Archive for April, 2010

Defining the Social CIO

April 30th, 2010

I spoke at SIM Atlanta last week on behalf of the Social Executive Council (SEC) with Dan Webber, CIO at Avery Partners and VP of the SEC. I was the stand in for Judy, who is the President of the SEC. Our discussion was on the difference between Social Media Policies and Social Governance. This was a first part in a series on the Social CIO. It has been amazing to me how receptive CIOs are to the idea of socially enabling the enterprise. As much as I speak and write to the Social CMOs, approximately 1/3 of the SEC members are CIOs. CIOs are an important part of the social enablement movement. I believe a critical one as I do not believe organizations can do this without cross-functional coordination.

For SIM Atlanta, we started the presentation last week with a strong statement about what is a Social CIO:

If you believe that the social disruption will impact the enterprise:

  • Role of CIO and IT must evolve
  • Information management will now encompass the adoption, motivation, and collaboration around the distribution of information.
  • IT Architectures will need to take into account for the fluid nature of social interactions (unstructured) and the overwhelming amount of information (contextualization and filtering) to handle the real-time needs of their organizations
  • The IT organization that can absorb this and lead the transformation will be strengthened within the organization.
  • The IT organizations that cannot keep up will be marginalized.
  • The Social CIO is architect for the social enablement of the enterprise


What we didn’t do last week was outline the areas that will be impacted by the Social CIO, here are the 5 areas that we believe are the starting point:

  • Social Architecture – defining the next generation of information architecture to support the fluid information needs of the socially enabled enterprise
  • Social Experience – building the platform to support the socially enabled customer lifecycle; includes CRM, contact centers, sales and marketing support
  • Social Intelligence – integrating the wealth of behavioral information that is generated within online communities and social interactions. Think the ability to differentiate between browsers and shoppers or better qualify leads.
  • Enterprise Social Search – Defining the ability to find information or expertise across the enterprise. Now add the complexity that the organization may or may not own the information, it may be in the “cloud” and it may be unstructured. How do you build a roadmap to manage the ability for your organization to find stuff in a socially enabled enterprise?
  • Social Governance – It governance is about protecting the information and intellectual property assets of the organization, about bringing a systematic approach to leverage and consuming technology resources, and planning IT initiatives in a structured way. Social governance takes that to the next level in how do you manage structure in an unstructured environment. How do you define IP when the content is user generated? Who owns a relationship when it is done under the corporate aegis, but is done through a personal Linkedin account? Where does personal end and professional begin? You can’t answer these questions till you have a Social Governance plan to map your corporate assets, understand what will be socially enabled, how you will manage the distribution process, measure and monitor it, and make sure that you can effectively communicate responsibilities to it.

Social CIOs are figuring out that they are just at the crawl stage in terms of socially enabling the organization. The good news is that they don’t have to do it alone, as a matter of fact, they aren’t alone, and they are in good company as most companies are still crawling. The real problem for Social CIOs is that many of their companies are starting to walk and run in social marketing. If they don’t get their social architectural planning established quickly, they may find the resulting unstructured chaos may become permanent.

Social Media Versus Social Marketing

April 30th, 2010

We spend a good amount of time discussing socially enabling the enterprise, but there is another side of our business that is focused on servicing the small to medium sized business market (SMB) with social marketing services.

As Joanne Sanders, our social marketing practice leader says “The difference between social media and social marketing?  Social media is about participation –it is about the activities that go on within the platforms.  Social marketing is about purpose —it is about coordinating an overarching strategy involving multiple social /communication elements.”

Now, this doesn’t mean go out and fire your marketing or communications firm because they keep explaining that you need more friends on your Facebook page, but like any creative endeavor it needs focus. Start with a defined goal, identify the strategies that make sense, and then focus your creative partner on creating the best, most compelling content. Social marketing is done correctly is about building the right relationships in the right way with the key influencers (both market and company) that will establish credibility with a decision maker prior to your engagement with them directly. If you don’t, you may not get an opportunity to do it direct.

We also find that although many smaller companies appreciate strategy, they cannot feel comfortable using their limited dollars to invest in strategy without a return. They don’t pay for consulting; they pay for execution and results. Here are some of the objectives that we would put forward to define a really good program, all of which can be tracked and measured:

  • Online Lead Generation
  • Credentialing In The Market
  • Expand Online Footprint
  • Reach External And Internal Buying Influencers
  • Build Market Evangelists For Your Company
  • Distribution Channel / Partner Identification
  • Develop Industry Relationships

Social marketing is about purpose AND alignment to your business, social media is about participation and relationships.

