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

Meet the Investors of Social Business

The purpose of this post is to identify which investors are most active in Social Business, and segment them from early to late stage funding. I frequently provide due diligence calls to VCs, and also advise startups on their growth startup in highly saturated growth markets.  To hone my industry interactions, I’m publishing data on my continued research on funding in the Social Business space (read other posts on the state of funding in social business, and rate of material event or click the VC category to see all posts).  The investors are a key factor in the success of a startup, they advise, provide resources for rapid growth, influence a sale or IPO, or can cause a startup to be … Continue readingMeet the Investors of Social Business

2013 Superbowl Ads Favor URLs, Hashtags –Not Facebook

For the last few years (see 2012 data). This analysis is a bellwether on how brands will spend on an integrated experience for the year. Overall, we saw brands still hold onto corporate websites, although a big jump in hashtag usage, and decline in Facebook integration. 2012-2013 Superbowl Ad Tech Integration Tech Integration Type 2012 2013 Percent Change Corporate URL/Microsite 58% 46% -12% Facebook 11% 7% -4% Hashtag 7% 38% +31% Shazam 6% 2% -4% Total Ads with Integration 68% 75% +7%   Integration to reach the Dynamic Customer a top priorty for brands. Brands know they must integrate their brand experience on multiple experiences and apply real time interaction, Altimeter’s research theme the Dynamic Customer Journey explores this challenging … Continue reading2013 Superbowl Ads Favor URLs, Hashtags –Not Facebook

18% Social Business Software Achieved a Material Event –VCs Not Required

Executive Summary Research has found that out of 55 Social Business Startups that a majority (69%) have received early and late stage funding, averaging $14m in total funding.  A significant 31% have not taken investor funding, which we’ve listed 6 reasons ranging low costs of operations, self-funding, VC avoidance, and market saturation of startups.  18% of startups had achieved a material event (acquired or IPO) and of them, 40% we’re not funded.  Expect three macro trends in 2013 including: 1) Startups focus on business value to battle software giants, 2) Investors hot on SMMS market, but wary of vendors who lack differentiation, and 3) As Social Business Software market matures, expect growth in late stage investments Research Background I’m continuing industry … Continue reading18% Social Business Software Achieved a Material Event –VCs Not Required

The State of Funding in Social Business Software

Executive Summary: Social Business Software vendors (Startups that offer social technology software and solutions for corporations to use to interact with employees, customers, and partners) have raised on average $14m with the most common round being an A-Round at $5.2m.  A few vendors have received large D-Rounds, however most are receiving $5-10m rounds from a series of investors.  Brands must ask vendors at least 5 questions on who and how this money is and will be used, to understand the strategy before buying. [Funding in social business software is an indicator of a Vendor’s potential to quickly accelerate to meet the needs of corporate customers] Why this Research:  As an Industry Analyst, I look at The Three Spheres of Web … Continue readingThe State of Funding in Social Business Software

4th Annual Community Manager Appreciation Day: Jan 28, 2013

Community managers are the most powerful group on the internet, they manage the largest social accounts –but ironically are hidden behind the scenes. It’s that time of year again, to send a kind note to the Community Managers who have helped your company, or you as a customer using social media channels.  Like System Admin day, or Administrative Professionals day, we take one day a year to thank and appreciate those who are helping us connect to customers in a sometimes thankless job. While no gifts are required, the purpose is to give a genuine thank to the never ending, often thankless job of supporting customers and balancing internal stakeholders, a tough balance when the whole world is watching.  Whether … Continue reading4th Annual Community Manager Appreciation Day: Jan 28, 2013

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

Breakdown: A Strategy for Engaging Passion Communities

Left: A social network mapped out, this one is of influential photographer Kris Krug’s social graph. These breakdown posts often contain content that didn’t fit into research reports, and contain input from industry experts or deeper client engagements, see other ‘breakdown‘ posts. Unsure how to deal with the most passionate communities your market has to offer?  One of Altimeter’s large brand clients was struggling with this same question, a brand cannot simply waltz in without fully realizing the commitment being made and impact to brand relations.  Our client specifically wanted to know from myself and colleague Sr Researcher Christine Tran on the “best way to enter and exit a passion community”.  I interviewed Jenna Woodul from LiveWorld (software and services), … Continue readingBreakdown: A Strategy for Engaging Passion Communities

Field Notes: Touring Techcrunch Disrupt 2012

(Above pic: Techcrunch Disrupt featured 329 global startups over 3 days in San Francisco) I just visited dozens and dozens of startup booths (so you don’t have to) at the massive Techcrunch Disrupt held in San Francisco, I also attended in 2011 and published my notes.  I’ve been attending Techcrunch events since they were held in Mike Arrington’s backyard with beers, bbq, and a bouncing black lab over 5 years ago, they’ve come a very long way and Mark Zuckerberg said it was larger than his own Facebook conference. There was an all-star cast of tech-arati including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Marc Benioff, Jack Dorsey, Tim Draper, Ben Horowitz, David Sachs, Kevin Rose, Aaron Levie, Cory Booker, and even Jessica Alba.  In … Continue readingField Notes: Touring Techcrunch Disrupt 2012

Call for Insights: Altimeter Blog Ring on the Sentient World

Request: We want to hear from you. Tell us on your blog or website how the “Sentient World” impacts your business (positively or negatively), and we’ll cross-link to the conversation. Altimeter Group continues its blog ring in September and October to deepen understanding of our three research themes. The next theme of focus is the Sentient World. Consider these key questions when contributing to the conversation on your blog or website: Sentient World rolls up trends like internet of things, body data, big data, cloud computing, nfc and beyond, I presented a keynote at LeWeb discussing this theme, see video. Once the information exchange begins, how can companies and users participate? How do dialog and conversation shift as consumers begin … Continue readingCall for Insights: Altimeter Blog Ring on the Sentient World