Posts Tagged ‘ Marcom ’

Demystifying the Challenge of Enterprise Social Media

Demystifying the Challenge of Enterprise Social Media

Original Post @

Jeff Pulver (@Jeffpulver) recently mentioned that this year was his fifth anniversary of being in Social Media. This got me thinking, as five years is the typical run for any major technological boom over the past few decades.

In the 80’s we saw the PC rise to change the way we engaged with computing devices and managed our lives. In the 90s, the Dot Com boom gave rise to a vast number of internet technologies that have since been incorporated into products and offerings of major technology brands.  Oracle became more than a database and a few financial service offerings growing to encompass corporate portals, analytics and recently even Hardware. Microsoft’s applications are available in the cloud. E-commerce, once a multi-million dollar endeavor for corporations, has been democratized by Open source technologies.

All of these things happened in five-year spans.

Today, we’ve seen Facebook become a platform that rivals the Google Empire.  Twitter and Yammer are allowing for communication and information sharing in ways that couldn’t have been envisioned a decade ago. Brands have prospered and startups have become household names. However, there is one market segment that has yet to benefit from this change – the Enterprise.


So what is the Enterprise?

The enterprise refers to Fortune 1000 companies that comprise the majority of large employers globally. Enterprise companies operate a myriad of g systems that are comprised of technology that spans a fifty-year lifecycle. Companies that operate multi-million and often billion and trillion dollar operations on technology where new technology often becomes siloed before it’s value can be leveraged in a more comprehensive way.



Enterprise Companies have also made large investments in content, operations management and commerce systems that don’t easily integrate with social media technologies.  Lastly, the concept of user profiles is very similar to Marshall Sponder’s allusion to “ultraviolet data”. In the Enterprise, there’s unseen or “ultraviolet data” as well as multiple user profiles in multiple repositories across different corporate divisions (think CRM, CSR, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Operations).


It’s all about data.

In a world of Social data, Ultraviolet data and complex corporate repositories, we have to think differently.

Enterprises refer to the management of multiple repositories as MDM or Master Data Management. Social data covers to behavioral, influencer, sentiment and keywords. Ultraviolet data is the data “you could be catching, but aren’t” in both MDM and Social.


The chart above depicts the use of social and MDM data across departments within the Enterprise.

Combined this data could be better used to solve complex business problems; better market companies; eliminate gross inefficiency while driving innovation.


So what to do?

Complex business and data problems need what’s culturally acceptable for a large corporation while highlighting the value-add that Social Media presents. This can be done by employing an MDM + Social roadmap.


The Roadmap Basics


  • Educate the Executive: Corporate executives have seen their internal data for years. The value of Social Media data is a bit more nebulous.  Explanation and clarification of it’s utility to improve projects or enhance marketing efforts should be focused on.
  • Identify Executive Champions: Without support from the C-level, most projects are destined for budget cuts or failure. Nip this one in the bud.
  • Develop a Data Champion: It’s not all about Social Media data. Understanding MDM data will help highlight Ultraviolet data and allow for clearer mapping and use of Social Data
  • Commission a Social Readiness Audit: Your company may have survived the Dot Com age, but what systems need upgrading? What needs done to map data from AS/400 and Database repositories to Omniture, Social and behavioral data? For banks and retailers – do you have systems that contain profiles that should be included? Are you looking at the customer (B2B or B2C) holistically?
  • Develop Data Policies and Guidelines: Know how you’re going to use the data and where it may cause kinks along the way.
  • Following the Audit, Evaluate and Plan: Social Media data and Social Media applications shouldn’t be an afterthought. Evaluate critical business projects for areas where Social and Social data could be huge value-adds.
  • Manage Expectations and repeat the process quarterly: Change isn’t an overnight process. Inculcating Social and leveraging Social data could be a multi-year process. Just know that if these guidelines are followed, you’ll be in a good position to enhance the business in a way that adds to the bottom line.

On Iconoclasts and Forced Expectations in New Media

It’s 2011. However, let’s take a quick stock of 2010.

