TAKING THE MEASURE OF SOCIAL MEDIA -
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT | JULY 2009 17 www.destinationCRM.com Insight among technology companies looking to enter the enterprise software market and existing enterprise software vendors to make a play for some SaaS offerings. ���Companies buy into SaaS not only to bolster their own offerings,��� Wang says. ���It���s an offensive play as well. There���s a growing market for microvertical apps, and [for] building your own unique product.���He suggests four likely consol- idation angles: 1. On-premises software companies may acquire niche capabilities to not only augment their offerings but poach competitors��� customers. 2. A systems integrator looking for a platform-as-a-service offering may ac- quire a SaaS vendor to extend its future capabilities and become less reliant on the quartet of vendors known as MISO (Microsoft, IBM, SAP, and Oracle). 3. Hardware vendors looking to enter the software market may use SaaS as the entry point and augment revenue streams with higher-margin consulting services. 4. Other SaaS vendors might try to create a suite by merging product lines. With Oracle basking in the warm af- terglow of Sun,other vendors have a win- dow of opportunity���but one that might slam shut at any moment.���IBM and HP have to make a decision: Their acquisi- tions have been around infrastructure, not applications,���Mitra says, adding that one of the two will likely be a first mover in any new wave of acquisitions. ���We may be moving toward yet another ���too big to fail��� industry struc- ture,���Mitra wrote.���If HP,IBM,Cisco,Mi- crosoft, and Oracle go around acquiring everybody and their mother, we���re in for stagnation in innovation, a precarious concentration of industry power and leverage at the very tip of the pyramid, and an overall undesirable structural evolution. SaaS is an opportunity for smaller companies to accumulate their own muscle, roll up their own smaller kingdoms, and create an alternative power structure.I would much rather see that happen than an accumulation of everything that matters into one of the five largest players.��� ���Marshall Lager Man easurementcamp Wiki calls itself an ���open-source movement to make sense of social media measurement.��� There���s certainly enough chaos to warrant effort at sense-making. The impact of social media, according to the wiki, can be categorized under one of three general headers: behavior, feelings, and fi- nancial impact. That may not seem all that different from a traditional marketing campaign, but with social media you have the added advantage���or burden���of monitoring and responding to what people are saying in real time. Marketers have long been aware that the tables were turning from the ���push���model they controlled to a ���pull���model controlled by the public���a model that social media has finally made a reality. Today���s consumers have not only learned to block out marketing overload, they���re making their own voices heard loud and clear. That���s the dirty little secret of the new ���pull��� model: Now it���s marketers who have to find value in the noise. (See sidebar, ���Metrics of User- Generated Social Media.���) To that end, Web analytics providers are partnering with so- cial media monitoring solutions. Last September, for example, Web analytics vendor Omniture partnered with on-demand so- cial media platform provider Lithium Technologies on its Om- niture Genesis program. More recently,Webtrends and Radian6 announced a collaboration to capture consumer activity both on and off a company���s Web property. (For more on that part- nership, see ���Web Analytics Meets Social Media,��� April 16, 2009, http://sn.im/dcrm090416a.) Even marketing automation vendors are responding to the demand for social media meas- urement. In January, Lyris en- hanced its Lyris HQ integrated marketing suite to unite email marketing campaigns with social networks, and use Web analytics to track social activity. In May, Responsys unveiled its ���Share- to-Social��� email-campaign solution, which allows a recipi- ent to forward an email to her TAKING THE MEASURE OF SOCIAL MEDIA Experts insist that social media is measurable���it just depends on how you define your metrics Volume: The number of comments, blog posts, tweets, links, etc., about your brand, your competition, and your field. Sentiment: The posi- tive, negative, or indif- ferent consumer reaction to your brand or a topic, which can be measured by text analytics and natural- language processing. Emotion: The reasons that a consumer felt good, bad, or indiffer- ent that point to how you can resolve her problem or how your business can change and improve. Topic/Issue: The con- text (e.g., product, customer service, advertising, competi- tor, etc.) in which your brand is being discussed. Nielsen���s Brand Association Map helps visually associate the relationship be- tween terms a Google AdWords keyword- expansion tool helps improve the relevancy of your selections. Source: Where the conversation is occur- ring (e.g., Twitter, blog, discussion board). Author (Influencer): The people talking about your brand and their social media impact (e.g., number of followers, readers, commenters). Virality: The reach of your brand and relevant topics around your brand (e.g., how many people are reading, posting, linking, and sharing). Source: Alex Burmaster, Nielsen Online Metrics of User-Generated Social Media
