Archive for the ‘maturity’ tag
The sophistication with which companies analyze their natural search visibility and the metrics they use to do so can vary widely up and down the spectrum. There is often little correlation between how sophisticated a company is in other areas of their online business and their level of…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Marketeers zullen een multichannelklantcontactmodel beter moeten optimaliseren, willen ze de marketingprestaties verbeteren. Dat geeft Forrester, dat onderzoek deed in opdracht van Sitecore, aan in het rapport The Multichannel Maturity Mandate.
As part of my work plan as Visiting Scholar at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, I have the pleasure of working with networks of grantees to design and facilitate peer learning exchanges on networked nonprofit practices and using social media effectively. One of the networks I’m supporting are the grantees in the Friending the Finish Line strategy. This peer learning exchange is designed to help state-based groups to be more effective in engaging their networks toward covering uninsured children. Just like message consistency, storytelling, and interviewing skills, proficiency with social media like Facebook and Twitter increases their capacity to make change happen for children in their state.
I’m working in partnership with Spitfire Strategies. The peer learning exchange offers one-on-one coaching for 16 state organizations that work on children’s health care insurance, monthly peer webinars, and a face-to-face workshop. This technical assistance design is a balance of expert support with peer learning and an intentional strategy for building the network’s capacity. As with all the capacity building projects that I’ve designed, it is based on a framework and theory of change.
Assessment Framework and Theory of Change
The framework is a social media maturity of practice model called “Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly” Maturity of Social Media and is featured in my next book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. We used to help us design the program, determine process outcomes, and help us evaluate participant’s progress. For each phase, there are specific criteria and indicators that an organization will develop. We are tracking progress against a baseline.
When we started the project, most were in the crawling stage, so there was no place to go but up! When did its first face-to-face convening, participants had just started to communicate with key audiences — we looked at the aggregate Twitter followers and Facebook fans at the beginning and at the end of the second year – and there has been dramatic increases. This comes from participants integrating social media with advocacy and communications strategy and to learn from each other along the way. One of the successes was how most participants are learning to balance the strategic with the spontaneous of social media as described in this blog post.
Over the past year, participants have been getting comfortable with social media skills, being strategic, making them a habit, and first steps with measurements. But these are steps to bigger outcomes for this network – such as making sure there is health care for all children. Having a theory of change that illustrates the steps towards these bigger outcomes is critical as well as indicators.
Advocates get better at communications – proactive/planning, partner engagement, message discipline
Written social media policy
Strategic integration into children’s health advocacy
Written social media plan
Use of editorial calendar
Use of counting metrics
Advocates have more partners or better partners, more or better relationships with reporters, and more or better policymaker relationships
Increase reach on social media channels
Cultivate “super fans”
Increase engagement on social channels
Support national partner Facebook chats, blog carnivals, and other networked advocacy activities
Amplify peers’ efforts
Communications have more impact
Social media content mirrors other channels
Solicit and share stories
Key influencers take action, including media
Advocates get more attention from policymakers
Lawmakers repurpose key messages
This peer learning exchange has monthly conference calls that balance expert content delivery with peer sharing and making a commitment to put ideas and recommendations into practice over the month. It also includes a face-to-face workshop where there is also the same balance. This year’s session was piggy-backed with the annual meeting, so the training came at the end of 2.5 intense days of meetings. The design incorporate many interactive learning techniques to ensure that participants were actively learning and sharing, and not falling asleep!
It takes time to develop a solid organizational practice in social media, so we wanted to celebrate those small victories. We created a deck of cards with mini-case studies showing examples of how these state advocates had strategically incorporate social media into their social media plan. For example, the All Kids Covered has been using the timeline features to create milestones for legislative victories. We distributed the cards and had participants pair up with peers to learn more about their successes. This type of active exercise gets people moving, serves as an icebreaker, and also is an efficient way for the group to share a lot of useful practical learnings.
