Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Forrester’.
Social media helps drive purchases by 10x
Recent research reveals that customers visiting an online store via social media are 10x more like to by something than other users: “whereas 7% of all visitors to an online store make a purchase, a significantly higher 71% of visitors initiated via social media will click their way to the transaction section.” The study showed that while many online stores are good at attracting visitors, a small amount will be converted to customers. But “reassurance from a positive review” and “social media marketing” can be highly effective in closing sales.
Sorrell questions commercialisation of social web
WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell likened social media to letter writing at one of the closing sessions of the 57th Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, and said that it could be “polluted” by attempts to monetise it. On the same panel, Keith Weed, the global chief marketing officer of Unilever, likened social media instead to the modern day equivalent of a pub or bar chat, and that social networking sites “will and they must” find ways to monetise their offerings.
…companies like ours can develop with companies like Facebook or Microsoft. So I think ‘yes’, they will monetise. How they do it, I think [Sorrell is], right they have to be clever.
Facebook commits to UK support
King Mark Zuckerberg was in London last week at the first official London Facebook Developers’ Garage event, and he committed to increasing support for UK brands and content providers. Zuckerberg also “stressed the importance of the UK to the company, and highlighted personalisation and its virtual currency Facebook Credits as key themes for the year ahead.”
Statistics update reveals that more than one million websites are using Facebook’s platform
Facebook has updated their official Statistics page, and announced in the process that more than one million websites have integrated with its developer platform, up from about 80,000 websites.
This difference is due, in a large part, to Facebook’s launch of the Like Box and other social plugins in late April; the company said this week that more than 300,000 sites have already implemented the plugins, and the number appear to still be climbing.
Elsewhere, it was reported in a study by Experian Simmons that half of US web users visit Facebook each month.
Twitter makes it easier to find friends and colleagues, Facebook ‘blocks’ Twitter friend finder
Last week Twitter announced that it was making it easier to find friends on Facebook and connections on LinkedIn, by improving their Find Friends section and tweaking their LinkedIn and Facebook applications.
The Tweets application by LinkedIn allows users to see which of your LinkedIn connections are on Twitter and follow the ones you choose right from the app. Meanwhile the Facebook app was meant to show which of your Facebook friends are on Twitter, but this was blocked by Facebook disallowing people to see which of their friends on the social network also have Twitter accounts.
A whole new way of experiencing LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups received their first major overhaul since August 2008, which is one of many that are expected in the coming months. In addition to improving the look and feel and ease of use of groups, LinkedIn has also:
- Made it easier to receive email updates from select group members
- Made it possible to vote up or down content and discussions
- Introduced a way to highlight the most active members/contributors to a group
We expect that these changes could go a long way to changing the way that users interact in groups for the better.
Foursquare hits 1.7 million users, and the threat from spammers looms
Foursquare announced that it had passed the 1.7 million user mark, after having added 100,000 in a mere 10 days. At that rate, the location-based service should hit 2 million users before August.
But with growing popularity, comes a greater threat from spammers. The Next Web notes that while spam is still a minor problem, it is becoming more prevalent as people ‘innovate’ by changing their profile name to a company name in order to raise awareness atop local leaderboards, or by leaving advertising messages as ‘tips’.
Foursquare, Starbucks need better blend of offers
When Starbucks and Foursquare announced their joint loyalty program last month in the US, it generated quite a bit of positive publicity. The offer, $1 discount on Frappuccinos to the mayors of individual Starbucks stores, has since come under criticism from Forrester analyst Augie Ray who laid out five reasons that it has become both ‘noisy and bothersome’, and potentially damaging in the long term. Fair play to Starbucks for being amongst the first to implement a nationwide Foursquare promotion, but there are certainly some lessons to be learned with respect to offering better targeted and easier to redeem Foursquare offers.
Virgin America Offers Free Flights to Twitter Influencers
Virgin America has partnered with Klout, an analytics service that tracks users’ influence on Twitter, to offer free flights (plus tax) to influencers in Toronto:
The offer includes free round-trip airfare (Wi-Fi included) between Toronto and San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) between June 23 and August 23. Those who received invitations for the offer — whether or not they decide to accept the flight that comes with it — were also invited to Virgin America’s Toronto Launch Event on June 29.
