Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘social intelligence

Live @ IBM InterConnect 2012: Deepak Advani On Big Data Analytics

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Deepak Advani, vice president with IBM’s Business Analytics organization, owns strategy and development for products in the business intelligence and predictive analytics arenas.

Deepak Advani has had a rich and storied career, starting out with IBM before later becoming chief marketing officer for Lenovo, then returning to the IBM fold to focus on the massive information management opportunity.

In particular, on business analytics, and how the improved utilization of technology for analyzing big data can help companies drive desired business outcomes.

Deepak owns the strategy and development for IBM’s Business Analytics products and solutions group, and his portfolio includes products for business intelligence, predictive analytics, risk analytics, social media analytics and financial performance management.

At IBM InterConnect recently in Singapore, Deepak sat down for a chat and explained how organizations should go about tackling the business analytics opportunity. He also provided some insight into the PureSystems PureData announcement, as well as to how organizations can more effectively utilize social intelligence data.

Impressions From SXSW Interactive 2012: Q&A With Converseon CEO Rob Key On The Art Of Social Listening

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Rob Key, the CEO of social media consultancy Converseon, was social media longgg before social media was cool. Rob’s company has been a leader in the art of social intelligence — putting one’s organizational ear to the cyberground and listening for actional signs and signals about one’s brand — well before most of us knew there was an opportunity to be had.

Rob sat down with me at the IBM Future of Social Business lounge to discuss the art and science of social intelligence, explaining both the challenges and opportunities in this burgeoning and, for marketers, critically important space.

IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study: From Prime Time To Real Time

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As a marketer for IBM who specializes in the digital realm, I was excited to hear about the pending IBM 2011 Global Chief Marketing Officer study, a study of more than 1,700 chief marketing officers from 64 countries and 19 industries, and couldn’t wait to see the results.

The wait is over.

Today, IBM released the results of this important study, one that reveals that the majority of the world’s top marketing executives recognize there’s a critical and permanent shift occurring in the way they engage with their customers, but who also question whether their marketing organizations are prepared to manage the change.

Click to enlarge. The vast majority of CMOs surveyed in the IBM 2011 CMO Study indicated that they are underprepared to manage the impact of key changes in the marketing arena.

Some other initial headlines: The study reveals that the measures used to evaluate marketing are changing. Nearly two-thirds of CMOs think return on marketing investment will be the primary measure of the marketing function’s effectiveness by 2015.

But even among the most successful enterprises, half of all CMOs feel insufficiently prepared to provide hard numbers.

Most of these executives — responsible for the integrated marketing of their organization’s products, services and brand reputations –- say they lack significant influence in key areas such as product development, pricing and selection of sales channels.

The IBM study found that only 26 percent of CMOs are tracking blogs, 42 percent are tracking third party reviews and 48 percent are tracking consumer reviews to help shape their marketing strategies.

“The inflection point created by social media represents a permanent change in the nature of customer relationships,” said Carolyn Heller Baird, CRM research lead for the IBM Institute for Business Value and the global director of the study.  “Approximately 90 percent of all the real-time information being created today is unstructured data. CMO’s who successfully harness this new source of insight will be in  a strong position to increase revenues, reinvent their customer relationships and build new brand value.”

An Ever-Changing Marketing Landscape, An Empowered Consumer

Customers are sharing their experiences widely online, giving them more control and influence over brands.

This shift in the balance of power from organizations to their customers requires new marketing approaches, tools and skills in order to stay competitive.  CMOs are aware of this changing landscape, but are struggling to respond.  Four out of five CMOs expect that they will have to make fundamental changes to traditional methods of brand and product marketing.

Baird likened marketers who underestimate the impact of social media to those who were slow to view the Internet as a new and powerful platform for commerce.

Like the rise of e-business more than a decade ago, the radical embrace of social media by all customer demographic categories represents an opportunity for marketers to drive increased revenue, brand value and to reinvent the nature of the relationship between enterprises and the buyers of their offerings.  Marketers who establish a culture receptive to deriving insight from social media will be far better prepared to anticipate future shifts in markets and technology.

As someone who has been intimately involved in helping IBM make a successful transition into providing enhanced social intelligence for marketers here inside Big Blue, this is music to my ears.

While CMOs identify customer intimacy as a top priority, and recognize the impact of real-time data supplementing traditional methods of channel marketing and gathering market feedback, most CMOs say they remain mired in 20th century approaches.

Eighty-percent or more of the CMOs surveyed are still focusing primarily on traditional sources of information such as market research and competitive benchmarking, and 68 percent rely on sales campaign analysis to make strategic decisions.

Click to enlarge. CMOs surveyed in the study indicated they are overwhelmingly underprepared for the data explosion and recognize need to invest in and integrate technology and analytics.

Managing the Four Challenges

Collectively, the study findings point to four key challenges that CMOs everywhere are confronting. The explosion of data, social media, channel and device choices and shifting demographics will be pervasive, universal game changers for their marketing organizations over the next three to five years.  But a large majority of CMOs feel unprepared to manage their impact.

