iMedia throw an excellent event, and this section gave me access to influential marketers from brands like Honda, QANTAS, Target, Disney, AT&T, General Mills, Accuquote and more.
Rather than taking a sales approach (you want to know Converseon in 60 seconds? Google us!) I took the time to poll each brand marketer on their personal use of social media and their opinion of how it would impact their business with two simple questions.
Here are the responses from 33 high ranking marketers from a mix of Fortune 500 and other household name brands:
1. Which of the following social networks do you use personally:
- Twitter = 19
- Facebook = 32
- LinkedIn = 33
Facebook and LinkedIn are nearly universal tools for savvy marketers these day, with Facebook just getting its neck in front of LinkedIn and both being used by over 90% of those polled. Twitter was a different story… while only 19 out of 33 used Twitter, this number was also watered down with a number of people saying ‘I have an account, but don’t use it’ and responses were marked by the reticence of many towards the current social media darling.
2. On a scale of 1-5 (1 = not at all important, 5= incredibly important) how important would you say social media is for business?
- 1 (not important) = 2 brands
- 2 (not very important) = 3 brands
- 3 (somewhat important) = 7 brands
- 4 (important) = 14 brands
- 5 (very important) = 7 brands
Given that I’m in the employ of a social media agency, I was very happy to see big brand after big brand acknowledging the importance of social media. ‘Very Important’ was the most likely response, and two thirds of the marketers rated social media either a ’4′ or a ’5′ – the highest end of the importance scale. Only 5 brands put social media towards the low end of the importance scale – and these brands were either agriculture focused or blocked by regulation.
For some more great coverage frome the iMedia Summit check out this great article from Sean Cheyney of Accuquote recapping our CEO Rob Key’s presentation.
We are proud to announce that last night we were named the winner of ‘Best Social Media Agency’ at the first ever SAMMY Awards.
The SAMMY Awards, hosted by DigiDay, were planned to reward “overall excellence and breakthrough achievement in Social Advertising, Media and Marketing”. The strength of competition at the awards was shown through our fellow finalists in the best agency category Buddy Media and 360i. We extend congratulations to them for their great work and to the other award winners including Pringles (for their creative banner ad), the New York Yankees, Kellogg Company, Oakley and Jim Beam.
It is a great validation for us to win this award because we’ve been conducting great work in this space since 2001 (before social was “social”).
Thank yous go out to our team and the Converseon supporters in this space. A very special thank you goes to all our clients – many of whom have been working with us for several years and taking the social media journey alongside us. We hope to further reward your continued partnership with us. We’d also like to thank the judges who recognized that we provide the only complete “end to end” social media solution, matching proprietary Conversation Mining technology with full organizational consulting and award winning engagement services.
We’ve seen the industry change a great deal in our near decade in this space and we know this is just another step in our evolution. Thanks to all who have helped us make this happen.
UPDATE 21 September: Here is a link to a media release announcing the news.
This week the Converseon team is sponsoring, speaking and attending the iMedia Brand Summit in San Diego – certainly one of the online marketing industry’s premier events.
The event has a strong mix of senior brand marketers, leading thinkers and the online media companies leading innovation in the industry. Our Converseon CEO Rob Key is presenting ‘social media from the inside out’ at 10.40am tomorrow join an extremely strong cast of speakers.
Today’s content was headlined by Northwestern University researcher and integrated marketing thought leader Don Shultz, who predictably stole the show. You can tell the quality of a speaker’s presentation by the volume of Twittering during the session, and Don was so on point I nearly wore out my iPhone keypad while racing to keep up with him.
Don had a strong message that marketers need to drive “effectiveness not efficiency” by focusing on influencing the audience based on their media consumption, rather than planning based on media distribution. Don’s own words did best, so here is a series of our tweets from his session:
Another standout session saw comScore chairman and founder Gian Fulgoni and Starcom’s Kim McCarthy run through some in-depth research in ‘The click remains irrelevant: ‘Natural Born Clickers’ Return’. Drawing from data from over 200 different comScore studies they made a compelling case for why marketers need to look beyond just a simple ‘click’ on online ads as a measure of success.
Fulgoni pointed out that 84% of internet users never click on an online ad, and 85% of the clicks on advertisements came from only 8% of internet users. He also called out the disconnect that while 98.9% of ads in any campaign are never clicked on, Forrester have shown that 35% of marketers still measure that way.
