Posts Tagged ‘social campaign tracking’

Quark Summary: What Every CMO Needs To Know About The Six C’s Of Customer Engagement

Forward And Commentary

CMO’s seeking to avoid the desensitization that comes with the adoption of new media will want to quickly deploy the Six C’s of Customer Engagement.

A. Introduction

Social media effectiveness for brands and enterprises will rapidly mirror the trends that email and web sites experienced during the late 1990′s to early 2000′s.  In fact, social media adoption has passed ubiquitous usage and has mostly begun the process of relevant deployment.  Avoidance of  Phase 4 Desensitization can be avoided by applying the Six C’s of Engagement (Figure 1.)

B. Research Findings

Recent early adopter surveys identify five key phases of social media adoption:

  • Phase 1: Eager early adopters. Users eagerly experimented in the newness of the medium.   Early adopters attempt to apply the medium to everything.
  • Phase 2: Ubiquitous usage. Rapid adoption put the medium in the hands of the masses.  Adoption exceeds 50 million users.
  • Phase 3: Relevant deployment. Brands and enterprises apply the medium to the right business use cases and processes.
  • Phase 4: Desensitization and fatigue. Inundated with marketing, bombarded with irrelevant content, and tired of the newness of the medium, customers begin tuning out.
  • Phase 5: Rejuvenation. Maturation of the medium ushers an improved era of engagement apply the Six C’s of Engagement.

The Six C’s Of Customer Engagement provide strategies to overcome desensitization and fatigue

  1. Community. Location for engagement.
  2. Content. Topics that drive engagement.
  3. Context. Relevance that create engagement.
  4. Catalysts. Events or actions that facilitate engagement.
  5. Currencies. Monetary and non-monetary exchange of value behind engagement.
  6. Cadence. The frequency of interaction

Figure 1. The Six C’s of Customer Engagement Overcomes Desensitization And Fatigue


Executive Profiles: Disruptive Tech Leaders In Social Business – Randy Guard, SAS Institute

Welcome to an on-going series of interviews with the people behind the technologies in Social Business.  The interviews  provide insightful points of view from a customer, industry, and vendor perspective.  A full list of interviewees can be found here.

Randy Guard – Vice President of Sales Development and Product Management, SAS Institute


As Vice President of Sales Development and Product Management, Randy Guard leads the product strategy and business development efforts across SAS. Randy and his Product Management teams work closely with SAS’ Research and Development organization to define and manage product road maps based on market needs and customer input. Randy’s Global Practice teams drive revenue growth by delivering market-driven offerings and supporting strategic customer engagements. These teams of product and industry domain experts help customers and partners apply SAS software to solve their critical business problems.

Before joining SAS in 2000, Randy served as Manager of e-Business Solutions for BuildNet, a provider of builder management solutions to the residential and commercial building industry. He also served as Regional Director for Spectrum Technology Group, specializing in building e-business and data warehousing solutions. Randy began his career with Andersen Consulting (Accenture), where he led systems development and implementation efforts for clients across financial services, retail and consumer packaged goods, utilities and public sector industries.

Randy holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Duke University.

The Interview

1. Tell me in 2 minutes or less why Social Computing is changing the world for your customers.

Randy Guard (RG): From our standpoint, social computing and social media present a completely new set of interactions. These interactions range from direct to indirect and include customers, prospects, and even competitors. Social computing is more than just a set of new data or just another channel. Our early customers and prospects are truly dealing with an exposure dilemma and figuring out how to best engage in this new social world, and integrate social computing in many aspects of their business.

Valued customers/prospects are talking online about the companies and products they like or dislike. In many cases, the company is not present in the dialog and definitely not leading the conversation. Consequently, a brand’s reputation is out there in the open and vulnerable. Everything that they have spent years and years building now has a different level of exposure. More importantly, a company has less control over the brand reputation now. They have to develop a good listening habit and build an environment where they can influence and support. Companies need to be able to answer new questions like … How do they understand what’s going on in the social world? Whats’ the volume of activity? And who are the influencers? At SAS there is heavy emphasis on the analytics component to understanding social media – more than just volume, we like to understand influence and the dynamics of the social network itself.