Interestingly, ‘influencers’ who have been offered the free flight aren’t require to blog or Tweet about the experience, though Klout has requested that users who do accept the offer and chose to write something, disclose the promotion. Handing out free flights to those with Twitter ‘influence’ is not without its critics however, and some question the validity of ranking people based on an algorithm alone.
JD Sports campaign turns 900,000 visitors into 180,000 sign-ups
A recent campaign for the JD Sports-owned fashion label Bank managed to generate 900,000 unique users and 180,000 sign ups for a competition to become the face of Bank and model the Autumn/Winter 2010 range.
It used Facebook Open Graph – only two clicks to connect with a site and then sending info that they’d signed up or voted for someone into the user’s Facebook profile, which meant that their friends (on average 150 people) also saw it.
LOFT ansers the Facebook call for ‘real women’
Meanwhile, LOFT, a US fashion retailer, received interaction of an entirely different nature on its Facebook Fan Page. The company posted images to Facebook of a tall, blonde model wearing the brand’s new silk cargo pants, and received a number of complaints that the trousers were not universally flatterig unless you’re a “stick like model”. LOFT quickly responded to calls for ‘real women in photos’ the next day by posting pictures of its own staff – ranged from size 2 to 12, and from 5′3″ to 5′10″ – posing in the cargo pants. In so doing they managed to turn things around, address the negative sentiment head-one and show that they were indeed ‘listening’ to their customers.
Digg redesign takes the fight to Twitter, Facebook
Digg has also recently announced a redesign, and “aims to directly challenge Twitter and Facebook by redefining the way Diggers share, view, and submit content.” Chief among the changes, are the ability to follow friends, publishers, and “taste-makers”; as well as view content shared/promoted by their friends.
The idea seems to be that Digg will become much more of a true social networking site, but still based around links and news so as to cut out miscellaneous status updates so common to Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, it will now be easier to submit stories to the site, as well as become easier for Top News to spread amongst friends.
FourWhere now combines Gowalla, Yelp and Foursquare
FourWhere, free service developed by Toronto-based social media monitoring and analytics company Sysomos, now integrates information from the three leading location-based services: Gowalla, Yelp and Foursquare.
If you’re not familiar with Fourwhere, it integrates data from Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp, and displays it using Google Maps API in order to provided users with “ an easy way to discover places and comments for thousands of restaurants, bars, cafes, stores, tourist attractions and other venues.”
Happy New Year! Time for the first Monday Mashup of the new decade. Here we go.
‘Best Job’ winner stung by jellyfish
Loosely translated, the German word ‘schadenfreude’ describes the pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.
Which brings me to the news that the winner of Australia’s “Best Job in the World” contest has survived a sting from a potentially deadly jellyfish just days before the end of his dream stint on the Great Barrier Reef.
You may recall that Ben Southall beat over 34,000 competitors to land the six-month job as “caretaker” of Hamilton Island, Australia where he published the Island Caretaker Blog. The campaign gained international notoriety and bagged a number of awards, including two top awards at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival this summer.
Twitalyzer 2.0 Launched
This weekend Twitalyzer shed its BETA status and officially opened the application to the public. This application allows you to analyse an account in detail, and also provides access to a dashboard, which “provides access to great new Twitalyzer features including tracking for multiple accounts, Google Analytics integration, user tagging and segmentation tools.” If you want to get the most out of the app then download and read the Twitalyzer Handbook, a 50 page user’s guide to the application.
Social Media is the New Super Bowl: Pepsi Refresh and What It Means to Marketers
The big marketing news across the pond over the past couple of weeks was Pepsi’s decision to trade Super Bowl advertising for social media activity in 2010:
For the first time in 23 years–23 years!–the brand will not be purchasing a Super Bowl spot. Instead, it is sinking $20M into a Social Media program called Pepsi Refresh. The Pepsi Refresh site will allow people to vote for worthwhile community projects, and Pepsi expects to sponsor thousands of local efforts via this program.
The Forrester Blog for Marketing Leadership Professionals unravels what it means for marketers, and considers the ramifications for the industry. The post is worth a read, and Pepsi’s decision is worth following.
Tories ‘would pay £1m for public policy making website’
Tory frontbencher Jeremy Hunt last week told the BBC that the Conservatives would offer a £1m prize in a competition to develop a website that would allow large groups of people to help develop new policies.