Now while the low click through numbers might drive some marketers to despair, the wider comScore data paints a better picture of the real value of online advertising. For example, comScore’s data shows that the top 82% of online campaigns generate an average 22% lift in sales and more widely that online display ads have been proven to be as effective as TV for boosting retail sales in CPG brands, leading to opportunities for a wealth of brands who found TV advertising costs prohibitive but can now drive similar results.
Stay tuned to our Converseon twitter account for more coverage of this event tomorrow, and we’ll be sure to share more insights from the conference and detail on Rob’s presence right here on the blog.
We’re excited to be part of the upcoming digiday:Social event in New York City, scheduled for Thursday, September 17, which looks like a great gathering of industry’s leading digital marketing professionals, including:
- Our Chief Strategist, Mike Moran
- Michael Donnelly, Group Director of Worldwide Interactive Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company
- Brooke McMillan, Social Evangelist, LiveStrong.org
- Shiv Singh VP & Global Social Media Lead, Razorfish
- Paul Beck, Senior Partner, Worldwide Executive Director, Interactive Marketing, Advertising & Social Media, Ogilvy Worldwide
Speakers will focus on topics that help high level media professionals discover and understand social marketing trends. Digiday’s goal is to help marketers not only grasp the current media environment but more importantly, understand how they can leverage this landscape to reach their communication and business goals.
Just a few of the topics that will be covered at Digiday include:
- Can Social Media Scale For a Mass Market Brand?
- Entertainment Marketing Goes Social
- Making Sense of Social Data
- Social Media Marketing Case Studies
- How Brands Become Connectors on the Social Web
Mike’s session, Social Media Spotlight Case Study: Listening 2.0: How to Become a Listening Organization, showcases Converseon’s experience with major brands to create listening environments that benefit the enterprise with in depth conversation analysis and actionable initiatives that cross business unit silos. The session will give the audience a thorough understanding of today’s listening tools, a peek into the future of listening technology, and perspectives on how today’s companies can embed these solutions to create a more agile and future-facing organizations.
You can catch Mike’s presentation at 3:00 p.m. Sign up today! See you there!
Next week catch up with Converseon at the Aberdeen CMO Summit in San Francisco and the Corporate Reputation and Social Media conference in San Francisco.
Aberdeen CMO Summit – September 9-10 – San Francisco
Converseon is a Gold Sponsor of this event and both our CEO Rob Key and VP Erik Rabasca will be in attendance.
Why Should You Be There?
* Collaborate with leading industry figures to address critical components of industry marketing.
* Collect actionable recommendations from Best-in-Class enterprises, to immediately improve your marketing, CRM, contact center and sales force effectiveness strategies.
* Identify global marketing, SFA and CRM strategies, and find out what it takes to turn these into a competitive weapon!
* Network with peers and counterparts in related industries.
* Receive valuable research findings to better equip your marketing teams.
Ragan ‘Corporate Reputation and Strategic Communication in the Age of Social Media‘ – Chicago, IL – September 9-10
Social Media Strategist Paull Young will be speaking at this event on a panel titled ‘Web 2.0 World: Advancing your corporate reputation using social media’ alongside Blog Council President Bob Pearson.
This event will answer the following questions:
- Is your PR and crisis communication plan strong enough to withstand a social media firestorm? (Example: When you saw the repulsive Domino’s video, did you think, “Are we prepared for this?”)
- How have you weathered the economic downturn? Is your reputation intact?
- Have you tapped into the power of social media to extend your brand? If not, why? (Did you know that 72 percent of respondents to a recent survey used social media to research a company’s reputation for customer care before making a purchase?)
- When is the last time you updated your strategic communications plan? Does it include all things Web 2.0?
Converseon worked in partnership with Lion Brand Yarn on the ideation, development and implementation of an enterprise social media strategy. This case study is a submission for the 2009 Forrester Groundswell Awards.
Establish an authentic and relevant online voice for a beloved 130 year old crafting company and institute best practices that help build relationships with passionate consumers of online knitting communities.
Lion Brand Yarn was not sure if its customer demographic would be likely to engage in social media but was willing to experiment with the new technology in an attempt to engage and connect with its passionate consumer base. They engaged Converseon to help them listen to the online conversation about knitting and crocheting, better understand their customers social media behavior, identify opportunities for engagement and develop a coherent and measurable social media strategy.