So, organizations now have to figure out how to more effectively engage their customers immediately given the accelerated maturity cycle that exists in a social computing world. Engagement must account for a diverse set of sources such as social media blogs, forums , and company hosted environments … and all of this across the broad spectrum of computing devices.

The social view is not 2 to 3 or 4 years out. These fundamental shifts are underway now. Organizations can expect very rapid change amidst a new set of interactions and increased level of exposure. As we talk to customers about social computing and social media analysis they can all rapidly comprehend the impact, and the value of being present and engaged in this new set of interactions.

2. What makes social computing disruptive?

(RG): Ray, as you know, the content in social is all about you or your product or service, and it is not owned by the company. It truly comes from the marketplace. Everyone wants feedback, and in some cases companies can’t deal with the deluge. Two things drive the disruptive nature. One is the speed in which you get feedback. This is achieved when people talk about your product or service, and quickly build momentum (both positive and negative). The other dimension is the pervasiveness of the information and how it travels through the network. Pre-social computing, you might have a bad experience at a retail store. You might have told your friends and family. Now that same feedback and negative experience not only can be commented on to thousands, but it can also be shared in audio and video. Suddenly, a whole new form of influence emerges and propagates very quickly. Now, an individual store issue with a single customer can quickly evolve into a corporate or a brand issue. Again, it works on the positive side too. The potential customer can see how an average person is passionate about a company’s product, and that can make a huge impact in sales. Customer testimonials are often more genuine and impactful than those from a corporate spokesperson or ad.

3. What is the next big thing in Social Business software?

(RG): Integrating social content with enterprise data is critical to go to the next level. Right now many of the initial gains are isolated successes to “listening” and some are focused 2-way engagement. We’ll continue to evolve with integrated social content and analysis that ties back to even more enterprise systems. Our first level of this integration has already driven value to our customers plus added new features to coming releases. Listening in the social world is obviously important, but then you need the right engagement plan to address the situation. For example, we have seen issues in a company’s supply chain (e.g. an increase in backorders) drive a rapid spike in negative sentiment in the social world. The product was positive in the eyes of the customer, but the availability issue was getting massive negative attention. They quickly needed to put out a message to the customers plus added some promotions on shipping, and alternative products, etc. They also needed to fix the backorder issue asap.

4. What are you doing that’s disruptive for Social Computing?


Monday’s Musings: Seven Basic Privacy Rights Users Should Demand For Social Business

Public Outrage Grows Over Lax Privacy Polices At Popular Social Networking Sites

Recent actions by social networking leaders in the market place have brought new attention to a user’s privacy rights.  Despite the fact that these sites provide a freemium service to users, abuse and arrogance of a user’s privacy rights combined with user ignorance has led to not only a public outrage, but also increasing action from privacy advocacy groups to petition government agencies.  Three public examples include:

Figure 1. US Social Networking Sites Market Share By Page Views


News Analysis: Lithium Technologies Adds $53M in Financing

New Funding Shows Strength In Social Business Market And Lithium’s Business Model

Emeryville, California based Lithum Technologies announced today that it raised $53.4M in financing.  The lead round is from New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Other investors include SAP Ventures.

  • NEA leads the round with Peter Sonsini joining the board. Peter‘s been active with ecommerce play BeachMint, community platform BuzzMedia, ruby development player Engine Yard, and cloud player Eucalyptus.  Of note all “existing Lithium investors, including Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Emergence Capital, Greenspring Associates, Shasta Ventures and Tenaya Capital” participated in this D round.

    Point of View (POV):
    NEA’s traditionally gone in early and invested with visionary entrepreneurs.  However, this play fits along its second investment thesis for venture growth equity opportunities.  NEA’s track record bodes well for Lithium should they decide to go the IPO route.  More importantly, NEA provides Lithium with a vast network of resources for both sales, business development, and expansion.
  • Lithium’s executed well amidst an increasingly competitive landscape. Lithium has shown growth into key verticals including auto, consumer products, financial services, retail, technology, telecommunications, and travel and leisure.  Key wins and expansions include BskyB, McDonalds, Nestle, Nissan, SuccessFactors and Telstra.

