Brett King

Posts Tagged ‘fad’

If you think Social Media is about ROI, you’ll be disappointed

In Customer Experience, Media, Retail Banking, Social Networking, Strategy on November 8, 2010 at 15:58

Thankfully, I think we are almost at the point of having serious conversations about how social media can be utilized in most organizations, rather than still asking the question “Is Social Media just a fad?”. However, there are some massive misconceptions on what social media will do for the organization. As a result, often we aren’t even hiring the right skills today to build a competent social media presence. We’re also looking to measure social media in a way we measure other marketing initiatives, channels, advertising campaigns and media, but social media is neither a channel, marketing, media or simply an initiative.

Do you need a social media ”….
Sentiment analysis, optimization, key influencer engagement, advocacy generation, brand monitoring and attributes, social media outreach, trending, buzz, listening post… Sounds extremely complicated. It needn’t be. The fact is, the reason all of these social media disciplines are popping up is because social media is taking us in new directions in respect to interactions both within the organization and with our customers. I find, however, that in many camps social media is considered a marketing function. Social Media Marketing is a term adopted by many to suggest that social media should become a part of an integrated marketing communications plan. But that falls short.

Let me ask you this? Would you consider a teller in a bank, or a customer service representative sitting in a call center a marketer? Hmmm, well yes and no. They are involved in selling and/or marketing products, and they represent the brand. But this is a competency in it’s own right, and staff in the branch and call center are not managed by the marketing department. So how does someone tasked with responding to real-time Twitter or Facebook inquiries fit into marketing? They don’t. Campaigns don’t generally fit in social media either unless you can generate a viral campaign that adapts to social media. Having said that I was impressed by the “Buzz Marketing” initiative that IKEA produced at the end of last year.

The fact is, just as when the Internet arrived in 1994 and the “Dot Com Bubble” started building momentum in 1999, we made a bunch of assumptions about how the ‘channel’ worked, and many of those proved to be wrong. Such as the assumption that you could be pure-play online ala Pets.com and people would use your site just because it was www cool.

The truth is, you absolutely need to be involved in social media, but don’t expect that by hiring a few staff to put a Facebook page up and respond to Tweets in real-time will be the end of this discussion. We’re only just starting to understand the full impact of social media in business terms.

How it is changing?
I like Alex Schultze’s quote about the bursting of the social media bubble in his recent blog post:

I’d say YES – the social media bubble is about to burst. People are recognizing already that the endless hours of watching the incoming streams from Twitter and Facebook or all the status updates on LinkedIn are hours wasted. All the paid tweets and people or agencies, who have been hired to tweet are not going to contribute to the bottom line. And the fan pages people build to get “fans, followers, connections” are just hopes that it will do something for the business – but it won’t.
Alex Schultze – Xeesm

The points are all valid, and yet, just like the dot com boom, when there is a ‘normalizing’ of core social media activities, that is when we’ll really start to use social media constructively and real returns will result.

Firstly, we’ll understand how customers discuss or rate our products or services in a social context and what are the inflection points. Secondly, the mobile device will become even more critical as we start to recognize tribal behavior beyond the app, and see social media in the sphere of location and context. Lastly, we’ll see organizations starting to understand that the real-time nature of social media is something to be respected and responded too. It will start to shape more responsive organizations. In that way, perhaps the most important understanding about social media is that it is a leading strategy indicator, not a lagging ROI generator.

“Show me the money!”
The ironic thing is that you might already be getting ROI from Social Media, or losing revenue because of not having it and not even know it…

When you engage communities digitally, it does directly result in positive brand sentiment, and it will help you learn about the needs of your customers, effect bottom line revenues, etc. However, can you point to a Facebook page, a quick turn around to a customer service problem on Twitter, and show the actual increases in bottom line revenue or net earnings? Probably not. So the problem is not ROI from social media, but how we measure organizational performance in respect to revenue. The traditional metrics are just not robust or granular enough to give us a perspective on this. Largely because we have such big disconnects between ‘revenue generation’ and customer journeys. Metrics generally assume that if revenue is generated in one channel, it is because the products rocks, that channel rocks, or because the marketing that lead customers to that channel rocks!

That’s too simplistic a view of the world these days.

I enjoyed this referenced slideshare presentation from Olivier Blanchard which satirizes the question of ROI in Social Media.

The key thing is that Social Media is definitely impacting a bunch of areas of business today, but it doesn’t fit cleanly into our accounting, balance-scorecarded, CPM driven world. The sweet-spot is to learn from social media, build that learning back into the business and adapt from the interactions that it drives. To do this, we need to think beyond ROI, but we most definitely need to be there, listening and engaging customers.