2010 was the year where twitter was elevated beyond the marketing and communication medium that it is, to become journalist’s new media “source”. Politicians were harangued; retractions were made and everyone was pushed to watch their P’s and Q’s.

A few examples:

Sarah Palin (@sarahpalinusa) stumbled with her juxtapositioning of the word refute over repudiate to write “refudiate”, creating a media feeding frenzy.

Benny Morson of the Rocky Mountain News live tweeted a funeral resulting in a problems for the paper, as well as a “Miss Manners” like realization of “don’t liveblog a funeral”.

Mike Wise (@mikewiseguy) tweeted a few fake rumors about Ben Rothlisberger and the Steelers, resulting in backlash from a wide section of the football watching twitterverse and traditional media.

The personal livestreams of people consulting on @park51 became easily confused with that of consultants (including myself) who were working with the account.

Political rhetoric leading up to the the 2010 midterm election resulted in numerous politicians, pundits and politicos leveraging social media to put their two cents in. Typically, as it was either short form (Twitter) or easily taken out of context (Facebook, Twitter), it easily presented a cultural problem which even brands have had a hard time acclimating to.

In a nutshell, it violated Fuller’s law of 20% new for easy acceptance, and should be viewed as a foretelling of expectations to come.

Much of this comes on the heels of expectations carried over from the last dot com boom. Today, holding on to these expectations can affect brand health, political success and in the case of politicians, personal brand.

When we moved from traditional brick and mortar to click and pay models, our Marketing and Advertising shifted. However, our CSR processes, CRM and PR stayed the same. Companies, Politicians and Icons who were accustomed to the “Mad Men” model of broadcasting their messaging and dealing with feedback or pushback through established, traditional means stayed the same.

As Web 2.0 evolved into social media, consultants from a wide variety of industries became new-styled change agents that helped companies market, advertise, address CSR and CRM issues WHILE performing a digital parallel of traditional PR tasks. This shift impacted industry in large ways, as companies were now utilizing the same employees or consultants to address campaigns and issues that were traditionally siloed within corporate departments.

One only has to look at any great Ad campaign to see the integration of traditional marketing with social media (e.g. Ford, Pepsi, OldSpice). In a short span of five years, what was once a traditional Marketing or PR function, has become part and parcel of integrated marketing and social media.

What does this mean?

It means that you can’t run a $2M print campaign and throw $20k at social with wild expectations of results.

It means that the complications that used to arise from a failed campaign are now more complicated.

It means that companies need to have social campaigns that are developed with a sensible strategy and adequate monitoring tools, so they can be tended to in realtime.

It also means that companies will have to deal with a new rank and file of employee or consultant. One that may have an online identity that is superior to your own brand and potentially a facebook fan page with more fans than your product.

These people are Iconoclasts and have a sense of humor and often levity that transcends their work. Simply, they are not your brand. They are their brand, often helping your brand in a social ecosystem.

While politicians are a hybrid of self-identity and brand, most traditional brands lack an identity.

Iconoclasts, in the traditional sense, become much more amplified within new media, as they leverage their consulting or marketing expertise in tandem with acumen for social media and market engagement.

They’re redefining PR and marketing, as well as forming a baseline of expectations for where new media will take MARCOM (Marketing Communications) in the next few years. The impacts on how they engage across new media via social

They also have lives that are separate from the brands they represent; lives that encompass a wide breadth of Millenial and Gen-X attitudes, interests and lifestyles.

In 2011:

Journalists would be best served to start using a crowbar to start separating the Iconoclast from the brand.  They’d also be better served by trying to understand the context of tweets, posts and wall posts prior to using them as “trusted sources” or erroneously reporting details.

Brands, who are dipping their toes in social media, should consider themselves on notice to begin developing reasonable budgets and expectations for both their consultants and campaigns.

Engaged Brands should seek to keep their leading edge, by leveraging metrics and tools in ways that tie their digital advertising and marketing to social media (also PR), video and SEO.

Lastly, we all should take stock of the changing nature of culture. If one can be lambasted in the media mid-year and have one’s “mistake” become word of the year – there’s obviously change afoot that we all need to pay attention to.

Happy New Year!