, you have to marry the yin and yang of social media analytics. Here’s how you can do that.
Learning from External Data: Social Analytics Yin
The path to achieving social analytics Zen begins by analyzing external data. Marketers must analyze industry, competitive and consumer conversations to have a solid understanding of the industry landscape. To properly understand your Yin:
- Identify key data sources and determine the frequency with which you’ll collect data: Create a benchmark of what’s currently being discussed at an industry and competitive level.
- Separate the information by audience type: You may have several different key buyer segments and corresponding influencers. Identify your keyword set by audience type and perform social listening to determine where digital conversations are happening.
- Develop goals by audience: Define what action you want each audience segment to take (e.g. gain awareness of your company, influence others, purchase your product/service, engage with you). Your audience goals should be driven by your overall business goals.
- Monitor by audience type: At this point, you’ll have a sense of whom you want to monitor. Create lists of top targets, influencers, and new customers to quickly scan for conversations that may require your participation. Create triggers for specific user intent that is tied to business goals.
While having a finger on the pulse of your industry enables you to understand key industry trends and drivers, this is only part of the story. You also need to analyze data from your own social campaigns.
Learning from Internal Data: Social Analytics Yang
Analyzing internal campaigns allows marketers to continually get smarter, more effective and more productive. As we learned from Travis Unwin, director of media strategies for Awareness partner agency Sitewire, a full service digital marketing and interactive advertising agency you can’t ‘set-it-and-forget-it” when it comes to social media (LINK to Travis’s post). It’s important to learn from your own content. To arrive at your Yang:
- Determine your content and platform mix: Test on various platforms to find the right marketing mix for your company. Remember, the goal is to drive new customers to your marketing funnel.
- 2. Measure your successes and failures – Get Granular: Which campaigns performed the best? On which platforms? Which posts or tweets stood out from the highest-performing campaign? Allow these learnings to guide future campaign development.
- 3. Develop benchmarks: Ideally, you’ll want to invest in a toolset that helps you gain intelligence over time. You’ll want a social analytics platform that’s a one-stop destination for social intelligence.
- 4. Incorporate Social Media into your Marketing Mix: Social media shouldn’t be performing alone in a silo. Make your marketing efforts more effective at driving business results by integrating all available channels (email, website, mobile, ads, and social).
Achieving Social Analytics Zen
With the knowledge gained from your social analytics yin and yang, you now have a solid understanding of your landscape. The marriage of the yin and yang (or Zen) is where your external and internal intelligence meets. This happens when you can identify and act on specific sales opportunities. The ultimate measure of Zen occurs in the Social Marketing Funnel, a sales framework we developed to help marketers monitor, identify, classify and respond to prospects and customers in social channels. Research consistently shows that the likelihood of purchase increases when people have a social connection with a brand or product – for example, fans of brands are 51 percent more likely to buy. With 90 percent of all purchases subject to social influence, and 90 percent of consumers trusting recommendations from people they know, marketers need to recognize the social marketing funnel is vital to overall prospecting activity.
There is a new economic model – one that rewards the consumer for behaving a certain way that has far-reaching repercussions for your brand online. Companies that understand this new method of currency, value, and reward can reap the benefits of higher recall and increased consumer loyalty. Liz Crawford provides an analysis of this new model in The Shopper Economy: The New Way to Achieve Marketplace Success by Turning Behavior into Currency. With 20 years of experience as a brand manager and consultant focused on strategic innovation, Liz is uniquely qualified to identify this new shopper behavior-driven economic phenomenon. In anticipation of our Shopper Economy webinar next week, we sat down with Liz for some Q and A.
Your book, The Shopper Economy, describes an emerging economy where behavior is currency. What led you to investigate this topic?
I thought it was fascinating that digital technology, especially mobile technology, was enabling new kinds of transactions between buyers and sellers. In addition to shoppers purchasing brands, brands were purchasing shopper behavior. I believe this is a relatively new phenomenon.
In the book, I try to make clear that I am not referring to a conventional buy-more-get-more promotion. And I don’t mean a deferred discount, like a cents-off-next-purchase.
Instead, I am pointing out a new dynamic where a shopper can actually earn value in exchange for one of four behaviors: paying attention, participating, advocating, or committing. None of these behaviors directly involve purchase. The shopper can earn value by simply behaving.