    Point of View (POV):
    Expansion into key verticals, improvement in SaaS upgrade technology, and the addition of enterprise class executives such as Rob Tarkoff, Ed Van Siclen, and Jim Drill show a seriousness to take the company to the next level.  The social business sale is starting to expand beyond the CMO role and across other line of business executives.  As the sale touches across the enterprise, the new management team is better positioned  to address the needs of CIOs, CFO’s, and other line of business execs as well as agency and system integrator partners.  More importantly, Lithium can expect consolidation in the market and increased competition from Jive,, IBM, and others to heat up.

The Bottom Line For Customers: New Financing Validates Your Investment With Lithium Technologies

The strength and size of the additional financing validates Lithium’s position in the market place and bodes well for both existing customers and prospects.  Lithium intends to expand its role in defining the social customer experience.  This round of additional financing enables Lithium to:

  • Support new social business use cases
  • Expand into new markets such as digital agency ecosystem and growing geographies
  • Invest in more research and development
  • Fund future acquisitions
  • Improve service delivery for existing customers

The market place is about to consolidate and the additional funding ensures stability at Lithium as well as reaffirms its position among the leaders in social customer experience and the broader category of social business.

The Bottom Line For Technology Vendors: Expect Consolidation Across The Vendor Landscape In 2012

Activity around social business deals have accelerated in the last three months. Jive’s IPO has provided this market category with a catalyst for continued investment.  More importantly, key fundamentals such as increasing customer adoption, continued market share gains by start-ups and pure-play vendors, and interest by established software vendors indicate the beginning of a mergers and acquisition cycle in 2012.  Technology vendors can expect deals and partnerships as each of the Social Business software categories: Customer engagement, SCRM/ External Communities, Enterprise 2.0/Internal Collaboration, and Social Middleware combine to address the 43 use cases of social business.  The market can expect the following combinations:

  • Established CRM vendors to add social offerings
  • Social middleware vendors to move up the stack
  • Consolidation of SCRM players with Enterprise 2.0 communities
  • Expansion of SCRM vendors into other CRM areas


Figure 1. Expect Consolidation Across The Vendor Landscape In Social Business For 2012


Your POV.

Are you ready for Social Business? If you are a Lithium customer, what do you think?  Got a question?  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) com.

Please let us know if you need help with your Social CRM/ Social Business efforts.  Here’s how we can assist:

  • Assessing social business/social CRM readiness
  • Developing your social business/ social CRM  strategy
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation partner selection
  • Connecting with other pioneers
  • Sharing best practices
  • Designing a next gen apps strategy
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Demystifying software licensing

Related Research:


Reprints can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact sales (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us. For the full disclosure policy, see the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

Copyright © 2012 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

Executive Profiles: Disruptive Tech Leaders In Social Business – Kelly Pennock, Visible Technologies

Welcome to an on-going series of interviews with the people behind the technologies in Social Business.  The interviews  provide insightful points of view from a customer, industry, and vendor perspective.  A full list of interviewees can be found here.

Kelly Pennock, CEO of Visible Technologies


Kelly Pennock is Chief Executive Officer for Visible Technologies. He brings over two decades of experience in executive management and technology vision to the company. In his prior role as Visible’s Chief Technology Officer, Kelly was responsible for authoring the technology road map and driving the engineering vision behind the Visible Intelligence™ software platform.

Before joining Visible Technologies, Kelly served as President at First Data Corporation, a Fortune 200 company headquartered in Denver, Colorado. At First Data, he led the Analytics Business Unit that was responsible for the sale of analytics products across the company’s customer base. Prior to that role, he was Chief Executive Officer and President of Intelligent Results, an enterprise software company that delivered analytics and business intelligence software and services to global financial services institutions. Kelly also held senior positions at, the world’s leading online retailer, where he launched two of Amazon’s early stores and led multiple enterprise wide initiatives related to personalization and cross-sell. Before Amazon, he was Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Internet startup Cartia Inc., and a Chief Scientist in Information Sciences at Battelle’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory.

