Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nielsen & Facebook: What's the deal?

This week, Nielsen Research and Facebook announced a strategic partnership. From this partnership, a new product (Nielsen's Brandlift) is available which marketers can immediately capitalize on. Here's what it provides:

Social Media Focus Groups - With 300M user, Nielsen's market research can have access to a vast and deeply mined focus group of Facebook users to gauge effectiveness of different creative executions of Facebook advertising. All polls are opt-in and no personally identifiable information is shared.

Connect the dots with social media advertising and purchase intent. One of the biggest challenges to social media is that it's hard to measure impact without immediate sales on the site. By partnering with Facebook, Nielsen can "...measure consumer attitudes and purchase intent from display advertising that appears on the site. There are plans to leverage Brandlift on other online sites in conjunction with Facebook.

Measure how engaged Facebook fan pages change consumer attitude and behavior. The first pilot customer of the Brandlift product was P&G. Through this partnership they found that their campaign had driven an 11% lift in purchase intent overall and a 33% lift in their target demographic (women: 13-18). Very good results overall for their first pilot.

Foundational in measuring multi-channel campaign effectiveness. Nielsen has dominated results in measuring television and online audiences. It's no surprise it's a win-win for Facebook and Nielsen. Facebook gets brand credibility and (hopefully) proven advertising effectiveness, and Nielsen gets access to a new channel audience. The partnership establishes a long-term foundation to realize advertising revenue opportunities and measure effectiveness for this audience.

In case you missed it - here's the video of Sheryl Sandberg's (COO of Facebook) keynote at Advertising Age, read more about Sheryl and Steve Zukerman (CEO) of Facebook on Forbes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SaaS products: Capitalizing on Social Opportunities

Watch TV much? No? Did you know that according to Nielson, in July users spent and average of 5 hrs, 10 minutes on Facebook? I missed the last season of Lost, and heard there was a new show about advertising in the 60s, but man, I do know that a few friends successfully weathered the fires in Los Angeles, and that the health of my friends cat is doing much better. I'm a Facebook casuality. While advertising is declining at a double-digit rate, the behavioral shift seems to be towards social networks- spending time reading tweets and videos - and some of the money at least seems to be following.

As marketing advertising shifts more to online advertising, email, social media and mobile, SaaS marketing software providers are often one step behind the hockeystick growth - with metrics and execution tools to streamline and report out on the overall success of the social channel. Here's a few things I'm seeing:

1. Web Analytic providers integrating social media and emerging channels in digital analytics. Recently Omniture launched their CMO dashboards. Like many web analytic provides these bundle various digital channels: online direct, online advertising, search mobile, and social. Now it's beyond reporting metrics - it's analysis on channel performance - to prove the value of their marketing budgets.

2. CRM providers include customers through social networks channels. integrates communication through Twitter and integrates customers who set up communities on Facebook. They even integrate metrics to measure a communities involvement. Meanwhile Microsoft Dynamics Social Networking Accelerator allows customers to discover online conversation, identifiy influencers, and engage through the Microsoft Dynamic Platform.

3. Email ESPs power social sharing. Whether it's Yesmail's (where I work) integration with ShareThis, or ExactTarget's Social Forward, or Silverpop's Share-to-Social - the majority of ESPs have social sharing technologies that allow an email to be shared to a social site - and tracked.

4. Integrated Marketing Platforms add the social channel. Recently Alterian's acquisition of Techrigy and Axciom's Relevance-X platform brings social media listening in the context of a multi-touch point, integrated marketing platform. These tools add social intellence to the mix to understand behaviorally how customers interact and engage with brands in social media channels - and how they can best leverage this information in interacting with their base.

Convergence - it's what's next. As SaaS providers coming from different perpectives all have their unique bent for capitalizing on social media, I'd predict that SaaS providers which complement each other (Marketing Platform + pure emerging channels, for example) will converge to show metrics on social marketing success in the context of evaluating marketing channel performance and maximizing customer value as a whole.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Social Media - An Essential Component of Multi-channel Campaign Management

There are some great reads on multi-channel campaign management from Forrester's "Campaign Management Needs a Reboot" (4/2009) from Suresh Vittal as well as "Gartner's Magic Quadrant for CRM Multichannel Campaign Management." From both research organizations, there's interesting trends in how social media software companies are beginning to integrate with multi-channel campaign management solutions.

1. Integrate listening into customer touchpoints. Customers converse with brands increasing through social networks and social applications. Campaign Management solutions need to be able to view listening from social media channels (networks, communities and otherwise) as new channels to integrate within the context of an existing conversation with the customer. This is a critical component to getting brand kudos in recognizing who your buyers are. Lithium technologies, for example, has partnered with RightNow and Awareness has partnered with Salesforce, Rightnow and Clarify to ensure customers connecting through social media channels are integrated in the pipeline.

2. Realize that consumers choose what and how they communicate with the enterprise. Companies like Yesmail (where I work), Silverpop and Datran media are reaching customer in their email and social inbox. Customers increasingly reach out to brands by Twitter, Facebook, and other channels. Sadly marketing and communication channels still are playing catch-up in this channel in keeping their brand top of mind.

3. Ensure multi-channel isn't just digital and offline - it's inbound and outbound too. Advertising, search, direct mail, email and SMS are fine for delivering outbound messaging, but a true campaign management solution also uses inbound channels from social media, web, call centers and store locations into the mix of campaign management so the interactions with customers have the same face to the brand. Campaign Management solutions should make it easy to distribute content and offers to many channels. Post-launch analysis and reporting from the tool should reflect the multi-channel touchpoints in terms of campaign performance. Companies like Omniture are partnering with social media analysis tools like Collective Intellect to analyse and rank social media contributors within the larger context of web analytics.
4. Customer data append services needed. Most organizations have a fragmented look at their customer. They know there telephone number, but not their email, and not their Twitter profile, or who they are on Facebook. As customers increasingly get impatient with mass marketing, and more selective on choosing companies that 'know them' - data append services, whether social or traditional will become a critical component in filling in the picture of who a brands customers are - in the various channels in which they live - and having a positive experience with the customer as a result (well.... if done correctly).