The skill building sessions focused on content optimization for integrated social media channels and working SMARTer with social media – time saving tips. For the integrated content strategy, we begin with some principles for an effective content strategy – techniques for coordination, creation, and curation. The ideas were interspersed with examples from participants who shared “Living Case Studies.” This generated useful tips and suggestions on how to manage an editorial calendar and content strategy process. How do you facilitate others on staff to create content when they might not be have strong content skills? What tools do you use to manage the your editorial calendar and content creation process?
We did a “Fish Bowl” exercise where several volunteers brainstormed an editorial calendar for the month of September, while the rest of the group observed. If one of the observers wanted to participate, they could tap a “fish” on the shoulder and sit down. This is a good exercise because participants are applying some of the ideas and also come to the realization that sharing each other’s editorial calendars can make their work easier. I facilitated the group with specific prompts for social content optimization. This will was followed by a presentation to share those tips drawn from recent research reports:
Ten Types of Content We All Love
Buddy Media: Twitter Optimization
How To Get More Likes and Shares on Facebook – Based on Research
Tips for Optimizing FB Content To Get Into Newsfeeds
Making Use of the Timeline Features
This session closed with a reflection of how they could apply tips and recommendations and use measurement to further test these ideas.
The other skill building session was a session on working SMARTer on social channels – What are the time saving techniques? But, more importantly how could they save time working as network. I set this up as a series of online exercises focusing techniques like setting up Twitter lists, curating content from other Facebook pages, etc. Making the work flow part of the workshop is always a good idea, especially set up tasks.
The last section of the workshop was focused on having participants start thinking about their work plan for the coming year. Each participants comes up with specific work plan of what they will accomplish based on the overall outcomes for the program. This second year will be focused on getting participants up on the next level, with an emphasis on building the network and amplifying each other’s work through social channels.
Developing a solid and effective practice in social media and building a network, that is integrated, strategic, and part of the organization’s DNA – takes step and intention. Having a measurement framework, theory of change, and good instructional design to encourage peer sharing and interaction is key.
After ten years of two digit growth, e-business showed an awesome way for innovation, and promised another smart theme for the future with mobile web. Some smiled and some cried. New pure players found gold and the philosophical stone, brick and mortar stared as if fever was on, and some other retailers tried to play with web, finding a complementary way to mix retail and online. But before this maturity in mindset, pure players set up evil, in old traditional retail business…and drove to large lay offs in the industry. Not really sexy is it?
Over the past few months I’ve been working with the smart folk at Econsultancy on a project (in partnership with Adobe) to better understand the impact of digital technologies on agencies. A big reason for doing this is that, inspite of there being much chatter in the blogosphere on the future of agencies and the agency model, there seems to be a paucity of good research on how agencies are adapting to the many challenges brought by the rapidly changing communications environment.
As part of the research I interviewed a broad range of the great and the good from agencies across Europe covering many different types of agency including full-service creative, media, integrated, digital, and those that are more marketing technology focused (and incorporating the views of a number of well-known and respected voices in the advertising and media blogosphere). Importantly I think, the interviews also covered a broad range of job roles including agency CTOs, CEOs, Strategy and Planning, specialists, Heads of Innovation. The output is a 59 page report that looks at evolving agency behaviours and models, use of technology, differentiation and value creation.
As a key part of this, and in response to the feedback from participants in the research, I’ve developed a model for agency maturity in four key areas: data, technology, skills and culture. The overarching themes of this model are pulled together in a framework that references the progression of economic value model derived from Gilmore and Pine’s The Experience Economy (a HT to Richard Sedley for pointing me at it). Reapplying this to the context of agency maturity in approach to (and the use of) technology provides a useful framework for understanding the progression of agency value over time and the shift from delivering services, towards staging experiences, and eventually to guiding transformations for clients.
