Thursday, June 18, 2009

Interview with Jeremiah Owyang

A while back when I was at the Forrester Marketing Summit, I sat with Jeremiah Owyang, and thought it was worth a post. If you don't know, Jeremiah works at Forrester Research in Interactive Marketing - with a focus on social media marketing. As part of the Forrester Summit, I had a chance to ask a few questions. Here our conversation....

1. Some of my colleagues are a little hesitant about the free aspect of Social Media. What do consumers want in return for influence?
Consumers want to be heard and see that their input has had some effect. Social Media has made major inroads in product innovation in that consumers are gravitating to products they have influence in shaping. There is definitely opportunity in gaining market share by tuning in to what consumer want. The key is to not let suggestions go unnoticed - or you'll be seen as just a social media black hole.

2. How are marketers approaching marketing in social media spaces?
There is some hesitation on approaching social media, but is embraced in some capacity by the vast majority of consumer brands. They are setting goals and aligning social networks to meet those marketing objectives (brand perception, sales, promotions, etc). Measurement is predominantly web tracking.

3.Are marketers thinking in the terms of 'campaigns'?
Yes, and it's unfortunate because at best it's an ongoing conversation with consumers. (A good study to start with a multi-online approach is Forresters 'Campaign Management Needs A Reboot.') It's unfortunate they think of campaigns because at best it's an ongoing conversation with consumers.

4. Which companies are trying to provide services to marketers in this space?
Of course, the Listening platforms are having the best traction, but also, plus integrations in social media with SAP CRM, Salesforce, and Shoutlet. Also in terms of campaign management and widget creation: Gigya, Widgetbox, Clearsping, Newsgator, Rocku, and Slide.

5.How are marketers measuring social media campaign response on the backend, and what metrics are most critical to track as the channel evolves?

Certainly traditional metrics are increased traffic to the brand site, clicks, follows, and sales, but there is more strategic moment in tracking the velocity of engagement (time+energy- resulting momentum).

6.Who typically "owns" the social media marketing responsibility (and budget) within an average organization? Is it a shared responsibility across the marketing organization, or are most companies hiring internal experts or contracting with agencies?

It's marketing - but as sales and customer support also are using social media - it's beginning to expand in responsibility and taking a SWOT team approach to customer and prospect engagement.

You can follow Jeremiah on Twitter @jowyang or his blog.