Kelly has authored multiple patents and won national awards for technology innovation. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in business and economics as well as a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University.

The Interview

1. Tell me in 2 minutes or less why Social Computing is changing the world for your customers.

Kelly Pennock (KP): Agility, or the ability to innovate rapidly, is increasingly becoming the key to business success. Social computing, meanwhile, is fast becoming the key to that agility.

This makes sense because commercial tastes and trends, like any other cultural phenomenon, can’t be anticipated—at least, not with reliability. Commerce is therefore like any other emergent system—the weather or the stock market or the next best-seller. Prediction, except in the shortest of time frames or most static of markets, is unreliable. So if you can’t predict the future, the next best thing is to be able to see the present clearly, quickly and deeply and be ready to adjust as needed.

Businesses are figuring this out. Business planning used to be like building a bridge—devise a detailed long- range game plan that delineates the next three years of activity. Today, it’s clearly more of an innovation game—how quickly can you learn, adapt, try something new and then do it all over again next month. The business use of social media is all about learning from millions of “experts” on your products and brands, getting out there, trying things with your messaging, interacting with those experts to win their hearts and minds, and doing it in real time, all the time.

2. What makes social computing disruptive?

(KP): Social networks and the social intelligence we can derive from understanding human behaviors are disruptive forces themselves because they can help us understand what’s happening in society and commerce at a volume and velocity never before possible. For example, on average every 60 seconds there are more than 98,000 tweets, 1500 blog posts and 655,000+ Facebook wall posts.

Social computing is disruptive in another way. Social networks are not just a reflection of what is changing in culture and commerce, they are a catalyst for change: More people communicating about more things more often drives the evolution of culture and commerce at an ever increasing pace. The more we rely on them, the faster things change. The faster things change, the more we rely on them. So if the rate of change and the unpredictability of culture and commerce are what force us away from traditional business thinking in the first place, then the reliance on and participation in social networks as a mechanism to “keep up” ends up increasing the rate of change and makes businesses even more dependent on the agility they enable.

In a way, social networks are like a laboratory experiment: We can see the battle of ideas and brands in the network, identify the viral new and the dying old memes, quantify them and their rate of change, and measure the winners and losers at any point in time. It’s fascinating – and amazing – what you can learn. But like an experiment run amok, social networks and social commerce have spread to every corner of the world and now, we’re all caught up in the experiment.

So, in a nutshell, social networks and social intelligence make the present more comprehensible than ever before, and the future even fuzzier.

3. What is the next big thing in Social Business software?

(KP): Social networks provide a lab environment, of sorts, for society as well as commerce. Weather and culture have a lot in common—a large collection of individual units, molecules and people, respectively, interacting to create a macro or large-scale phenomenon. No one can predict the weather with certainty, but over the last 40 years, with the collection of massive quantities of data and the application of big computer models to figure them out, weather predictions are much more reliable than they used to be, at least in near term.

The spread of ideas through social networks and the resulting behavior will someday be predictable like the weather is today. It won’t be perfect, but we’ll gain a lot of insight and our guesses will be much more reliable than they are today.

This means businesses will be able to predict, not just guess, which messages will be effective, which promotions will move the needle, which consumers are buyers and what offers motivate them to buy. Utilizing the power of prediction en masse over the social universe will provide adrenaline to offline and online commerce, and thus, will be a multiplying force regardless of channel.

4. What are you doing that’s disruptive for Social Computing?

(KP): We are “un-homogenizing” social networks. The word network connotes for many a mass of tangled connections, something confusing and indecipherable. People think of social media as a faceless aggregation of consumers, much like a crowd, “wisdom of the crowds” and other terms confer that kind of homogeneity. We are pulling the network apart to reveal the fine structure underneath.

