Category Archives: Social Business

Why Big Data Mining / Analytics is the New Gold Rush

Just mention the words “Big Data” to any technology entrepreneur or investor and observe how his/her face lights up with excitement. Given the perceived opportunity in Big Data, tech entrepreneurs and investors want to capitalize on it by starting /investing in a Big Data Management, Mining and Anal

Forget Black Friday, how about “Social Media Saturday”?

Halloween is just a few days away and before we know, it will be Thanksgiving and more importantly for business, Black Friday and Cyber Monday (for those not familiar with the term Black Friday, see this).

But on the economic front, all seems to be ‘gloom and doom’ and ‘economic’ forecast for this holiday season seems to be dark, damp and cloudy with possibilities of storms – some severe. Question is can social media help marketers cheer up their holiday sales this season? or specifically, how can social media help boost sales on Thanksgiving weekend, which traditionally is the start of the Christmas shopping season.

Answer is yes, social media can be used very effectively for promoting sale of merchandise this holiday season. For example, how about announcing deals on company’s or store’s Facebook page rather than newspaper advertisements or promotional flyers? And to get the deal, customers will have to “Like” the deal. Better still, a customer can avail of the deal only if few of of his/her Facebook friends buy the product. More the number of Facebook friends who buy a product, higher the discount a customer get. Just imagine the excitement this will generate on Social Media and resultant free publicity.

And most online stores have option of Gift Shipping but what about having similar options on Facebook page of the company or the store, where a customer can select what items he/she want as Christmas Gift and this will be displayed on Customer’s Facebook profile letting friends and family know so that they can buy the desired gifts rather than something that is not going to be used or even worse, is going to be returned to store for refund/exchange – a big problem for retailers.

As I wrote in one of my previous post titled Social CRM: Thinking Outside the “Call Center” Box, we need fresh outside the box thinking to take advantage of unique characteristics of Social Media and Social Networks. Companies must leverage unique characteristics of Social Networks and re-engineer their business processes to derive full benefits from it.

If used properly Social Media can drive sales to such an extent that volume of sale on Social Media Saturday will be far greater than volume of sale on ‘traditional’ Black Friday with promotion only through flyers and advertisements.

What do you think? Do you agree that Social Media can help marketers cheer up their holiday sales this season? Please do share your thoughts. Would love to hear from you:

 

Why Industrial Era Marketing Won’t Work in the Age of Social Media

In the industrial age, companies mass produced goods and promoted their products and services through mass media in order to sell them. Customers had little involvement in product creation (other than occasional feedback they provided through marketing research). And if customers had any problem, they contacted a support agent via mail or telephone.

Social media have radically changed this equation between companies and their customers by empowering customers like never before. Customers can discuss about products on social media channels and companies have no control over what customers are saying about their brands.

But instead of engaging customers on social media, most companies still rely on marketing the old fashioned way – a vestige from the industrial age! Marketing processes being followed today by most companies are still very similar to what was done in the industrial age.

Companies need to realize that when it comes to creation and delivery of products and services, expectation of “Social” customers are vastly different from that of customers in industrial age. “Social” customers expect companies to “listen” to them and take appropriate action on their comments regarding products and services they purchase and pay for.

Social media have provided tools for customers to express their opinion and customers are using Twitter and Facebook for the purpose. We see comments about brands/products on Twitter and Facebook all the time. For example, delayed flight or bad experience at a restaurant. But instead of listening to customers’ feedback on Social Media channels and engaging them, companies still expect them to call or write to them if they need any help. In a nut shell, companies are still living in the industrial age when customers have moved on into the social age.

In fact, I wrote about this almost two years’ back in a blog post titled “How Customer Engagement will determine winning brands in Social Era” In this post, I explained that level of customer engagement will determine mind-share and market-share for a brand. ONLY those companies that effectively engage their customers and prospects will emerge as winners and those that are not good in customer engagement will lose market share.

Unlike in industrial age, not involving customers during product/service creation and delivery, and very limited after-sale support via phone is not going to work any more. Companies need to use social media channels and collaborate with their customers at every step of product or service creation and delivery.

To survive and grow in the age of social media, companies will have to re-engineer their product design, manufacturing, delivery and support processes, and not just their marketing processes, in order to involve customers at every stage of product/service creation and delivery.

Companies that succeed in involving customers at every step of product/service creation and delivery will thrive and grow. Rest will become history. Question is how many senior executive realize the challenge that is in front of them and are prepared to make this transition?

 

Netflix’s self-made CRM crisis and how Social CRM can help

Netflix, Inc., the provider of online video streaming and DVD by mail service, has fallen from customers’ grace hard and fast. Once a darling of its customers, Netflix management seems to have misjudged the negative impact of price increase and other service changes they announced “unilaterally” this summer and as a result have lost many customers.

Netflix’s CRM fiasco underscores the importance of not taking your customers for granted, especially in this day and age of Social Media. Dissatisfied customers can not only take their business elsewhere, but can also leverage Social Media tools to express their disapproval in a way that can have big impact on other customers and towards the brand. Just see the impact of Social Media firestorm generated by this CRM fiasco on Netflix stock for example (see this link).

