Welcome to my blog on Content Intelligence and Engagement Performance; I have spent years in collaboration, messaging and social space developing advanced technologies to improve the consumer experience and lead generation. Was inducted into the Viral Hall of Fame by Marketing Sherpa as well as other industry awards. Join me in the conversation.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Brands start taking advantage of social graphs.

I got this off of Ad Age today and added in a few things.
Brands start taking advantage of social graphs.
If the late '00s were the era of the social network, the early '10s will see the rise of the "social graph" -- the network of you, your friends, and the friends of your friends.

There is going to be a play here for using consumers presence with Instant Messaging and the use of realtime as well .

Everyone has a social graph. In fact, the point of social networking has been to build one. We will now see services like Facebook and Google start to use social graph data more aggressively as we move away from the "destination web" towards a "social web" whereby people get information through their networks rather than a specific site. Facebook's new "reconnect with" feature is one implementation of social graph data.

The social graph needs two kinds of tool to work. At the service end, it needs algorithms -- the formula that use your graph to determine what information and connections you value most, which allows services to predict what information you're going to like (including, of course, which products and marketing communications you'll appreciate). At the user end, it needs filters -- the ability to group people and information more effectively to get the most out of a network. The effectiveness of both algorithms and filters are improving rapidly, and these will be a big factor in the continued evolution of social media.

In 2010 there will be a heightened need for brands to understand how to be more social in order to access these more segmented networks. There's increasing evidence that the ROI of social media is definitely worth the effort.

In my next post will talk to some of the above approaches in Social Brand Growth Part II.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2010 social intelligence and e-mail marketing trends

2010 looks to be a big year for marketing plan integrating social intelligence to drive lead generation and rethinking their spend on how to leverage social targeting and email marketing combination.

Karen J. Bannan “Looking ahead: 2010 e-mail marketing trends” references leader StrongMail in the “2010 Marketing Trends Survey” indicates 89% of respondents plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in email marketing and social media budgets in the New Year. Of the 1,000 global business leaders found that the positive outlook is supported by 50% of polled businesses that expect their customers to spend more in 2010, and nearly a quarter more that expect them to spend the same. Only 8% of businesses expect their customers to spend less.
Email and social media marketing are the two leading areas of investment at 69% and 59% respectively.

(Thanks for the blug Kristin)

They will do so using several strategies, said Kristin Hersant, StrongMail’s director of corporate marketing. “We see marketers getting a lot more sophisticated, leveraging the viral aspect of the Web,” she said. “For example, using targeted segmentation to create a referral program with their top influencers, who they know are most active with their brand.”

Hersant said tools are finally coming to the market that will help marketers tease out the most active users on their lists by examining engagement metrics. Companies such as UNBOUND Technologies . can scrub those lists to determine which recipients are active in the social networking world and the networks they are on.

Among their goals, marketers reported a desire to increase relevancy by adopting segmentation and targeting, cited by 46% of respondents.

With social media marketing a clear focus for businesses, Respondents identified the top three benefits of social media marketing as:
• Awareness building (64%)
• Customer loyalty and retention (49%)
• Expanded reach (46%)
Bill Wagner, executive vice president of business operations at StrongMail, notes that “… this survey reveals a strong focus on high ROI channels like email and emerging ones like social media… (with) an unprecedented number of companies look to integrate email and social media in 2010…”

Reported survey highlights include:

  • 89% of businesses plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in 2010

  • 50% of businesses expect customers to spend more; 23% to spend about the same; 8% to spend less

  • 69% of businesses plan to increase marketing budget for email; 59% social media; 42% search

  • 69% of businesses plan to integrate email and social media in 2010

  • 64% of businesses identify increasing awareness as the primary value for social media

The key here is you need to have a clear understanding of your consumers’ passion points, where they are interacting and your possible influencers. 2010 is a big year for Social Intelligence and Social Consumer Insight making email the quick hit for marketers in the new year.

Chase McMichael

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