My main coverage area as an Analyst is focusing on Online Communities for Interactive Marketers, I was formerly an enterprise intranet manager at Hitachi Data Systems, so I see where this is heading. I realize that we’re just at the early days, as many of these systems are deployed by marketing units with little interaction or support from IT. In many cases users are forced to create a new user ID, as these systems are not tied to existing enterprise software. Thinking towards the future, I realize how important it will be for IT departments to think holistically about social media, especially large areas of customer and prospect congregation. For many marketers, they are graded (paid) based upon the amount … Continue readingWhen Social Media Marries CRM Systems
As an analyst at Forrester focused on Social Computing, I’m creating an online catalog for clients that lists out the many players in the White Label Social Networking space, a market I’ve been covering before I even joined the company. If you work at one of these 100 White Label Social Networking sites (a social network that any company can rebrand) then you’ll want to be included in this catalog. Later, this catalog will help me determine the vendors that will be involved in the Forrester Wave document, which will segment out vendors by strengths. If you want to participate in this Vendor Catalog, follow these steps: 1) Email Scott Wright swright at forrester.com (Update: Please send to Sarah Glass … Continue readingForrester Underway to Catalog the White Label Social Networking Space
My main focus as an analyst is on online communities and social networks, if you’ve the same focus, I highly recommend you attend the Graphing Social Patterns conference, started by Dave McClure. The conferences runs deep into the developer discussions, as well as is blossoming with more and more business and marketing discussions. View my blog posts from previous events, including an interview with Dave. This upcoming east coast version will have at least a few discussions focused on white label social networks, in fact, I’ve been asked to moderate the panel. I’m really looking forward to this focus on these important vendors, as there hasn’t been any conferences that have done a sole focus on the discussion of corporate … Continue readingFocused on Social Networks? Attend Graphing Social Patterns
About my use of social media in my research I use my blog, (and other social media tools like Twitter) as a percentage of my research methodology (around 15%), it’s not the only contributing factor but is an effective way of me using a real-time, global, inexpensive user group. While I do benefit from the flexibility and speed of this format, it also has it’s risks such as lack of identification, biased sample, or often lack of controls. Forrester encourages me to use these tools, it’s helping, and I’m living the space that I cover “Social Computing”. Social media is only one small sliver of the methodology used to generate the reports. I’m working on two research reports, the first … Continue readingFindings: What you said you wanted in a White Label Social Networking Vendor
NOTE: The weighted findings are now available on this followup post. I’m preparing for an upcoming report to help segment out the many vendors in the White Label or Private label social networking industry. Essentially, these companies allow brands to create their own social network (like Facebook) for customers, partners, or employees. Are you a decision maker for corporate websites? Maybe you’re a web strategist, a web architect, a web marketer, or a web developer in marketing, I want to know what you think is important. As you select a White Label Social Networking vendor, what THREE criteria are important to you? Example: Features, Pricing, Support are important to me because: X If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment, … Continue readingWhat do you look in a White Label or Private Label Social Networking Vendor?
In the late 1990s the CMS invaders deployed their systems at large corporations, as managing web pages using HTML editors wasn’t scalable and non-technical folks needed to publish. In many cases after the invader left, the company’s business teams and technical web teams were stuck cleaning, fixing, enhancing, for years to come. Unplugging web publishing systems (and community platforms) ain’t easy. Publishing from Word Docs, ouch. I was a web manager at a very large corporations, as such, I was the business sponsor for the website, and therefore the tools that were used to publish the website. Often, in most cases, I inherited a legacy CMS system, one that I did not choose, the underpinning structure of the site revolved … Continue readingCMS Horror Stories, and Your Soon-To-Be “Legacy” Community Platform?
Social Networks continue to show a strong future of growth. Two recent Forrester reports published by my colleagues, Josh Bernoff and Oliver Young, both showing the future of social computing for the interactive marketer and for enterprise 2.0 purchasing. A very obvious trend for both of these reports is the growth of budgets by marketers and companies for social networks. I’m not releasing any new information here, but just highlighting the public data that they both point out: Social technology marketers bullish in face of recession We polled interactive marketers with the following question: “Assuming that the economy is in a recession in the next six months, how would you change your Investments in the following marketing channels?” Over 40% … Continue readingSocial Network Spending to Increase
Many corporations are outsourcing their community platforms I’ve been talking to more and more companies that are creating their own corporate communities around their brand. For the most part, they lean on the SaaS models that the white label social network, collaboration, or even insight community vendors provide. While it certainly makes sense for marketers to lean on application service providers (it’s all setup, ready to roll, without the hassle of dealing with internal IT) and a decent to moderate price. Avoid vendor lock in: own your data One thing that I think is worth mentioning is that customers of these software providers need to protect themselves against vendor lock in, and the best way to do this is to … Continue readingCustomers Should Avoid Community Software Vendor Lock In: Own your data
Left Graphic: Forrester Wave™: Community Platforms, Q1 ’09 Important Update: Jan 2009 Before you do anything, first read this important update. Below you’ll find a list of over 100 vendors (and more in the comments) of vendors that offer commodity community software. Before I joined Forrester as an analyst covering this space, I started this list and it grew and grew. In 2008, I published a vendor product catalog that has details of over 50 of the vendors, beyond these listed descriptions. In Jan 2009 I’ve now published a Forrester Wave which segments the leaders that provide solution (service, strategy, and support) for enterprise class marketers (aka customer communities for the big brands). This doesn’t diminish the other vendors listed, … Continue readingList of “White Label” or “Private Label” (Applications you can Rebrand) Social Networking Platforms, Community Platforms