At Visible Technologies, we make it possible for marketers, customer service teams, and others across the enterprise to deeply understand social conversations at scale – easily. We’re bringing the social universe to the whole of the enterprise and enabling organizations to ask very precise questions of billions and billions of complex and multilingual pieces of human communications. What we provide is:

  • One part engineering: Google- or Yahoo-type architecture that can scale infinitely and deliver reliably to big companies.
  • One part science: Sophisticated machine learning that can compute things like the sentiment and intent of the communication in a host of languages, the influence and demographics and geography of the participants, the pyschographics of a site, and so on. This science will enable companies to specifically target social customer segments by age or gender or interests, much like they can in the “carbon world.”
  • One part user interface and workflow. These things make this mass of content and insight accessible and discoverable.

5. Where do you see technology convergence with Social?

(KP): Big data – or data and analytics at super-scale. More than 700 million Facebook users and 200 million tweets a day means a lot of data is being generated – and those are only two sources. Understanding data at scale and extracting and inferring data from that mass means massive analytics.

I’ve never trusted intuition or common sense when it comes to making decisions at scale. A lot of my career has been spent figuring out just how wrong and how often our guesses are for all sorts of things. Data can usually tell us a lot more about the right answer than our hunches will.

6. If you weren’t focused on Social Computing what other disruptive technology would you have pursued?

(KP): Predictive medicine. It entails predicting who will be prone to certain types of diseases or conditions or even injuries. Knowing this information allows you to institute preventive measures in the appropriate time frame to either prevent altogether, or at least mitigate, the impact of these issues on your health.

7. What’s your favorite science fiction gadget of all time?

(KP): The Antigravity Belt Buckle in Ultraviolet. She could change her personal gravity and so had a lot of fun walking up walls and along ceilings. She could also extend it to other objects, like her motorcycle, and make it perform the same kind of tricks. This has plenty of applications, from thrill seeking to good old fashioned self-defense.

Your POV

What do you think? Got a question for Kelly?  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) com.

The Tech Vendor series is closed.  To be considered for the Business and Tech Innovators series, please reach out to Elaine (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


Reprints can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact sales (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us. For the full disclosure policy, see the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

Copyright © 2011 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

Executive Profiles: Disruptive Tech Leaders In Social Business – Rob Tarkoff
, Lithium Technologies

Welcome to an on-going series of interviews with the people behind the technologies in Social Business.  The interviews  provide insightful points of view from a customer, industry, and vendor perspective.  A full list of interviewees can be found here.

Rob Tarkoff, President and CEO Lithium Technologies


Rob Tarkoff is president and CEO of Lithium Technologies, the leader in Social Customer Solutions.

Before assuming the CEO role at Lithium, based in Emeryville, Calif., Rob was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Adobe Systems’ Digital Enterprise Solutions business unit that had annual revenue in excess of $1 billion. Rob pioneered Adobe’s Customer Experience Management strategy, and was responsible for the core Acrobat, Adobe Connect Web conferencing, Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform, and customer experience management offerings. He oversaw the Web content management and digital asset management solutions gained through Adobe’s acquisition of Day Software. Rob also led Adobe’s worldwide enterprise solution partnerships, including system integration partners and strategic ISVs.

Before Adobe, Rob held several executive positions at EMC Corporation, Documentum, Inc. and Commerce One.

The Interview

1. Tell me in 2 minutes or less why Social Computing is changing the world for your customers.

Rob Tarkoff (RT): Social computing is changing the way marketers and line of business executives interact with their customers. It’s not another channel. It’s a philosophy. It’s a key way that customers experience brand.

The larger question is: “How do you design, build, deploy and manage an effective solution in the midst of massive evolution?” And, unfortunately, there is no common interpretation of social. Some get it fundamentally wrong when they view this only as a channel. Some are enlightened with a new philosophy to serve their customers.

Today, we face an expectations-gap between the consumer world and business environment. Employees and customers yearn to experience software and offerings as social and community based, whether it’s shopping, gaming, or internal collaboration.