The brand’s approach to social media hinged on an open approach to conversation and a employee driven content and relationships. The brand focused on ‘talking’ to its customers and prospects and expanded its efforts in social media as the rigorous measurement framework indicated success. Lion Brand Yarn has taken a long term approach to community building and it is now, 18 months after the initial launch of the Yarncraft podcast, that the brand is seeing the most success and measurable return on investment.
Lion Brand teamed with Converseon, utilizing our Conversation Mining technology to map the knitting/crocheting online community, identify influential online voices and identify opportunities for engagement in social media. This listening uncovered a deep, interconnected and highly engaged community of passionate users spread across blogs, podcasts and even dedicated knitting/crocheting social networks.
With Converseon’s strategic guidance, the ‘Yarncraft‘ podcast was launched. Hosted by a pair of LBY employees, the podcast was produced bi-weekly and focused on knitting and crocheting topics. The podcast was posted to a dedicated blog, distributed via iTunes and also given away as a CD in store for less tech-savvy consumers. The podcast was designed to be a conversation with customers and knitting community figures moreso than ‘internet radio’ in the broadcast model.
In April 2008, the ‘Lion Brand Notebook‘ blog was launched, providing content and links to other knitting sources. The blog was also powered by Lion Brand employees with content ranging from customer polls for product development through to ‘knit alongs’ that combine online/offline access allowing customers to knit the same project together. The ‘knit alongs’ alone have proven to be a measurable driver of ROI for the brand as each virtual event drives a direct link to increased sales of the yarn featured.
- Lion Brand is one of the 2009 Internet Retailer’s ‘Hot 100′ Retail Websites, their site receives over 2 million visits a month
- The podcast regularly has 15-20,000 downloads while the blog attracts tens of thousands of readers each month
- A Lion Brand survey of 30,000 of their customers found that those customers who have interacted with the brand through social media are 83% more likely to identify as ‘very brand loyal’ than non-social media users and are several times more likely to recommend the brand to others
- Traffic analysis shows that traffic from social media routinely converts at a much higher rate than most sources, outperforming email marketing and banner ads
- From June 16 – July 16, 2009 traffic coming from the brand blog to the brand e-commerce website converted at 41.21% higher than the brand’s average traffic.
- From June 16 –July 16, 2009, the average per visit value of the blog traffic was 39.44% higher than the site average
Lion Brand Yarn initially set out to build relationships with the online knitting community by talking with their customers via a corporate blog and podcast. As a result of an investment in people rather than products, they found themselves with a passionate and brand loyal group of knitters, who not only engage with the brand but impact the bottom line by buying and using products as a result of social media engagement.
PR Week Case Study: Lion Brand Yarn finds success in measured approach to social media,
Slideshare presentation from 2009 Internet Retailer Conference:
In addition, the presentation above is a series of customer endorsements quoted verbatim from a survey of the LBY blog and podcast audience asking them to share their thoughts and feelings about the two venues.
In an article published on Sunday — Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts– The New York Times gives some well-deserved ink (and clicks) to sentiment analysis, a research area that hasn’t received a lot of attention so far. With the exponential increase in consumer generated media and businesses’ realization that these opinions do have influence on reputation and sales, there’s more interest then ever in finding scalable, accurate and (as much as possible) automated solutions that will be able to take in large amounts of data, and push out insights and trends that can be used as real-time, actionable market intelligence.
The article does a great job at describing some of the challenges of opinion mining and sentiment analysis, but it’s hard to understand the difficulties of creating automated solutions without diving deep in the theoretical underpinnings of the algorithms used by these solutions. If you want to get an idea about what’s out there start by following the sample of links provided below.
What we’re seeing right now are very early steps on a long road, and –although one could think that the solution is at hand when they read in The Times that some algorithms get around 80% accuracy– well… there’s still a way to go. There are many technical and conceptual problems that need to be solved, and they’re far from trivial. Of course, we have a horse in this game, and we’re betting on it. Stay tuned.