This earned value can come in various forms – Shopkick Kicks, Facebook Credits, miles, points, etc. You will notice that this value is digital scrip (not straightforward fiat currency in most cases). The digital scrip is currency in that it is – 1. recorded, 2. stored and banked, and 3. redeemable at the discretion of the shopper, across channels. Shoppers can aggregate all manner of scrip in a clearinghouse website like www.points.com. This website allows shoppers to exchange hundreds of forms of scrip for fiat currency (dollars and cents), which may be deposited into a Paypal account.
Which industries are leading the way in understanding this new activity-based marketplace?
At this point, I believe that retailers are leading the way, along with financial services.
Retailers who are rewarding behavior are reaping the benefits. There are various platforms which effectively use shopper participation to drive traffic and conversion. These platforms include: http://www.scvngr.com/ , www.checkpoints.com/ , http://shopkick.com/ among others. These are platforms, which shoppers download onto their smartphones as apps.
American Express, of course, is a leader in the area. Their points system is both the granddaddy of digital scrip, as well as the continued frontrunner. One of the big reasons for their massive success is their extensive network of partners. Shoppers who acquire points can redeem them in virtually any way they please, including simply using points to supplement/replace payments at a digital point of sale (www.americanexpress.com). I believe that with Google Wallet or ISIS type technologies, we will see frictionless, fungible exchanges of scrip with fiat currency, for everything. This really opens the door to the Shopper Economy.
How can small businesses take advantage of the concepts in The Shopper Economy?
Many smaller or independent retailers can begin to experiment with incenting behaviors by signing up with one of the platforms already mentioned (Checkpoints, Shopkick, SCVNGR, etc). These mechanisms are used by hundreds of local merchants to drive traffic. In some cases the rewards are simply deferred discounts, like Foursquare rewards (“free coffee next visit” for example). In other cases, the earned value is scrip which is redeemable at the discretion of the shopper.
For small business, advocacy is an important behavior to reward. Groupon and Living Social both reward shopper-to-shopper advocacy, and of course are used extensively by local merchants, like salons and restaurants.
In this new economy where shopper behaviors create units of value, how can marketers quantify a specific value to a shopper behavior?
This is a detailed subject. The book devotes a chapter on valuation for each of the four shopper behaviors. Some behaviors like Attention and Participation should be evaluated in comparison to more traditional communication and promotional expenditures, respectively. So, if a shopper is watching an ad in exchange for scrip, does that shopper score higher on recall and persuasion scores? It is the effectiveness of these efforts that need to be assessed. It is a trade-off of investment dollars.
The same evaluation process can be used to assess Participation programs. For example, how effective is a SCVNGR game at driving store traffic, in comparison to other efforts? This will help a business owner optimize marketing investments. Participation also usually has a conversion component. That will help with understanding the financial return of the program.
The book also cites specific formulae to quantify some behaviors such as Advocacy.
What does the future look like in the shopper economy?
Shoppers will become increasingly sophisticated in understanding the worth of their labor. This means that they will evaluate transactions with brands and retailers with a sharper eye to their own advantage.
For more insights from Liz Crawford, be sure to attend next week’s free Awareness webinar: The Shopper Economy. You can also download chapter 1 of The Shopper Economy: The New Way to Achieve Marketplace Success by Turning Behavior into Currency.
It’s time marketers stop collecting data for data’s sake and start it for culling insights. That’s where social analytics comes in. Social analytics is the evolving business discipline that studies social media metrics to help marketers use the findings to drive business intelligence. If you’re new to this, have no fear. Look to the 15 influencers listed below for guidance on the topic. They can help you get started or finesse your approach. Here are the Top Social and Web Analytics Experts to follow (in alphabetical order):
Gary Angel, president of Semphonic. Recipient of the Digital Analytics Association’s Award for Excellence as the Most Influential Industry Contributor.
Key Takeaway: To get the greatest value from analytics, you need an integrated approach.
Connie Bensen, Senior digital strategist at Dell
Don’t miss: Best Practices for Social Media Monitoring ROI
Key Takeaway: Great tips on how to avoid spam and noise: add exclusion criteria to your searches.
Keith Burtis, co-founder of MeasureMob
Key Takeaway: Three resources to get you started with analytics.
Alistair Croll, principal analyst for Bitcurrent, contributing author to Web Operations, Complete Web Monitoring and Managing Bandwidth.
Don’t miss: Writings: December 2011/January 2012
Key Takeaway: A sampling of Alistair’s thinking, including 2012 trends and how companies should think about big data.