Advertisements

The 5 Stages of Social Media Grief

In Blogs, Customer Experience, Groundswell, Internet Banking, Retail Banking, Social Networking, Technology Innovation, Twitter on July 22, 2010 at 08:44

This week I’ve met with some very interesting people and the subject of social media has been high on the agenda. Yesterday, I met with Tom Cannon, who is leading the charge on the Internet Banking initiative that is part of HSBC’s “OneH” project – essentially their customer dashboard, single-view of the customer baseline technology. Earlier in the week with Sam Oakley from WolfStar, John Beck the Technology Editor for the Financial Times/The Banker magazine in London, and my good pal Christophe Langlois from Visible Banking, amongst others.  At these sessions we invariably repeated a discussion I’ve had 30 times in the last few months with innovators in the banking space the world over. The question simply being “when will the banking senior executives get social media?”

Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare – when will it end?

Facebook this week announced their 500 millionth active user. That number is pretty significant. Firstly, any corporation that can claim it’s customer base would make it the third largest country in the world (behind only China and India) has a case for celebration. Secondly, it doesn’t look as if its growth will slow any time soon. Lastly, their growth is not restricted by physical distribution or inventory constraints, their marketplace is anywhere you are.

Twitter is not far behind, with 190 million users as of June 2010, and 65 million tweets a day. Foursquare, the Geolocation Social Networking service is up there too – adding 100,000 new users every week at the moment.

When will it end? It’s won’t – that’s like asking when the internet and mobile phones will end. Which brings me to the realization that dealing with innovation in banking is a lot like dealing with grief.

So here are the 5 stages of Innovation Grief for Banks and Bankers (It probably works for most companies actually)

Stage 1 – Total ignorance

When a new innovation comes out banker’s simply ignore it because ‘banking has been around for centuries and it fundamentally doesn’t change…”

Stage 2 – It’s just a fad

“Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms … Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems … Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works … Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet. Uh, sure.” – Clifford Stohl, Newsweek, 27 February, 1995

Ok so now it’s on our radar, but it’s just a fad – all the fuss will blow over soon.

Stage 3 – I still don’t get it, where’s the money?

Because of Stage 1 and Stage 2 banker’s are looking at social media’s incredible rise to fame and then looking at their competitors (who are mostly doing nothing) and saying, “well as an industry no one is making any money out of this, so let’s not bother just yet…”

How can you tell you are this stage? You have a Facebook page for the bank, but no one actively managing your social media listening post

Stage 4 – The Sonic Boom

Internet banking, mobile banking, social media is all the same for bankers. It’s like them sitting there watching the Concorde or an F15 doing a low-pass, fly-by and not yet registering what they are seeing as significant, until the Sonic Boom hits them and blows them off their feet. By then it is already too late because at Mach 1 or Mach 2 your competitors are already way, way in front of you. This is where the message finally breaks through the ignorance! BOOM!

This is the stage we are hitting for most banks today…

If you work in a bank how can you tell if you are at this stage – your bank has just hired a Head of Social Media.

Social Media is starting to hit banks like a Sonic Boom

Stage 5 – The Mad Scramble

Excuse the vernacular, but this is the “oh, crap” moment where bankers suddenly realize that they should have been heavily invested in this 3-4 years ago, and their lack of preparedness is highlighting to their customer base, employees and the world just how out of touch bankers are. The mad scramble may have occurred because of a PR disaster like those that BP has experienced with the Gulf Oil Spill, that Bank of America experience with Ann Minch’s Debtor revolt, or that Citibank experienced with the Fabulis debacle.

This is when the knee-jerk hiring spree starts with hit and miss initiatives occurring throughout the bank.

How do you know when you are at this stage? The CEO of the bank is talking about Social Media in press conferences and how the bank is committed to better reaching customers through this medium.

Getting out in front

So how do you stop the grief cycle within your organization? The first thing bankers need to do is rethink their organizational structure around customer. Social Media is a tool for reaching customers, for engaging customers. It is as important as investing in branches, it is just as critical as having a telephone number for customers to call, but more than that, it can help you transform your business internally too. To fix your organization to serve customers in the digital and social media age – you need to think independently of channels.

We talk about multi-channel alot these days, but clearly social media is showing us that new channels and ways of interacting can grow very fast. Who’s to say what will come after social media? Something will. The key is that channel complexity continues to grow, and no single channel should be singled out as more important. For customers branch is no more important than Internet, mobile than social media, call centre than ATM. These are tools to engage, and increasingly banks need to be more pervasive – everywhere the customer is.

So break the back of organization structure silos around channels. Think customer – think total channel engagement, and get moving on Social Media fast: BOOM!