If implemented, this would be a groundbreaking approach to create a platform to crowdsource public policy ideas. Although perhaps they could offer 10 prizes of 100k each for 10 different approaches – after all, that’s still a substantial reward for a lone developer, and how are you going to know what works until you put it in practice?
Wipe The Slate Clean For 2010, Commit Web 2.0 Suicide
If you are looking for an online detox, this is for you. Moddr, a New Media Lab in Rotterdam have developed The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine which effectively disconnects you from social networks completely:
Just put in your credentials for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or LinkedIn and it will delete all your friends and messages, and change your username, password, and photo so that you cannot log back in.
A light hearted video describes the benefits of committing Web 2.0 suicide, but this is probably not recommended for anyone working in this industry as this ‘will really delete your online presence and is irrevocable.’
You’ve been warned.
Update: Facebook blocks ‘Web 2.0 Suicide Machine’
The exact stats vary, of course, but both studies confirm the overall trend of higher numbers of internet users spending an increasing amount of time in social media environments. The Forrester blog mainly comments on the landscape in North America, however Forrester’s Rebecca Jennings has a separate report looking at Europe. She notes in this excerpt:
Online European usage of social networks such as Facebook and Bebo has grown significantly — around 30% now engage with social networks regularly, up from 18% last year. Overall, more than 60% of online Europeans now engage with social media on a regular basis.
The Wave 4 Social Media Tracker report shows an increase in most types of social media activity, as the graphic excerpt below indicates:
The rapid growth in some types of activity has slowed as many markets reach saturation point, though there’s no specific stats for microblogging, or of bulletin board usage, which is heavy in many Asian markets.
Apparently we’re all uploading fewer video clips, though looking at the country spotlights, this seems to be based on a decline in the UK, Germany and Korea – emphasising how important it is to consider local market differences when developing a social media engagement strategy.
However I’m not convinced this is a long term trend: as video-capable devices and mobile internet usage proliferates, it’s becoming easier to upload, not less (the quality of these uploads is another matter). Could it be the case that some respondents under-reported their uploading habits? What do you think about these stats?
With all the talk of teenagers’ online habits in the news, we got our most knowledgeable man in to blog on the matter. 17 year old Adam Bernstein is an A-level student currently on work experience with We Are Social, and here are his thoughts.
The trouble is, as another teenager – admittedly a slightly older one – Robson’s arguments do not hold true. There is much value in Robson’s report – it does provide an interesting insight into how one particular teenager consumes media. But there is a danger in taking isolated examples and extrapolating them to be indicative of society.
Robson’s report is supposed to be focussed on the teen market, yet too often he ignores important economic & social factors. For example, the argument that teenagers don’t buy newspapers because they’re too expensive is an interesting one. But this argument is based on one assumption which underscores Robson’s entire report: teenagers are independent of their parents. But this simply isn’t the case – most people I know who do read a newspaper read it because it’s in the house. Teenagers probably wouldn’t pay 80p a day for a newspaper but it’s not an issue because in many cases they don’t have to.
If Robson wanted to know the real reason teenagers don’t read newspapers, it is more about content. Teenagers will consistently have their lifestyle treated with derision in the papers; but how often will a viable alternative be offered? With the continual damning of teens in the papers, it’s no wonder teenagers don’t read them.
But it was Robson’s claims about Twitter which were the most ignorant: “Twitter is pointless to teens” screamed the headlines. It’s true to say that teens (on the whole) don’t use Twitter but his fixation on the costs of texting missed a crucial point: only 5% of Tweets are made via SMS – the success of applications such as Tweetdeck and Twitterfox show how it is really used.
The reality is that teens don’t use Twitter because of demographics: to make a broad – and somewhat unfair – generalisation, teenagers use Facebook, whereas Twitter is used by older people. Essentially, teens follow other teens so it’s inevitable that most of the age-group stays away from Twitter. Twitter’s relevance to the younger market is diminished because many perceive a ‘tweet’ as being the same as a Facebook Status Update – they don’t see the need for both.
Robson’s report is useful for the many truths it does contain: Teenagers doing all they can to avoid advertising is an important point which the ad companies will be trying hard to counteract. But Robson’s suggestion that teenagers are motivated above all by cost is a spurious one: teenage consumption of media probably does have something to do with money; but most teens don’t have a full-time job, many are in full-time education and are supported by their parents – it is they who pay for everything so his argument that costs are the most important thing to teens is wrong.