social networks, extending the reach of a marketing campaign. ���Any good marketing strategy typically starts with a measure- ment strategy,���says Bill Mungovan,Omniture���s director of prod- uct marketing. For companies that haven���t yet figured out how to incorporate social media, Mungovan says it���s only a matter of time.���At some point, advertising will demand accountability for any new medium,��� he says. The timing typically depends on when the channel reaches critical mass.���No one cared to meas- ure Twitter,��� Mungovan says,���until everyone started using it.��� Keeping up with the sheer mass of information and the seem- ingly endless stream of emerging channels won���t be easy. Solu- tions similar to those from Radian6 and Lithium are helping to aggregate conversations onto one platform, making it possible to drill down and respond to consumers in a meaningful way.���The challenge is to measure not the conversation, but who���s having a positive impact on their brand,���says John Lovett, a senior research analyst at Forrester Research. (Radian6 at- tempts to gauge each conversation���s level of engagement���as- sessing whether, say, a twitterer has a large number of follow- ers, or a blogpost is garnering many comments.) Experts anticipate that social media will finally drive market- ing toward the age-old dream of a relationship with the con- sumer that���s built on trust and mutual interest. In a sense, says David Alston, vice president of marketing at Radian6, social media is essentially ���customer service under a spotlight.��� By responding in a public forum, you potentially resolve similar problems���cutting down on repetitive service costs���and build a positive reputation. Companies are getting bonus points for just showing up and having real people represent the brand. ���They���re trying to help,���Alston says, adding that, when it comes to consumer relationships,���it���s a heck of a lot harder to be mad at a person than [at] a brand.��� On the other hand, soon social presence won���t just be a nice gesture���customers are going to expect companies to be present all the time. Social media impact is never as simple as counting the number of coupon redemptions, and yet it���s significantly more relevant than a mass-broadcast television commercial. The strength of the social media channel, unlike traditional marketing, is that it���s driven by the consumer. ���[Customers] decide whether or not a company or brand is in social media���not the company,��� Alston says.���As long as your customers are talk- ing about you, you���re in social media.��� Finally recognizing that they no longer control the conver- sation may be the first and most important change marketers have to make. Social media requires a fundamental shift in busi- ness processes, something organizations need to be prepared to deal with, says John Horodyski, senior strategist at Fjord Inter- active Marketing and Technology. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are among the big social media players today, but who knows how the landscape will look in five years, or even one? ���There is much more to measure in social media than indi- vidual metrics,��� Horodyski says. ���You need to see the big pic- ture and the entire social media impact���or you run the risk of misrepresenting its effect.��� ���Jessica Tsai CRM on Do you know what your whuffie is? More to the point, do you even know what whuffie itself is? The short answer is that whuffie is the sum total of your social capital, but check out page 20, where we discuss the subject in more detail, including a Q&A with Tara Hunt, author of the new book The Whuffie Factor. Hunt can be found on Twitter as @missrogue, where she and the notion of whuffie have become massively popular, as you can see below. CRM magazine, on the other hand, can be found at www.twitter.com/CRM and our online content resides at www.twitter.com/destinationCRM. Reach us directly by starting your tweet with @CRM. derekmassey: I asked for and received muffins. Got charged for munchkins. Saved some money. Lost some whuffie? CyberHomes: 5 ways to raise whuffie: 1. Turn the blow horn around CyberHomes: 2. Become part of the community you serve CyberHomes: 3. Create amazing customer experiences CyberHomes: 4. Embrace the chaos CyberHomes: 5. Find your higher purpose missrogue: Use the medium for what the medium is intended for: social interaction. That���s what builds trust, whuffie, relationships, opportunities, etc tenzochris: That mindset is appealing to folks who are measurement-oriented. How do you help them ���get��� Whuffie, without numbers attached? realtyman: ���whuffie��� n: Reputation currency. Coined by Cory Doctorow in ���Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.��� SerenaRenner: Jeff Jarvis killed Dell���s whuffie! -Tara Hunt ���Any good marketing strategy typically starts with a measurement strategy.��� 18 CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT | JULY 2009 www.destinationCRM.com chadnorman: I���m digging how Trent Reznor is using his whuffie and +500k Twitter followers to raise nearly $1m for a fan in need.