There are many themes that sit around this model, a number of which echo areas I’ve talked about here previously (agility of-course, structures characterised by small and nimble teams, the explosion of devices, touchpoints and data, the shift from one-way, campaign-driven mindsets to developing more participative experiences and longer-term platforms, the growing importance of earned and owned media assets). I look at what this means for the important stuff like how agencies work, the relationship they have with their clients, how they create value and differentiate themselves.
You may recall that towards the end of 2011, I did a big piece of research on client-side digital structures and resourcing (again for Econsultancy) which itself was a complex but fascinating project. So in many ways this is a companion piece to that, but focused purely on agency side. The common strand that runs throughout both pieces of research is the scale of change and transformation, and challenge but also opportunity, that was revealed on all sides.
This presentation was part of the City of Sydney library workshop program at the Customs House Library. I spoke on the topic of Social Media for Enterprise 2.0 to a packed room of people hungry for knowledge (or maybe it was just lunchtime hunger I was sensing).
I shared some of the results of my recent Outlook for Australian Social Business 2012 report, explained some of the frameworks that I have created (like this one on social business maturity and how to build trust in social networks) and hopefully showed how we can address some of the challenges faced by businesses wanting/needing to engage with customers, partners and other stakeholders via social media.
In response to questions, I was luckily able to point to the Getting Started with Online Marketing infographic. Again, it is a great checklist for new and experienced practitioners alike. Hope you like the presentation!
As I sat bleary eyed in the audience at the Ad:Tech Sydney breakfast briefing this morning, three words sailed over the heads of the audience and slapped me awake – “creative is back”.
He said it again for added impact – creative is back.
I caught up with him after the panel for a quick conversation and to get a greater sense of what he was hinting at. Here are some of the themes we discussed:
Creative is back: there is a clear opportunity but also a challenge in the years ahead – after all, we are now all receiving vast amounts of email every day. The opportunity and challenge is to invest in creative and bring it into the heart of our campaigns and use that to cut through.
Data drives insights: there is a vast amount of data now at our fingertips – but rather than delivering insights, most marketers are drowning. Increasingly we need to look to technology to help us sift through the information that is available to us. My view was that we needed some creative partnering to take place – between the marketing teams, agencies and companies like Responsys. To make this data work for us all, we need the deep expertise and the maturity to collaborate. Of course, that’s easier said than done!
Data is everywhere: We have our mailing lists and our databases – and that is all goodness. But social networks are now delivering additional data points that can deliver fantastic insights – as long as you know where to look. We should be looking for these opportunities beyond our own organisations – and tapping into the networks of value that already exist.
Imagine a world of 100% plus open rates: This is where it got interesting. As we spoke, Simon became more and more animated. He explained that hidden deep within the data – what Responsys call “profile extensions” – is information that allows you to engage people in a highly relevant way. The way I understood this was that a new piece of data – like a status update or a change in profile information (whether in your system or on Facebook or Twitter etc) could trigger an engagement – like an SMS alert, an email or an @ message. And because it was highly targeted and relevant, it generates 100%+ open rates.
So what we are seeing, really, are micro-segmentation capabilities that are based on people’s behaviours rather than demographic or other forms of segmentation. It’s pretty exciting – slightly spooky – but also the way of the future.
So what do you think? Is this deep level of targeting, when coupled with a focus on permission a way for us to deal with email overload? Is this a new way of understanding trust or is it going in the opposite direction? You tell me.
Google+ was famously closed to brands when it launched, something that changed with the launch of Google+ Pages in November. Now, the number of users following the top 100 brands on Google+ has increased 1400 percent, from 220,000 in December to 3.1 million in February, BrightEdge says.
In fact, the top brand, H&M, has more followers now (462,000) than all of the top 100 did in December. The report says most of the growth is happening in the top 10 brands, who have 10 times as many followers as brands 11-100 combined. BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu says that on social networks, it’s not unusual for bigger brands to dominate, but the degree to which that’s true for Google+ is “a little unusual.”
