This post was collaboratively written on a wiki with my colleague Jeremiah Owyang whose focus is on customer strategy which encompasses social technologies. Together, we’re covering convergence of the emerging and incumbent technology system.  This entry is also cross-posted on his blog.

Jive Offers Brand Monitoring Using Radian 6 -Empowering Companies To Quickly Respond
Jive Software made an announcement that they’re now incorporating listening service Radian 6 into their community platform suite, they dub it Jive Market Engagement. This gives internal teams that manage brands, topics, or influencers to discuss, manage, and assign tasks to follow up with real world -and real-time market events. An example? A company selling headache relief medicine can quickly be alerted to conversations with mommy bloggers in the social sphere, discuss in an internal, private community powered by Jive, then decide on how to quickly take action before it escalates.

Currently, companies are doing this in a mish-mash of manual efforts using scraped together RSS feeds, Google alerts, and Twitter clients. The benefits of this partnership? Companies can now become more organized around the real-time web, develop a process to quickly respond and therefore be more reactive to customers. Yet, despite the automation upside to brand and customer management, this causes yet another disparate pool of customer data that IT departments will have to splice together -potentially giving customers a fragmented view. Companies should nod to this latest trend of social business software converging with existing company systems and develop an information strategy (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Companies can monitor and manage the discussions in their marketplace in Jive Market Engagement

Screenshot: Jive Market Engagement

(Source: Jive)

Macro Market Forces Foster New Trends In Adoption And Risk
Despite this announcement, there are greater trends at play that impact both business and IT side, be aware that:

  1. Diverse systems converging, resulting in greater speed but more complexity
    The push to improve customer intimacy, move to a proactive customer experience, and convergence of Web 2.0 with enterprise class social business apps, drives new models and solutions. We’re tracking this living breathing reef and see social software, CRM, brand monitoring, email, and mobile quickly converging.
  2. More “CRM” features being deployed, without involving the CIO
    Jive’s offering is really a customer relationship module in disguise, yet because of the web based offering, marketing can implement this pseudo-CRM solution without involving IT. We continue to see technology adopted from business units -often at the frustration of not getting on the IT road map during budget tightening times.
  3. Greater exposure to risk, as more siloed customer information fragments enterprise systems
    Being responsive to customers is ideal, but in the long run, it’s not truly effective if you can’t integrate it with your sales, service, or marketing systems. In the end, fragmenting customer data will result in disjointed user experiences for customers as separate departments will have disparate data for each customer.

Recommendations
Jeremiah (business side) and Ray (IT side) come from completely two different worlds’ speaking two different languages. Yet they both know that these new technologies are going to force IT and Marketing to quickly come together. Expect to see more joint-blog posts merging these two groups together, because customers don’t care what department you’re in -they just want their problems solved.

The Bottom Line – Ray’s Take For The CIO
Expect a proliferation of social media monitoring solutions to emerge with a tie back to CRM, eCommerce, project based solutions, and collaboration software. Disparate sources will create fractured customer experiences.  The single 360 degree view wil be assembled and reassembled.

  1. Find tools to aggregate these new channels and sources. Consider how these new social business software platforms will integrate back into data warehouses or customer interaction histories.
  2. Focus on data integration skill sets as process, data,meta data across hybrid deployment models. Data will be coming from a greater number of sources.  Data integration and master data management will play a role here.

The Bottom Line – Jeremiah’s Take For The CMO
Marketers should continue to be responsive to the real-time web, but quickly develop processes that involve other customer touchpoints such as support, service, and product development into the mix

  1. Don’t limit your responses to the corporate communication team and brand monitoring team -cascade this information quickly. While the discussions that will be had in Jive’s community platform will help to aid the customer triage problem, be sure to tie the process and data back to other customer facing teams. Remember, customers don’t care which department you are in.
  2. Use imported social data to create topic based aggregations. Looking forward, use the data that brand monitoring companies are unearthing and turn your product pages into trusted aggregations of conversations -not just static product pitches. Learn how future webpages will be more like collections of customer conversations.

Your POV

How are marketing teams and enterprise strategy teams working with each other to coordinate these investments?  Have you experienced this convergence?  What are your lessons learned?   Do you need help with choosing the right tools?  Post your comment here or reach me direct at r at altimetergroup dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.  Put the power of expert apps strategy and vendor selection advice to work or just drop us a line.

Related Resources

  • Jive has a slide show with details on the announcement, we’ve uploaded it here.
  • Salesforce.com CRM launches social features (we also collaborated on that piece)
  • Lithium also launched features into it’s platform that allow workflow of social content -similar concepts
  • We like Oliver Mark’s take on how this makes true impacts to business and the real world, he cites how media events can now be tracked -and managed from the toolset.
  • Read Write Web gives more color to the story and gives examples of how other companies are managing this.
  • This conceptual slideshow demonstrates how the emerging and incumbent systems are quickly merging on the “Reef”. (a more Web 2.0 emerging tech view)

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.