Building A Social Marketing Business Case – Part 1 – Definitions

April 22nd, 2010

This multi-part series will provide information on social marketing and answer the following questions:

  • What is it? (I already can hear, not another buzz word….)
  • Why is a new definition required beyond Social Media, Social Networking, Social CRM, or Web 2.0 Marketing? (gotcha there)
  • So what? Why should I worry about this? Hint: Revenue Generation and Customer Referrals (I assume this would be important to you)
  • What does a Social Marketing strategy look like?
  • What does a Social Marketing Roadmap look like for this?
  • How do I leverage what I am already doing?
  • How do I build a Social Marketing Business Case?
  • How do I measure Social Marketing?

Now that I got the major questions out of the way, let move next into the definitions;

Social Marketing – The re-orientation of traditional marketing to reflect the new post-digital, network relationship oriented, and influencer-driven social interactions. Social Marketing leverages a multi-channel, multi-directional approach towards building relationships with a transition away from the structured Marketing roles of product management, product marketing, marketing communications, public relations, channel marketing, sales support. Instead, marketing is reoriented around enabling the key interactions that support the buying process.

Social Media – Basically, you have the social networks that you participate and the online communities that you own which are built into your corporate website. See my post on Social Media is Like Fishing for more details. Social Media is changing buyer behavior, coming more fluid, and marketing must adjust the model to to support the reflected changes. See my post on the Changing Role of the CMO for further explanation. Read more

Online Communities – communities of interest built upon a foundation of Web 2.0 social networking tools; profile, blog, wiki, social bookmarking, calendaring, media sharing, etc that enable the user to interact with other users and content through the website. See my post on Online Community Blueprint for more details.

Post-Digital - If everything is becoming digital, why does digital matter? The buyer doesn’t really care if the interaction is on the web, they just want to get what they need. A lot of marketing still segments online and offline which creates an artificial barrier to developing a seamless customer experience.

Social is the “New” Customer Experience

April 1st, 2010

A friend of mine and I have been emailing about the value of “social media”. Like most skeptics, the conversation is that social media is just a marketing channel. From the skeptic’s perspective, social media is about twitter, linkedin, facebook, youtube, etc. If viewed from that perspective, he is right. Social media doesn’t rise to the top of the priority list. Although consumer products’ budgets are migrating to social media, most of those budgets are creative advertising, games, promotions, etc. Directors of Marketing Communications worry about those budgets, CMOs worry about market share, valuation, new product innovation, sales and channels, etc.

Well and good, but there is a “but”…

In my opinion, CMOs need to “get the impact of social on the enterprise” as it is one of the most critical disruptions that we have seen in the last 15 years. We lived through the web disruption, this will be equally as disruptive. My friend is right that CMO’s don’t get fired or hired for “social media”, but they will get fired or hired for performance; which is going to be impacted on their ability to leverage “social” in their customer lifecycles.

Our consulting business is about socially enabling the enterprise, in particular, the end-to-end customer lifecycle. Lead generation over public social networks is only a small part of it. Customer retention rates, churn rates, customer satisfaction, referrals, etc. are all a part of the customer experience. We are seeing a fundamental change in the way customers (B-to-B, B-to-C, Channels) expect to interact. Social CRM is the first step, but it needs to be more strategic, cross-functional and impactful to reach its full potential.

We are seeing the set plays that Marketing used to call FAIL faster because they aren’t fluid enough to react to the dynamic flow of information. By the way, it isn’t only CMOs… CIOs are hungry for how to manage, VPs of HR, VPs of Sales, Channels, etc. Yes, I see CMOs getting churned much faster if they don’t perform, but because they can’t figure out how to leverage social strategy to compete. Social Market Leaders will become Market Share leaders.

As an example, we gone into several large companies recently and recommended  in the initial meeting that they change their sales and marketing strategy based upon the social market research that we then present to them. All outside, public information.

We are not playing “gotcha” with them, we are showing how Social is the “New” Customer Experience. Buyers are approaching the buying research, selection, and validation process is now very different because of social media. Not about the technology or “chatting with friends”, but about business impact.

Not only did they listen to us, but it validated their perceptions in the market as to the challenges they were seeing. By the way, these aren’t leading edge, consumer internet software companies, but  ”Old School” brick and mortar B-to-B companies…

Interestingly enough, we started with a good number of skeptics at the start of the meetings. We were brought in by executive sponsors; who wanted to get the rest of their executive teams around the need for a  “social media” plan, but their teams didn’t realize how strategic this could become.

You know that you are in a disruption when the pace of change feels overwhelming. Information is just pouring over the wall and you are trying to keep up. We were there with the last major disruption with the world wide web in the mid-90′s. Small companies were figuring out how to leverage the web to drive massive growth, much of it at the expense of larger companies that were caught looking at the web with distain or disbelief.

Don’t be THAT person!!!! if you don’t understand, there are many free and/or paid resources to get educated. Doesn’t mean that you throw out your existing business model and “kamikaze” your marketing resources into social media, but at least have a social marketing plan with a roadmap, milestones, budget, and performance measurement.