What’s interesting is there is a generational gap here. People are very interested in including their reference peer group in everything they are doing with recommendations and experience sharing. A slightly older demographic may see the value of social, yet have not implemented that into everything they do. They see it as a major advantage, but may not fundamentally know how they want to engage with the ongoing experience

Meanwhile, the 40 to 50 year old demographic is engaged. They have to think about social the same way they think about rich media. For this group, social media is a rich media. This medium provides new ways to interact and experience. They expect these paradigms to be designed into everything.

2. What makes social computing disruptive?

(RT): The major disruption is the change in the power balance. Consumers have the power because they can quickly amplify their experience with admiration for a brand they love or rally their connections to hear their injustice. Companies are responding as much as they are leading. We now have the customer-network effect.

With social on everyone’s mind, company authenticity gains in importance. You can’t hide stuff in a social world because everything you do is on Twitter and Facebook. The major disruption is people have all the power and expect to use the power to surface whether or not a company is authentic.

Is a company doing what it says it’s doing? Are they true to the core of what they are about?

People are more willing to tweet or post on Facebook about a bad experience than call a company to tell them they had a bad interaction. This makes the way companies must respond to customers very different. And, you need to build this competency into your call centers and at every customer touch point.

Now, the only way to differentiate yourself and experience is through service and customers experience. Some may some say this is a major challenge, but those who have embraced can make the social customer experience an opportunity to differentiate, accelerate sales, and build brand advocacy.

3. What is the next big thing in Social Business software?

(RT): We have spent years uncovering what makes communities so powerful. Today, we are working on helping business executives understand the business impact. There are a lot of start-ups and un-proven technologies in the market creating confusion. At Lithium, we’re interested in understanding the effect of communities on people’s loyalties. What makes a community tick? What makes them sustainable? What makes a visitor return? Tell their friends? These are critical aspects for business executives to understand and core to social business software.

Interactions must be much more interactive and dynamic. I can’t stress enough how important it is that companies focus on the health of their communities, guiding them to create, encourage and reward brand advocates.

Social business software also helps drive down customer service costs. But this really is so much bigger than containing costs. We’re changing the competitive dynamics across entire industries.

4. What are you doing that’s disruptive for Social Computing?


Research Summary: Introducing The 43 Use Cases For Social Business (Social Enterprise)

The Social Business (Social Enterprise) Moves Beyond The 18 Use Cases Of Social CRM

As social media adoption continues to move from mainstream to pervasive ubiquity, enterprises will begin to benefit from these advancements in the consumerization of IT (CoIT).  Just 18 months ago, early adopters identified 18 Use Cases for Social CRM (SCRM).  These ground breaking use cases showed enterprises how to bring social into existing CRM processes.

Consequently, the market has moved on beyond just marketing, service, and support use cases.  In the latest Software Insider “State of Social Business” survey, 103 respondents identified 25 additional use cases that spanned across key enterprise business processes that impact eight key functional areas, from external facing to internal facing (see Figure 1):

  1. Public relations/ marketing (PR/MA).  Key impacted business process: Campaign to lead
  2. Sales (SFA).  Key impacted business process: Lead to deal
  3. Service and support (CSS).  Key impacted business process: Incident to resolution
  4. Projects (PBS).  Key impacted business process: Kickoff to delivery
  5. Innovation/ product life cycle management (PLM). Key impacted business process: Concept to production
  6. Supply chain (SCM). Key impacted business process: Sourcing to acceptance
  7. Human capital management (HCM). Key impacted business process: Hire to retire
  8. Finance. Key impacted business process: Invoice to payment

Figure 1. Constellation Defines 43 Social Business/ Social Enterprise Use Cases and 24 Key Analytics

(Hint: right click to expand and view the full image)

Early Adopters Identify HCM And Projects As The Next Growth Area For Social Business

Survey respondents chose their top 3 internal collaboration and external engagement social business use cases (see Figure 2).  Not surprisingly, service/support use cases led the pack with Reactive support-External (68.9%) and Support escalation and resolution – External (64.1%).  Lead generation – External in the PR Marketing category rounded out the top 3 at (63.1%).  Meanwhile, Projects and HCM gain traction among the top 5 use cases. Respondents report an increase in adoption of Projects Workspaces- Internal (36.9%) such as wiki’s and similar internal collaboration tools.  Meanwhile, HCM Recruiting – External (34.0%) emerged as the fifth most utilized use case.