Yu describes this growth is a natural step in the evolution of brands on the site. First, they had to create Pages. Now they’re amassing followers. Once they have those followers, they can start thinking about different ways to engage those fans. (So it may also be too early to start looking at other types of engagement data.)
Another sign of maturity and growth, Yu says, the fact Google is no longer the most-followed brand (although it’s still in the top 10). The report also highlights a few of the brands that don’t have a presence on Google+ at all, including Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and Apple.
Oh, and just to give some perspective, the report says the consumers interacting with the top 100 brands on Google+ still add up to less than 1 percent of the number on Facebook.
Rebecca Lieb, my colleague at Altimeter Group released a new report, “Content: The New Marketing Equation Why Organizations Must Rebalance.” The report helps organizations find balance in the creation of effective content strategies while delivering value to stakeholders and consumers and also the bottom line.
It’s safe to assume that the attention of the audience as we knew it is waning. And when we look at the online and mobile behavior of connected customers, a sense of responsibility emerges as everyday people become media beacons in their own right. As such, they rigorously share and curate for their audience with an editorial-style approach as what was once a static audience is now an audience with an audience of audiences. People are learning that there are rewards for contributing to signal instead of the noise. Those who do not, learn the hard way…that people will disconnect in order to preserve the integrity of their stream.
Such is true for organizations. For those organizations that do not contribute value to social streams will find that content and desired voices will fall upon the severed ties of once captive communities. Rebecca’s report will help companies identify a path for increasing relevance. And, it starts with adopting an always-on approach that extends campaigns through a continuum model. As she observes…
Marketers can serve customers and prospects with content through every phase of awareness, branding, intent, conversion, and customer service. Yet, unlike advertising, content initiatives are continual rather than episodic, placing new demands not just on marketing organizations but also across the enterprise as a whole.
When you study the intentions and architecture of many branded social media campaigns and strategies overall, it’s difficult to not wonder whether social media isn’t an oxymoron in its current incarnation. I’ve written about this on several occasions over the past year, calling for an end to an era of Social Media 1.0. It’s a call for businesses to move from antisocial social media strategies and raise the bar for more compelling and mutually beneficial forms of engagement.
Good friend Tom Foremski recently observed that, “Corporations are being pressured by legions of ‘experts’ to exploit social media as a lucrative sales and marketing channel. This will destroy social media…” His point was that brands used social media channels to push tradition corporate media, exhibiting a collective broadcast mentality disguised as social engagement. He then started EC=MC (Every Company is a Media Company), a movement to help businesses realize the opportunity presented by social for not only marketing, but true storytelling, experiential journeys, and engagement. Also referred to as brand journalism or brand publishing, the idea is that brands can earn greater attention, reach, and results by investing in a journalistic approach. It’s a move away from promotional content to the delivery of useful, entertaining, or meaningful engagement and experiences through new media.
Attention is finite and the competition for it is only escalating. But to entice and capture attention will take more than a new content strategy and a supporting editorial calendar. It will take a new mission, purpose, and culture to unlock experiences and pave engaging journeys through content.
As Rebecca notes…
Content marketing requires a shift in company culture, resources, budgets, partners, and strategy. Rebalancing is critical to achieve these goals. The choice is whether to rebalance now, or later when the battle for attention may become even more difficult than it currently is.
To adapt to a new landscape for effective attention marketing, Rebecca introduces a five-stage maturity model. It details how organizations evolve in the quest to market efficiently with content. Not every company will reach every stage. But as she observes, evolution, direction, and purpose must start at the top…
Yet to effectively market with content, organizational change and transformation must be driven from the top level of the organization. Left to the marketing department alone, success is limited. New skills must be developed and training offered, both in digital technologies as well as in job functions more aligned with the responsibilities found at a newspaper, magazine, or broadcaster, than in classic marketing functions. Content requires more speed and agility than does marketing, yet at the same time it must be aligned with metrics that conform to the business’ strategic marketing goals.