Susan Etlinger, industry analyst at Altimeter Group
Key Takeaway: Measure your company’s performance against the Social Media Measurement Compass.
Nathan Gilliatt, principal at Social Target, co-founder at AnalyticsCamp, founder at SocialMediaAnalysis.com
Key Takeaway: Insightful matrix of Intelligence/Analytics plotted against Fact/ Opinion
Taulbee Jackson, CEO and president of Raidious
Don’t miss: Social Media Analytics – AMA Michiana
Key Takeaway: At the end of the day, you are trying to determine ‘how good is the content?’
Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist at Google and author of Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics: An Hour A Day
Key Takeaway: An excellent getting started guide to web analytics.
John Lovett, senior partner at Web Analytics Demystified Inc, author of Social Media Metrics Secrets
Don’t miss: You’re Using the Wrong Social Media Metrics
Key Takeaway: Understand corporate goals, align business objectives, tie metrics to measures of success and then define operational tactics.
Jonas Klit Nielsen, CEO and founder of Mindjumpers
Key Takeaway: Listen first to relevant conversations, then break down the data to relevant insights.
Katie D. Paine, CEO & founder of KD Paine & Partners; author of Measure What Matters
Don’t miss: KDPaine’s How-To-Get-Good-Data Checklist
Key Takeaways: Both humans and computers make mistakes, so check your data regularly.
Eric Peterson, CEO and founder of Web Analytics Demystified Inc., author of Web Analytics Demystified, Web Site Measurement Hacks and The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators
Don’t miss: Finally! Standards Come to Web Analytics
Key Takeaway: Google Analytics has become the de facto standard for web analytics.
Sean Power, data scientist at Cheezburger; contributing author to Web Operations, and Complete Web Monitoring
Don’t miss: Complete Web Monitoring, (O’Reilly, 2009)
Key Takeaway: Learn everything from why, what and how to implement measurement in your organization.
Jim Sterne, founder of eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and the Digital Analytics Association and author of Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment
Don’t miss: eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summits
Takeaway: Learn from Jim in person at a summit near you.
Marshall Sponder, senior analyst and founder of WebmetricsGuru.com and author of Social Media Analytics: Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting, and Using Metrics
Key Takeaway: You need a standard process for measurement.
To learn more about what social analytics and how you can approach it, consult with our new position paper Social Analytics for Marketing and Sales Effectiveness.
We are excited to share our annual report on the State of Social Media Marketing – Top Areas For Social Marketing Investment and Biggest Social Marketing Challenges in 2012. The team at Awareness connected with 320 marketers from a cross-section of industries, company sizes and levels of social marketing experience. Our annual State of Social Media Marketing report comes with insights from those leading the efforts at the C-level and those who manage the social marketing function within their organizations, as well as a number of business leaders who are helping to bridge the social gap within their enterprises.
Here are some interesting findings and insights that are contained in this report from our CEO, Brian Zanghi.
2012: The Year of Growing Social Marketing Maturity
Social marketing is entering a stage of maturity and with it, savvy, socially-oriented businesses are starting to embrace social as part of their companies’ DNA. This transition comes with an understanding that siloed approaches to social marketing are not effective, and a realization that scale with social marketing comes with the adoption of new organizational structures, processes and technology infrastructure that can help the enterprise scale and optimize in a continuous fashion. Expect that in 2012 focus will shift to active social media management for increased lead generation and sales.
C-level Involvement with Social Marketing
We were excited with the response levels from C-level executives (39% of respondents) and the information they shared. Top-of-mind for executives and senior managers is ROI, integration of social with lead generation and sales, and expansion of social presence and reach. It is clear that the C-level wants more proof before they allocate additional organizational resources to social marketing. This is why only 8% of our respondents reported 2011 budgets of over $50,000 per year, with 12% of the organizations reporting teams of 5+ social marketers. At the same time, executives need to realize that to give their social marketing initiatives a chance, they need to invest accordingly in the effort. Our prediction is that to resolve the cost-benefit conundrum in 2012, executives will start to adopt new processes and technologies that will not only help them scale the effort, but get the data that clearly links to ROI.