Research Report: Constellation’s Research Outlook For 2011

Organizations Seek Measurable Results In Disruptive Tech, Next Gen Business, And Legacy Optimization Projects For 2011

Credits: Hugh MacLeod

Enterprise leaders seek pragmatic, creative, and disruptive solutions that achieve both profitability and market differentiation.  Cutting through the hype and buzz of the latest consumer tech innovations and disruptive technologies, Constellation Research expects business value to reemerge as the common operating principle that resonates among leading marketing, technology, operations, human resource, and finance executives.  As a result, Constellation expects organizations to face three main challenges: (see Figure 1.):

  • Navigating disruptive technologies. Innovative leaders must quickly assess which disruptive technologies show promise for their organizations.  The link back to business strategy will drive what to adopt, when to adopt, why to adopt, and how to adopt.  Expect leading organizations to reinvest in research budgets and internal processes that inform, disseminate, and prepare their organizations for an increasing pace in technology adoption.
  • Designing next generation business models. Disruptive technologies on their own will not provide the market leading advantages required for success. Leaders must identify where these technologies can create differentiation through new business models, grow new profit pools via new experiences, and deliver market efficiencies that save money and time.  Organizations will also have to learn how to fail fast, and move on to the next set of emerging ideas.
  • Funding innovation through legacy optimization. Leaders can expect budgets to remain from flat to incremental growth in 2011. As a result, much of the disruptive technology and next generation business models must be funded through optimizing existing investments. Leaders not only must reduce the cost of existing investments, but also, leverage existing infrastructure to achieve the greatest amount of business value.


Research Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM – The New Rules of Relationship Management

Analyzing The Demand For Use Cases In Social CRM

Since joining Altimeter Group, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with my colleague Jeremiah Owyang on Social CRM.  On a daily basis, the requests for Social CRM strategies escalated from all parts of the organization. In fact, requests reflected all facets of CRM including the usual sales, marketing, service and support to advanced areas such as innovation, collaboration, and customer experience.  Who’s been asking?  Well it’s our clients, blog readers, and prospects.  They represent the line of business guys, the IT teams, the marketing gurus, and the board members who have told their executives that they need to do something social.

So why all this fuss and urgency?  Customers continue to adopt social technologies at a blinding speed and organizations are unable to keep up.  Social technologies continue to proliferate.  Because the conversations about organizations increasingly occur outside of the organization’s control in social channels, organizations need to:

  1. Discover where the conversations are happening in this new social world.
  2. Identify who’s influential and if they are customers or not.
  3. Assess friend or foe status and their willingness to engage
  4. Determine a tiered approach to engagement or re-engagement.
  5. Tie social channels to business value and objectives
  6. Bring the social channel back to existing CRM systems.
  7. Reallocate resources to support Social CRM efforts

This is the basis for the groundswell in Social CRM.  But keep in mind, Social CRM does not replace existing CRM efforts – instead it brings more value to existing efforts and should complement the uber CRM strategy.

Behind The Scenes In Social CRM – A Holistic Approach to 18 Use Cases That Show Business How To Finally Put Customers First

Social CRM reflects the new world of disruptive technologies and the related business models, processes, and organizational requirements we live in.  Hence the multi-disciplinary approach to this research.  We’ve paired Jeremiah’s expertise in social technologies and customer strategies with my background in CRM, enterprise applications, master data management, and order management.   Our goal – take a holistic approach across multiple business departments, roles, and processes.

Given the newness of this topic, we also went out to the community to collaborate and define the use case framework.  We started with the “godfather of CRM” – Paul Greenberg and worked with 11 other gurus in a concerted fashion and with some level of serendipity.  Thanks go out to the individuals below and the for putting up with endless revisions, late night skype chats, and debates about client demand and technology maturity (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.  Influencer Input


From there, we validated the framework with over a 100 Social CRM pioneers.  As a final process, we then tested out the framework with 30 vendors in the space for a sanity check (see Figure 2).  The result – 18 Use Cases of Social CRM with input from 100 pioneers and 42 influencers in the market.

