The Future of the Corporate Website involves People

A few days ago, I ran a contest for two winners to receive free tickets to the Internet Strategy Forum Summit in Portland. The winning responses, based on insight, ability to back up their predictions and being succinct were Christopher Smith and Kristie. I’ve selected the two winners, here’s their submissions: Kristie Connor, a Marketing Consultant, submits on the concept of ‘fluidity’. I like this concept as the corporate website won’t be the only container of brand and product content but also this content will spread to wherever the conversations flow on the web: Social networks, blogs, friendfeed and wherever else. She writes the following: “Corporate websites of the future will be less about canned content and more about fluidity. … Continue readingThe Future of the Corporate Website involves People

The Five Questions Companies Ask About Social Media

I just visited a client who had several groups in their company doing quite a bit around social media (they are trying to answer the 4th and 5th question). They were what I call “walking” and were on the verge of “running”. Often, when I meet companies for the first time, I try to find out which of the following questions that they are answering, as it determines their level of sophistication. As one might expect, brands in tech, media, and some consumer goods are more advanced, and finance, insurance, and sometimes government are trying to answer the first questions. Five questions companies ask about social media: What is Social Media? For many folks, corporations, the question to answer was … Continue readingThe Five Questions Companies Ask About Social Media

Social Media Early Adopters: Pioneers, Settlers, and Colonists

I’ve seen the social media community run from tool to technology quicker than you can say “shiny object”. I’ve seen us run from blogs > Facebook > Twitter > Pownce > Jaiku > Justin TV > Ustream > Digg > Delicious > Upcoming > Flickr > YouTube > SecondLife > Widgets > Utterz > Zooomr > Friendfeed > Plurk > and who knows what’s next. Go to Techcrunch to see lists and lists of more products, in our industry, the barriers to entry require just a few thousand (ask Guy Kawasaki) to build and launch an application. Sadly, only some of these tools we end up adopting for the long run, in most cases, we end up wasting our time. … Continue readingSocial Media Early Adopters: Pioneers, Settlers, and Colonists

Sending customers away and firing your own customers

Yesterday, Paul Greenberg asked on Twitter: “Can anyone give me names of leading social media/social network analyst besides @jowyang, of course. Big or small firms or soloists okay”. I’m not sure what he was looking for, or why I wasn’t included in his query (update he responded below in comments), but I quickly responded: “@pgreenbe try Oliver Young (Forr), @monkchips (redmonk) @gartenberg (Jupiter) @yarmis (AMR Research). Did I just refer to my competitors?yea”. It should have been @jyarmis I had it wrong While I’m started, he should also check out eMarketer, Hitwise, Compete, and Gartner, you’ll find plenty of resources from those analyst firms. Need even more resources? I created a list of resources for those seeking analysts. The natural … Continue readingSending customers away and firing your own customers

Is your Company Market Driven or Product Driven?

The battle between Marketers and Engineers has been going on for a while, Engineers claim that building the best product is enough to succeed, and Marketers claim that understand the external forces (competitors, customers, needs) is the solution. Update: saw an interesting tweet from tomob: “@jowyang – the engineer’s pipe dream = product so good we don’t need sales or marketing” We’ve seen cases of heavy engineering companies like Google, with little marketing efforts become the most well known brand online. On the other hand, companies like Coke spends a major portion of their corporate budget on Marketing, to become the top brand in the world. Or, take Apple, which has great products (although it was debated that Sony had … Continue readingIs your Company Market Driven or Product Driven?

How do you Argue?

As an analyst, we undergo training then are put to the test to stand by our calls, and back it up with data, insight, experience, or facts. I found this diagram published by the create debate blog, and by using the creative commons license they have on their blog, am sharing it with you. The graphic is spurred by the essay written by Paul Graham How to Disagree, start there. Since I tie just about everything back to internet strategy, let’s take this fictional example of one of your colleagues who has spent significant budget on advertising popups on a C rated media site in your market. You, the social media strategist at your company, is less than thrilled to … Continue readingHow do you Argue?

Castles, Towns, and Missionaries

I’m meeting more and more corporate marketers who understand the value of social media, but don’t know how to use it. I’m seeing a trend of at least 3 different adoption strategies, listed out below. Often they want to repurpose their corporate marketing brochures, videos, and pass them on to social channels –without understand that content, often has to change. Corporate “top-down” content doesn’t do well on YouTube, brochures and press releases don’t do well on blogs, and a marcom’s product announcement on a podcast is going to have limited traction. Corporations are adopting at least one of the three styles of Social Media Marketing: Locked in the Castle Keeping the good stuff close to your domain. Example: Creating videos, … Continue readingCastles, Towns, and Missionaries

Are you a Purist or a Corporatist?

Last night, at the Blogger dinner in SF (see pics tagged ‘groundswell’), there were several discussions among the attendees from Josh, Shel, Debbie and others around their ideology and stance when it comes to the impacts of social media to companies. Josh created a scale to help identify where peoples beliefs are, he describes it from his post as: EXTREME PURIST 10 = The groundswell is such a powerful force, the people in it will always prevail. All companies can do is watch and listen. Their employees can participate, but only as independent people. Corporate efforts are doomed to fail. 9 = 8 = 7 = The groundswell is powerful, but companies have a role in it. Groups of people … Continue readingAre you a Purist or a Corporatist?

The 3 “Impossible” Conversations for Corporations

I advise some of the top brands in the world about how to use social media tools to connect with customers. While many are getting it right, many will get it wrong –with great embarrassment to their brand, and personal careers. Shel Israel write a very compelling piece on why many corporations are going to get social media wrong. The best possible use case of social media is customers talking with employees of a company in an open and transparent way. Not hiring Mr. T in a “Viral Video” to show how you think you can relate to CIOs. I’ve told several executives that the most important –yet most difficult –conversations they can have are the following: The 3 Impossible … Continue readingThe 3 “Impossible” Conversations for Corporations

“Marketers get people to buy stuff that they don’t need”

This was the quote I heard last night from someone I know, his impression was that the role of Marketers was: “to get people to buy stuff that they don’t need”. Partially, he is right. The reputation of marketers is often negative, where marketers are considered to be involved with trickery, deceit, and mass consumerism. In business school, we learned that the classical definition of Marketing was to connect customers with products, yet the defintion never included tricks, lying, or manipulation. If you’ve read Seth’s book that All Marketers are Liars, you’ll quickly realize that the premise of the book suggests that marketers actually tell consumers the stories that they want to hear. I know most marketers will feel better … Continue reading“Marketers get people to buy stuff that they don’t need”