But, as Suw Charman-Anderson notes, the main problem with Robson’s report is that he thinks his experiences are emblematic of teenagers as a whole. The reality is that there is much greater diversity in the teen market than Robson suggests. Teenagers are an eclectic bunch – and Robson would do well to remember this.
Update: I’ve just come across an interesting report by Forrester about this exact topic (for those interested in US rather than UK data, there’s also a good presentation from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and Nielsen’s recent How Teens Use Media report). Robson’s argument that all teenagers are always listening to music, particularly free online music, is kicked into touch:
With its findings suggesting socio-economic factors are unimportant in how teenagers consume media, Robson’s arguments that costs are the primary factor in deciding what teens do is shown to be false.
But what is most interesting for companies is that teenagers are using social media for the same reasons as the population as a whole. Possibly this means they don’t need tailored advertising; more probably, it means that in time teenagers will drift over to Twitter – Facebook was originally intended for Harvard University students yet is now used worldwide.
Having said all of this, the accuracy of the report does have to be considered – speaking to 261 13-19 year olds and making assumptions that this data covers society as a whole is questionable. But at least it’s more accurate than Robson’s report which was simply the findings of one person.
We had great news last week when we got the go ahead from Ford to continue into next quarter with This is Now, one of the pan-European campaigns we’ve been working on with them, meaning it will reach its 1st year anniversary in September.
Aside from being an amazing achievement for the team here at We Are Social who have been working so hard on it all of this time, it made me reflect on a discussion Sandrine had with Neil Perkin and Asi Sharabi in the comments of a post Neil wrote about the campaign just after it had launched.
Both Neil and Asi referenced Paul Isakson’s presentation on modern brand building:
Which has this killer quote:
Start looking at your marketing as a progressive story instead of as quarterly campaigns
Now this is something that all of us who have drunk the social media Kool-Aid take as gospel (and rightly so), but it’s often hard for both agencies and clients alike to actually implement in practice.
Although we’re finding progressive clients at all sorts of brands who get this, there are others who are perhaps more nervous of such a wholesale change in their marketing practices.
Then there are the structural issues to be overcome – Brand Managers typically change roles internally every two years and Marketing Directors don’t hang around much longer, which it makes it hard for any real long term commitment (especially if people new to the roles are keen to make their mark with a break from the past).
There’s also the question of the client’s other marketing activity (and their other agencies). It’s important that all of their marketing, from their advertising campaigns to their PR and experiential activity, works in unison and makes up a coherent whole and do not sit as isolated strands. Social media should be no different.
We have our own thoughts on this on how to deal with this dichotomy (and I have to say, we also have plenty of great case studies of successful short term social media campaigns), but it’s always more convincing to hear it from others. Over to Forrester’s Josh Bernoff:
Social [media campaigns] take a while to build, but last a long time. Think about the effort it takes to get people reading your blog, following your Twitter feed, viewing your YouTube videos, joining your community, or friending your Facebook page. They all start with zero viewers, but the more they grow, the more powerful they become.
Ad campaigns move at a faster pace. More importantly, they have a beginning and an end. You rent a chance to get some attention for a few months, then you see whether you moved the needle.
Since advertising people often get responsibility for social elements of marketing, this creates a fundamental disconnect. Marketers who tap into these two forms of communication can get whipsawed – the social builds too slowly, and the campaign ends too quickly, to make it easy to synchronize them. Even when they do succeed, there’s huge waste. If you’ve assembled 100,000 customers into a community behind your brand, what happens when you’re done with them? Send them a thank you email and say good bye? That’s a tragic waste.
The answer, as my colleague, Sean Corcoran, discovered in the research behind his report “Using Social Applications In Ad Campaigns”, means thinking of social fans as an asset that you can build with a campaign and then tap over and over again. To do this, you must also make sure you connect with and feed them between campaigns, to keep them interested.
The purchase funnel has always been one of the main tenets of marketing theory.
We’ve intuitively known for while that it no longer holds true (if it ever did), but despite many attempts, we’ve had nothing come along that’s replaced it. For example, Forrester had a go a couple of years ago with the diagram below, but crucially it failed to provide a model that was easy to visualise, and it failed to catch on (surprisingly, neither did Giles Rhys Jones’ simpler alternative).