Figure 2.  Vendor Input


With all this in place, additional thanks go out to Christine Tran our researcher who helped us tremendously on the production of this report and Charlene Li for her edits!

Taking The 20,000 Feet View

While we’ve taken a comprehensive assessment of the use cases,  keep in mind, the high level points of the report start with:

  • Customers have moved. Organizations are Falling Behind
  • Social CRM Reconnects Organizations Back to Customers
  • Avoid the Hype – Deploy Social CRM for Business Value
  • Get Value: Adopt the 18 Social CRM Use Cases
  • All Use Cases Start with Listening

Applying The 18 Use Cases

The 18 Social CRM use cases and the seven areas of business value can be summarized as (see Figure 3):

  1. Social Customer Insights Form the Foundation for All Social CRM Use Cases
  2. Social Marketing Seeks to Achieve Customer Advocacy
  3. Social Sales Enables Seamless Lead Opportunities
  4. Social Support and Service Drives Sustainable Customer Satisfaction
  5. Social Innovation Streamlines Complex Ideation
  6. Collaboration Reduces Organizational Friction and Stimulates Ecosystem
  7. Seamless Customer Experience Sustains Advocacy Programs

Figure 3.  18 Use Cases Show Businesses How To Finally Put Customers First
Framework:  The 18 Use Case of Social CRM

At a high level, we’ve prioritized the use cases into 4 categories by market demand and technology maturity (see Figure 4).

  • Evangelizables. This category represents market demand that is less than 16 months and technology maturity between beta ready technologies and those with critical mass.
  • Near Tipping Points. This category represents market demand that is more than 16 months and technology maturity between beta ready technologies and those with critical mass.
  • Early Movers. This category represents market demand that is less than 16 months and technology maturity between vaporware and beta ready technologies.
  • Early Adoptions. This category represents market demand that is more than 16 months and technology maturity between vaporware and beta ready technologies.

Figure 4.  Ranking The 18 Social CRM Use Cases

Social CRM Use Case Maturity:  Not all of the 18 use cases are market ready

The Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM – The New Rules of Relationship Management

The Bottom Line – Take Action Today!

  1. Sign up for the webinar series. This is a deep topic, and the report is only the tip of the iceberg.  As with other disruptive topics, we’re going to offer a series of free webinars to explore each of the use cases in detail.  Sign up for the webinar now, as we can only have 1000 attendees per webinar, as our last webinar had over 1100 registrants.
  2. Read, then spread this report. As with open source, the Altimeter Group believes in open research.  We want our ideas to grow, and others to take advantage of it.  So if you found the report helpful, please forward the report to internal constituents, partners, vendors, clients, and blog it.  Use it in your presentations, business plans, and road maps.  The final report is embedded below, and there are download features for your own use.
  3. Have an internal discussion. Evaluate your current situation at your company, then draw up which business needs need to be tackled first, use the use cases as a roadmap by mapping out which phase comes first, and which phase comes second.  Keep business value in mind at all times!
  4. Learn more and join the community of pioneers. This is new territory, we don’t have all the answers, so we’ve created at group in which pioneers can learn from each other.  It’s free, and the conversation has started already, jump into the group, and learn together.

The Customer Strategists’ POV

You can read Jeremiah’s POV.

Your POV.

So ready to put the framework to use?  Any use cases we should add in the future?  We encourage you to let us know what else you see out there.   We know there’s more than 18 out there and we’re already revising this report to include new use cases!  You can post or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity or better yet, join the community!

Please let us know if you need help with your Social CRM efforts.  Here’s how we can help:

  • Assessing social CRM readiness
  • Developing your social CRM  strategy
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation partner selection
  • Connecting with other pioneers
  • Sharing best practices


This report was entirely funded by the Altimeter Group. Client list disclosures are available on the Altimeter Group Website, providing clients give us permission approve.

* Not responsible for any factual errors or omissions.  However, happy to correct any errors upon email receipt.

Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

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