The Right Social Marketing Infrastructure
Social marketing maturity will increasingly be defined next year as the practice of adopting new processes and technologies that will help the enterprise scale their initiatives. 2012 will see savvy social businesses moving beyond the “let’s allocate a few people resources to social” mentality to incorporating robust social media management platforms. These platform will provide the ability to monitor and analyze social conversations, while creating effective response and content mechanisms to increase customer engagement and ultimately sales. Our industry is reaching this maturity tipping point – 78% of marketers reported monitoring social media channels for mentions of their brand at least a few times a week, while 62% reported monitoring industry conversations with the same frequency. Although 19% of surveyed marketers reported using a social media management platform, these are the leaders who will be reaping the most benefit from their efforts.
Expanded Use of New Social Marketing Platforms
Experienced social marketers report that they plan increased usage of social marketing platforms beyond the Big Three (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) to include: Blogs (91%) YouTube (86%), foursquare (59%), SlideShare (43%), Flickr (50%), and Tumblr (30%). Driven by increasingly fragmented user consumption habits, companies clearly see the need to expanded social presence that will allow them to follow and engage their prospects and customers on multiple channels and networks. This proliferation of channels and the corresponding need to successfully engage in all of them will make the job of social marketers increasingly more complex. This, in turn, will necessitate the adoption of robust tools to manage presence, monitor and report on activity, and tie efforts to the organizational bottom line.
The State of Social Media Marketing report contains additional insights on top social marketing investment areas, top challenges for 2012, top social media platforms used today, the role of LinkedIn in reaching the C-suite, along with a fun section on the top news and analysis resources marketers use to stay on top of the latest and greatest in our industry. For full, free access to the State of Social Media Marketing report, click here. If you would like to be included in the survey for next year’s report, click here. You can also access the 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions, to hear from marketing strategists David Meerman Scott, Brian Solis, Erik Qualman, Paul Gillin, CC Chapman, and Steve Rubel what 2012 has in store for us.
We welcome your thoughts, reactions and feedback. Let us know how the insights and findings presented in the State of Social Media Marketing report will help shape your thinking in 2012. Don’t hesitate to ask us the tough questions – as we embark on 2012, we promise to continue to provide deeper dives into best practices, successes, and notable trends to help you, social marketers, do more and do better.
As we embark on 2012, the team at Awareness, Inc. consulted with the best and the brightest in marketing, strategy, technology, business and social media marketing to help us identify the top news, analysis and trends resources for social marketing and social technology. Our industry is among the most dynamic, with many voices reporting, analyzing and advising on social technology, social media developments, successes, and best practices. To help you navigate the active social news space, we compiled this Ultimate Guide to the Top Marketing, Technology and Social Media Resources. This guide aggregates resources quoted by leading strategists such as David Meerman Scott, Brian Solis, Erik Qualman, Jason Falls, and Jay Bear, top analysts and influencers Jeremiah Owyang, Debi Kleiman, Laura Fitton, David Berkowitz, brand leaders such as Ekaterina Walter, Michael Pace, and Pam Johnston, and agency visionaries Steve Rubel, Mike Troiano, and Jonas Klit Nielsen in our free report on 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions, to name just a few. The Ultimate News Resource Guide also contains the collective input from over 300 marketers from a cross-section of industries, company sizes and levels of social marketing experience (we recently polled these marketers for our upcoming annual report on the State of Social Media Marketing to be published in mid January) and asked them about their top information resources and their sources of inspiration.
Here it is – the 55 Top Marketing, Technology and Social Media Marketing News, Analysis and Trends Resources in alphabetical order:
Besides these top resources, today’s marketers heavily rely on their Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook feeds to get to the top news and developments in our industry. You can follow these Twitter lists to easily get the latest from some of the top experts, and from our top resources, listed here. If you are looking for the top CMOs using Twitter, then look no further than this list of Top CMOs on Twitter. You can also read about how CMOs are engaging with Twitter. And one final Twitter tip – if you want to know when your top journalists are tweeting about your brand or relevant industry terms, use this new handy tool from Muck Rack.
And as David Meerman Scott reminds us, some marketers also get their insights from their peers – they make it a conscious effort to attend industry events and conferences where they get first -hands insights from their colleagues on what works and what’s in store next.
Don’t be shy – let us know if we missed some of your favorite resources. Experts and marketing leaders you follow not on this list? You have our word – we will update this top list based on your feedback. You can also download our free report 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions, containing insights and predictions from 34 business strategy and marketing experts. Connect with us on Twitter #AwarenessSMM on Facebook at Social Media Marketing Best Practices and Social Media Marketing Mavens Pages or LinkedIn at the Social Media Marketing Mavens Group.