1. Stand: This organization may have dabbled in social media or created a blog, but activity is infrequent and not generally viewed as important within the organization. The marketing department relies almost wholly on “push” communications such as email marketing, direct mail, and advertising.
2. Stretch, Taking the First Steps While Scanning the Horizon: An organization at the Stretch stage realizes the value of content marketing and begins to build the strategy and support necessary to create and publish content.Understanding develops that, while many of the tools and media are free, content requires an investment of resources. An executive sponsor is necessary to lead the program and communicate its value and reach to the organization. This executive sponsor is also tasked with identifying team members to engage with early channels, building basic forms of content, and evaluating potential agency relationships.
3. Walk, Ambition and Forward Momentum: In this stage, content creation and production get a solid strategic foundation organizationally. From channel specific (e.g. “we blog”), content begins to become channel agnostic and is distributed across a variety of channels and platforms. Processes are formalized. This is the stage at which a team begins to take shape, strategy is more fully refined and tweaked, and the team begins to establish governance to scale and shape content processes.
4. Jog, Sustainable, Meaningful and Scalable Content Initiatives: The organization’s strategy is clear, as well as communicated throughout the enterprise at this stage. Focus shifts toward expanding the team and its ability to create experiential, engaging content rather than simply create and publish simpler stories and informational pieces. The processes for producing content are also more fully developed and strategic. Content is created with a view toward being reusable or repurposed across multiple media platforms.
5. Run, Inspired and Inspirational: In this phase, a successful, real-time integration of content marketing and curation is part of the fabric of nearly all aspects of branding. The organization has become a bona fide media company, actually able to monetize innovative and highly polished content that is either branded and/or related to the brand proposition. Content is sold and licensed based on its standalone merit, with content divisions having separate P&L responsibility.
In the report, Lieb also introduces four fundamental steps toward content marketing maturity. These steps serve as important reminders that no matter how sophisticated your program is today, its success is always determined by how audiences with audiences engage and contribute to the dissemination of your story, value, and mission. And in turn, success is measured by how they feel and/or the actions that they take as a result of the engagement.
1. Understanding That Content Marketing is Not Free
2. Implementing Broad Cultural Integration Around Content Marketing
3. Integrating Content Marketing with Advertising
4. Avoiding Bright, Shiny Objects
To get there of course is not an easy task. As noted earlier, it comes down to culture…it comes down to leadership. Additionally, effective content marketing strategies and ultimately the experiences and outcomes that they can deliver require a supporting infrastructure that is strengthened by pillars of new expertise. It takes a different vision for what’s possible, higher standards and supporting metrics, and most important, a new perspective.
- Organizational Structure. The infrastructure that allows content creation and distribution to be fostered and encouraged both within the marketing department and beyond it.
- Internal Resources. Staff roles, teams, and leadership that support and create content marketing.
- External Resources. The extent to which the organization works with outside vendors and service providers including agencies, creative resources, and technology vendors.
- Measurement. Creating meaningful metrics around content marketing, including tying them to overall marketing and sales goals.
- New Skills and Capabilities. Fostering understanding of content marketing, executive buy-in, and ensuring staff can manage, create, and publish content.
- New Mindsets and Approaches. Content marketing is almost never a 9-to-5 undertaking. Creating, managing, and monitoring content outside of normal business hours, often in real time, is essential.
Rebecca’s report includes a self-audit that’s designed to assess where your organization is on the Altimeter Content Marketing Maturity Model. The goal is to help you better understand what you need to advance along the framework and also improve the effectiveness in how content increases engagement, experiences, and outcomes as a result. The case studies provided in the report are eye-opening. I also believe that they will inspire creativity in defining your content marketing goals.
In the end, content is a representation of the sentiment you wish to evoke, the story you wish to tell, the experiences you wish to deliver and the journeys you wish to create. Content though, is a also reflection of your vision, supporting culture, and the intentions that define the social objects you introduce. It’s time to rebalance.
Order The End of Business as Usual today…