Social media has empowered customers like never before to connect and communicate with other like minded individuals ‘publicly’ and the last thing any marketer should be doing in this Social Media age is to take important decisions impacting customers unilaterally and without explaining the rationale or motives behind such decisions. In other words, customers expect to be involved in such decision making or atleast expect a rationale explanation before any changes are made.

So what can Netflix do to recover from self-made CRM crisis. Answer is to fight fire with fire, that is use Social Media channels to engage customers and build (should I say regain) trust and loyalty (for more, see definition of Social CRM here).

For example, how about using Youtube to explain why these changes were made in the first place. How about using Facebook and blog postings to respond to customers’ criticism about price hike and services changes already announced. Key is taking customers’ into confidence in such a way that they feel that they have been involved in taking important decisions concerning the service they receive and pay for. Netflix doesn’t have to respond to comments from each and every customer, but if they respond to few customers in a fair and transparent way, other customers would appreciate and would be much more supportive of Netflix’s position.

Netflix can use this CRM crisis and turn it into a Social CRM success regaining its past glory (and stock price) if they can engage their customers on Social Media to (re)build Trust and Loyalty.

I want to end this post by sharing with you this excellent Bloomberg video on Netflix and profile of Reed Hastings, co-founder and chief executive officer of Netflix Inc. In case if you don’t see embedded video below, please click on this link for the video.

Cognitive Surplus and Social Business: Win-Win Strategy | Dr. Harish Kotadia

Social Networking technology has made it incredibly easy and inexpensive for people to collaborate and work together irrespective of their physical location. Given the proliferation of high speed internet access from home and mobile devices, something unthinkable even a few years ago (remember those dial-up modems), we are increasingly going to see people from diverse backgrounds & geographies collaborate on a project and share their expertise, thanks to Social Networks.

This presents an excellent opportunity for business to tap into Cognitive Surplus, world’s spare brain power so to speak, and leverage it in a way that it is beneficial to all concerned (see this link for an excellent visualization of the size of Cognitive Surplus and refer to my earlier post titled Cognitive Surplus: Implications for Social CRM for more on the subject).

Quirky, a Social product development company is a very good example of not only collaborative work, but also of how influencers can be rewarded for their contribution (see the last column of any product’s page on Quirky’s online store for share of each influencer in total price of the product).

Watch the following videos to learn more about how Quirky taps into Cognitive Surplus of Influencers and rewards them for their contribution, a win-win strategy indeed.

 

This is a repost from blog of Dr. Harish Kotadia, originally posted at: http://hkotadia.com/archives/3019 

Related posts:

  1. Cognitive Surplus: Implications for Social CRM Clay Shirky is one of the leading thinkers on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies and is well known for his talks on…
  2. Your Social Media Strategy Won’t Save You Another great preso by Tara Hunt titled “Your Social Media Strategy Won’t Save You”. My fav is slide no. 84, it is very well said…
  3. Social Media and Co-creation of New Products: Del Monte Case Study Del Monte case study is an excellent example of co-creation of a new product with loyal customers. This approach can not only reduce time and…
  4. Definition: What is Social CRM? Social CRM is the business strategy of engaging customers through Social Media with goal of building trust and brand loyalty. Loyalty is defined as attitude…
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Cognitive Surplus and Social Business: Win-Win Strategy

Social Networking technology has made it incredibly easy and inexpensive for people to collaborate and work together irrespective of their physical location. Given the proliferation of high speed internet access from home and mobile devices, something unthinkable even a few years ago (remember those dial-up modems), we are increasingly going to see people from diverse backgrounds & geographies collaborate on a project and share their expertise, thanks to Social Networks. [pullquote] This presents an excellent opportunity for business to tap into Cognitive Surplus, world’s spare brain power so to speak, and leverage it in a way that it is beneficial to all concerned. [/pullquote]

This presents an excellent opportunity for business to tap into Cognitive Surplus, world’s spare brain power so to speak, and leverage it in a way that it is beneficial to all concerned (see this link for an excellent visualization of the size of Cognitive Surplus and refer to my earlier post titled Cognitive Surplus: Implications for Social CRM for more on the subject).

Quirky, a Social product development company is a very good example of not only collaborative work, but also of how influencers can be rewarded for their contribution (see the last column of any product’s page on Quirky’s online store for share of each influencer in total price of the product).

Watch the following videos to learn more about how Quirky taps into Cognitive Surplus of Influencers and rewards them for their contribution, a win-win strategy indeed.

Future of Advertising in Social Age | Dr. Harish Kotadia

What is the future of advertising in Social Age?

Well, we may get as many different answers as the number of Social Media gurus and Advertising pundits out there, which by the way is not a small number!

Watch this excellent panel discussion and listen to what four real experts have to say on this subject. The experts are:

I like what Irwin Gotlieb says: “Nature of commercial message is not going to look like a display ad, it’s going to provide functionality and a different kind of interface for the user to act on something. People in Social context don’t want to be interrupted, instead want continue to be engaged and want  functionality that eases a task they are about to engage in.”

Enjoy the video and do share your thoughts on what advertising will look like in Social Age.

This is a repost from blog of Dr. Harish Kotadia, originally posted at: http://hkotadia.com/archives/3071

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