- Opinion mining and sentiment analysis, book by Bo Pang and Lillian Lee
- Research papers by Bing Liu, University of Illinois at Chicago (for an overview of the challenges that remained to be solved read his keynote talk at the 5th Annual Text Analytics Summit, Boston, June 1-2, 2009)
- Research papers by Jan Wiebe, University of Pittsburgh
- Research papers by Claire Cardie, Cornell University
Last Wednesday, Mike Moran our Chief Strategist hosted a WOMMA Webinar on Listening 2.0. The webinar featured presentations from Mark Kovscek, Senior Vice President of the VivaKi Nerve Center and Pauline Ores, Pricipal Analyst, Social Engagement Strategy of IBM.
If you missed it, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find a the Cliff’s Notes version of the webinar, an audio recording of the session and the program slides.
- What marks a good Listening 2.0 solution?
- How companies should use Listening 2.0?
- Where is the future of listening technology?
What marks a solution as Listening 2.0?
What the technology and service should provide:
- The ability analyze sentiment, particularly complex commentary such as sarcasm
- The ability to note complex and multiple mentions of a brand within a consumer conversation
- The ability to identify key topics and subtopics for your brand’s conversations
- The ability to demonstrate how topics and conversations are connected to each other and to the brand
- The ability to integrate multiple data types and imaging to create new more holistic views of the world
- The ability to create a global and scalable methodology
How companies use should use Listening 2.0
- Listening should be done at an enterprise level. To be effective it needs to cross over the silos of business units and lead to shared solutions
- Commit to “being in sync” with the market – be willing to reconsider marketing approach, content development and offerings, it can be about joining and taking their lead
- Be ready to take action, whether that is internal change or external engagement. To find ROI brands must be ready to take consumer comments to heart
Where is the future of listening technology?
- Technological improvements in computer translations
- Advanced tracking of message consumption and how it relates to purchase behavior
- Predictive modeling of conversations and conversions
Tomorrow, Wednesday June 24 at 12pm EST our Chief Strategist Mike Moran will lead a free webinar for WOMMA titled ‘Listening 2.0: How the Web is Changing the Way Companies Listen to Their Customers‘.
Here’s the full introduction, courtesy of WOMMA:
Listening 2.0: How the Web is Changing the Way Companies Listen to Their Customers
12 pm Noon EST, June 24
Free for Everyone!
Senior Vice President
The Internet has added new ways for companies to listen, augmenting surveys, focus groups, and other traditional market research. But the first generation of Web listening tools were heavy on automation and light on real insights and actionability. Learn how Web listening is changing, and how your company can take advantage of it now. You’ll also get a sneak peek into what you should expect in the future, so that your company is ready.
Mike Moran is the author of the acclaimed book on Internet marketing, Do It Wrong Quickly, on the heels of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc., which is now in its second edition. Mike frequently keynotes conferences on Internet marketing for marketers, public relations specialists, market researchers, and technologists and serves as Chief Strategist for Converseon, a leading digital media marketing agency based in New York City.
Prior to joining Converseon, Mike worked for IBM for 30 years, rising to the level of Distinguished Engineer. Mike writes marketing columns for Revenue Magazine, Search Engine Guide, and WebProNews. Mike can be reached through his Web site (mikemoran.com), which is also home to his Biznology newsletter and blog.
The Aberdeen Group has released a new research study called Brand Reputation Management: Using Online Monitoring to Protect the Company’s Crown Jewels
As a leading company providing social media monitoring we support the growth of the research and sharing of information in the field of online brand monitoring.
Here are a few tidbits from the study:
*Class determinations for this study are based aggregate web performance scores. Best-in-Class companies consistently use more monitoring services.
- Best-in-Class companies are 2.4-times more likely than Laggards to improve year-over-year performance in customer retention rates. On average, Best-in-Class companies improved customer retention rates 11%, compared to 1% for Laggards.
- Best-in-Class companies are 400% more likely than Laggards to improve year-over-year performance in return on marketing investment (ROMI). On average, Best-in-Class improved annual ROMI rates 16%, compared to a 1% improvement amongst Laggards.
- Best-in-Class companies are 16-times more likely than Laggards to improve their ability to protect online brand reputation.
- Best-in-Class companies are 2.7-times more likely than Laggards to improve customer satisfaction. On average, Best-in-Class improved year-over-year customer satisfaction levels by 14%, compared to a 3% improvement amongst Laggards.
Results like these add proof to the pudding we’ve been dining on for years, that listening to customers and responding to their need leads to a more engaged, satisfied and loyal customer base.
Access to the report is free until July 3 (just requires a registration), simply click here to download your copy.