Open Research: How Complex Companies Scale Social Business

Altimeter’s latest Open Research Report (download at will, share with attribution) is embedded below. This report features how large companies have scaled social business across their enterprise. Specific case studies include: Whole Foods puts local social engagement into the hands of store managers. General Motors organizes for social business internally, then supports regions. Amway empowers distributors yet maintains brand consistency PUMA scales limited headcount for worldwide engagement I co-authored this report with my colleague Senior Researcher, Andrew Jones, who’s been involved in several reports with me and knows the market which we cover in a detailed way, and provides unique insights. His deep understanding of the space, tireless research, and pattern analysis was key to this report being published. Please … Continue readingOpen Research: How Complex Companies Scale Social Business

Social Media Management Systems Positioning Shows Slight Market Differentiation

Market Positioning Signals Company Capability and Market Maturity Messaging is often the first thing prospects, investors and analysts see, so it’s important to focus on it as much as core capabilities as we’ve done in our research report which has been viewed 164k times on the vendor landscape.   Over a year ago, I conducted the same exercise to compare the positioning of this same space, and wanted to compare the changes in the space based on data and then draw insights. Method: Visiting Each Vendor’s Website, Like a Buyer This exercise was conducted in the mindset of the buyer (heuristic review as a social marketer and executive) using the following method: First, I built a list of vendor names, working with … Continue readingSocial Media Management Systems Positioning Shows Slight Market Differentiation

1:50am on the Social Software Dance Floor

It’s at the end of the night on the dance floor, do brands know where their social software providers are?  Like the end of a dance, social software vendors are understanding who they can partner with –or be confident on going it alone. Once the lights go on in the next few quarters, the ecosystem will emerge in a new day, with brands stuck answering “Do I buy a suite?” or “Do I invest in integration?”. This post is intended to provide illumination on what’s happening behind the scenes –and who dance stars will be. Above: Here are the options brands have when it comes to integration social software and services, the ideal scenario is upper right, but at this … Continue reading1:50am on the Social Software Dance Floor

Altimeter Webinar Recording: State of Social Media Management Industry

This week, Altimeter (myself and Andrew Jones, researcher) hosted a webinar stemming from the the recent report on Social Media Proliferation, which you can download the full report on this blog post. In the embedded slides and video below, you’ll be able to get additional insights on how we perceive how this market will change in the coming years: We’ll see a vendor shakeout, although expect pure play vendors of each of the five uses cases to remain Consolidation will occur from market forces of email marketing, web analytics, CMS, marketing automation, brand monitoring, support software and beyond These tools, in the long run, will marry into existing communication tools to become a new form of a unified digital marketing … Continue readingAltimeter Webinar Recording: State of Social Media Management Industry

Buyers Guide: A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation (Altimeter Report)

Get account control now –or risk a career of continual social media sanitation. To match the growing consumer adoption of social media, many companies have launched social media efforts with little planning. As social media spreads beyond corporate communications and marketing, business groups are deploying social media without a standardized process. In fact, enterprise class corporations (those with over 1,000 employees) have an average of 178 social media accounts and this number will only grow if left unchecked. Companies that don’t control these accounts are at risk of having abandoned accounts, lack of consistent experience, or untrained employees creating a crisis. Join Altimeter’s webinar to discuss this report. We’ll cover the market trends, industry problems, provide new data not in … Continue readingBuyers Guide: A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation (Altimeter Report)

Finding: 1 in 330 Employees Publishes on “Official” Social Media Accounts

We’re measuring how companies are using social media technologies to connect with their customers and have data back from the field of over 140 enterprise class corporations, many of which have the coveted social strategist role and formalized programs. To find out how far reaching the social media programs stretch into the enterprise we asked two questions: 1) “Approximately how many employees post content to official social accounts?” and then to derive some ratios for cross-tab analysis 2) “How many employees are in your company?”. We wanted to pose these specific set of questions as it helps us to better understand the proliferation of social business of customer engagement within the hub and spoke model, “Dandelion” and “honeycomb” models. If … Continue readingFinding: 1 in 330 Employees Publishes on “Official” Social Media Accounts

Matrix: Challenges and Opportunities Abound for Social Media Management Systems

Just 6 quarters in and this space continues to heat up with nearly 30 vendors.  We’ve done over four due diligence calls with VCs in this space in last 30 days, and Altimeter are helping a couple of brands short list their vendors for RFP inclusions –brands know they need an enterprise solution. This scope of this post is for the pure play vendors and does not include the numerous entrants that will explode into this space from the incumbent software category.   To help move the industry forward, here’s my perspective on the space, all which I’m telling buyers as well as investors. Matrix: Challenges and Opportunities Abound for Social Media Management Systems Strengths: -VC Funding for Rapid Growth … Continue readingMatrix: Challenges and Opportunities Abound for Social Media Management Systems

Number of Corporate Social Media Accounts On Rise: Risk of “Social Media Help Desk”

How many social media accounts does an advanced social business have? Well, when we look at mature companies like Microsoft, we find large indexes, or CPG giants like Coca-Cola each deploy their own, then even regionalize, or any large retail or hospitality brand that has regional stores with their own specific accounts like each hotel at Four Seasons with their own Twitter accounts. Altimeter’s continued research on the Social Media Management System (read all posts) space has found some interesting findings. In fact, our recent survey out to corporate marketers at large corporations yielded a surprising number of social media accounts. Above: Companies average an overwhelming number of corporate owned accounts: 178. Note: This does not include personal accounts that … Continue readingNumber of Corporate Social Media Accounts On Rise: Risk of “Social Media Help Desk”

Social Media Management System (SMMS) Lack Differentiation in Positioning, Confusing Market

Up front disclosure: Altimeter believes in fostering trust with the market, and we disclose who our clients are, providing they agree.  Some of the vendors listed below are clients. Summary: Nascent Market Appears Similar, Confusing Buyers Overall, the Social Media Management System (SMMS) space lacks market differentiation when it comes to market positioning, which is often reflective of feature set.  Furthermore, many of these low-barrier technologies are being developed rapidly, and a feature war has set in. As a result, buyers are often confused, resulting in longer evaluation and consideration phase, and heterogenous mix of vendors in an RFP processes. Furthermore, the lack of market differentiation hurts vendors, who may have greater sales costs, and longer sales cycles during a … Continue readingSocial Media Management System (SMMS) Lack Differentiation in Positioning, Confusing Market

The State and Future of the Social Media Management System Space

Front and center industry analyst disclosures: Your trust is important to us, as such, we strive to disclose our client relationships, some which are listed in the following post, read Altimeter’s disclosures page. Research Summary: Growth in Vendors and Market Demand –Yet Space Is Immature Social Media Management Systems, like CMS systems for websites, these SMMS systems (see list of all vendors) help companies manage, maintain, and measure thousands of social media accounts, are the next growth market for the social business category. While saturation is at 58% of corporate buyers, the average deal size is a meager $22,000 but will expect to grow to six figure annual deals in coming quarters to meet market demand. This growing space has … Continue readingThe State and Future of the Social Media Management System Space