Now, finally, we have a viable alternative model, along with the science to back it up. McKinsey have conducted a study examining the purchase decisions of almost 20,000 consumers across five industries and three continents, and come up with what they call the consumer decision journey:
The funnel concept fails to capture all the touch points and key buying factors resulting from the explosion of product choices and digital channels, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly discerning, well-informed consumer. A more sophisticated approach is required to help marketers navigate this environment, which is less linear and more complicated than the funnel suggests. We call this approach the consumer decision journey.
Because of the shift away from one-way communication — from marketers to consumers — toward a two-way conversation, marketers need a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth.
We hate the word ‘consumer’ (we are all people as far as We Are Social is concerned), but that doesn’t make their model any less valid. David Court, Director of McKinsey’s global Marketing & Sales practice, has an excellent presentation that explains the research and what it means for marketers. The most salient parts being:
You have a trigger of some sort, where people start across the decision journey — they are now going to move towards purchase. The first stage is initial consideration. In many industries, people actually start in their initial consideration of a brand with a relatively narrow list, we believe because of the busy lives and bombardment of media — it’s just very difficult to get through all this clutter in this consumers initial consideration set. However, once the consumer decides they are going to buy a product, they move into a stage that we call active evaluation. It is here that the number of brands they are considering increases. Which is exactly the opposite of the premise of the funnel, going from broad to narrow. This is the stage when the consumer is intent on purchasing and they are actively researching the product.
What marketers should know
The most important thing for marketers to do is to make sure that their marketing activities are aligned against how their consumers research and buy products [...] companies need to look at their messaging in light of where they have the greatest opportunity. For example, companies’ messaging is all about trying to get into the initial consideration set, and yet, when the consumer reaches out during their active evaluation stage, they’re not providing the right facts and testimonials that the consumer is looking for [...] most companies are going to have to make fundamental investment in what we would call consumer driven marketing
Consumer versus company driven touchpoints
We analytically looked at which touchpoints were most influencing the consumer’s decision. We found two types — company driven versus consumer driven. In consumer driven, the consumer is reaching out to get information — they’re talking to their friends, doing internet searches, seeing what’s said on third party sites.
In the initial consideration it was still very much still company driven — the advertising was a very critical part of the touch points that influenced the consumer. However, when we got into active evaluation, two thirds of the influence of those most powerful touchpoints were from consumer driven touchpoints — word of mouth, talking to friends and family, searching on the internet.
And that is a very big change — you need to develop ways for people to talk about your product, so that word of mouth works. Be represented on independent internet sites where people will go and research and buy products. Because, if you don’t have enough presence on those types of consumer driven approaches, when the consumer is reaching out during active evaluation, you’re not there for them to find.
Amen to that…
Forrester have just released a new research report called looking at how companies should organise to best deal with social media, which as well as giving the data above, answers the questions “Which roles do we need” and “Which department is in charge”.
They recommend that the best approach to organising for social media is for companies to form “a cross functional team that includes representatives from different departments and groups and is responsible for social media strategy and implementation” – which we agree with. Social media crosses all organisational boundaries, and as we said back in January, the most effective engagements tend to be when we’re working with a combination of the Marketing, PR, Customer Service and Research departments.
The biggest challenge brands often have to overcome isn’t technology but managing cultural change within the enterprise. With an ever-increasing number of brands engaging in social media marketing in recent years, companies need to not only be properly budgeted but also well organized. Once brands experiment with social activities, they must then organize from the inside out — or risk not properly staffing or responding to customers. Brands need to integrate social into their companies by developing a safe place for employees to experiment, creating a process to manage and measure these programs, and integrating social into other marketing and enterprise systems. Above all, brands must organize their companies in the hub-and-spoke model [a cross functional team], which allows business units to be flexible with their social programs — but provides a grounded center that enables the company to act efficiently.
Update: David Armano asks Is The Hub And Spoke Model Adaptable?
Forrester have just released ‘The Practicalities Of European Social Media Marketing’, a report written by Rebecca Jennings who’s based here in the UK.
She covers a variety of different social media marketing programmes in the report, from Daimler’s corporate blog in Germany to Guy Stephens’ work at Carphone Warehouse in the UK. She also highlights the work we’ve being doing for the last 10 months in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain for Ford on the This is Now campaign.
You can find out more about the report over at The Forrester Blog For Interactive Marketing Professionals. And thanks Rebecca – we really appreciate it!