  • Data explosion:  Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90 percent of the world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone.  The increasing volume, variety and velocity of data available from new digital sources like social networks, in addition to traditional sources such as sales data and market research, tops the list of CMO challenges.  The difficulty is how to analyze these vast quantities of data to extract the meaningful insights, and use them effectively to improve products, services and the customer experience.
  • Social platforms:  Social media enables anyone to become a publisher, broadcaster and critic.  Facebook has more than 750 million active users, with the average user posting 90 pieces of content a month.  Twitter users send about 140 million tweets a day.  And YouTube’s 490 million users upload more video content in a 60-day period than the three major U.S. television networks created in 60 years.  Marketers are using social platforms to communicate – with 56 percent of CMOs viewing social media as a key engagement channel – but they still struggle with capturing valuable customer insight from the unstructured data that customers and potential customers produce.
  • Channel and device choices:  The growing number of new marketing channels and devices, from smart phones to tablets, is quickly becoming a priority for CMOs.  Mobile commerce is expected to reach $31 billion by 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent from 2011 to 2016.  Meanwhile, the tablet market is expected to reach nearly 70 million units worldwide by the end of this year, growing to 294 million units by 2015.
  • Shifting demographics:  New global markets and the influx of younger generations with different patterns of information access and consumption are changing the face of the marketplace.  In India, as one example, the middle class is expected to soar from roughly 5 percent of the population to more than 40 percent in the next two decades.  Marketers who have historically focused on affluent Indian consumers must adapt their strategies to market to this emerging middle class.  In the United States, marketing executives must respond to the aging baby boomer generation and growing Hispanic population.

Lack of Influence

Today’s CMOs have to cover more ground than ever before.  They have to manage more data from disparate sources, understand and engage with more empowered customers, adopt and adapt to more sophisticated tools and technologies – while being more financially accountable to their organizations.

Click to enlarge. CMOs surveyed believe that they can expand their personal influence by shifting to new capabilities that focus on technology, social media and ROI.

In fact, 63 percent of CMOs believe return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend will be the most important measure of their success by 2015.  However, only 44 percent feel fully prepared to be held accountable for marketing ROI.

Most CMOs have not traditionally been expected to provide hard financial evidence of their ROI.

But given the current economic volatility and pressure to be profitable, organizations can no longer afford to write a blank check for their marketing initiatives. CMOs recognize they now need to quantify the value they bring to the business, be it from investing in advertising, new technologies or any other activity.

This increasing emphasis on ROI also reflects the scrutiny the marketing function is currently attracting, itself a reflection of the function’s growing prominence.  Today’s CMOs are in much the same position as chief financial officers (CFOs) were a decade ago, when their role was evolving from guardian of the purse strings to strategic business adviser.

If CMOs are to be held responsible for the marketing returns they deliver, they must also have significant influence over all “Four Ps”: promotion, products, place and price.  The study found that this is often not the case.

CMOs say they exert a strong influence over promotional activities such as advertising, external communications and social media initiatives.  But, in general, they play a smaller role in shaping the other three PsLess than half of the CMOs surveyed have much sway over key parts of the pricing process, and less than half have much impact on new product development or channel selection.

To meet these new challenges, CMOs must boost their own digital, technological and financial proficiency –- but many seem surprisingly reticent in this respect.  When asked which attributes they will need to be personally successful over the next three to five years, only 28 percent said technological competence, 25 percent said social media expertise and 16 percent said financial acumen.

About the Global CMO Study

The 2011 IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study is IBM’s first study of CMOs — and the fifteenth in the ongoing series of C-suite Studies developed by the IBM Institute for Business Value.

Between February and June 2011, IBM met face to face with 1,734 CMOs in 19 industries and 64 countries to better understand their goals and the challenges they confront.  The respondents came from a wide variety of organizations, ranging from 48 of the top 100 brands listed in the 2010 Interbrand rankings to enterprises with a primarily local profile.

Click here to register and receive your copy of the IBM 2011 Global Chief Marketing Officer study.

Full ACM Interview On Social Intelligence

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I was asked by a reporter for the Association For Computing Machinery (better known as the “ACM”) Web site to do an interview recently on the subject of social intelligence.

You can see the fruits of our interview here.  Paul Hyland, the reporter, did a nice job of synthesizing the essence of what we communicated in our email interview.

However, there were a few things left out that I felt would have been helpful to the audience, so I’m attaching the full email interview exchange below.

Social intelligence as a social media analysis discipline is still in its infancy, but at IBM we’ve been working in this arena for several years. Though I see much analysis and focus in the marketplace around the social analysis tools, there seems to be a deficit on some of the organizational and methodological approaches necessary for effective social intelligence gathering and actionability.

Hopefully the full interview below provides some insights into how many of us are thinking about this space inside IBM, and certainly I welcome comments and others’ observations on the subject!

  • For those ACM News readers who aren’t familiar with the emerging concept of “social intelligence” (SI), can you give me a quick explanation of what it is all about and why it has become so important today? What are a few of the most obvious applications of SI?

I’m not going to try and speak for the entire industry, but will share an explanation of the concept as we’ve started to recognize it inside IBM.

Simply put, social intelligence is the gathering, management, and analysis of business intelligence via the social media.

Business intelligence, of course, can encompass a wide gamut of actionable data and insight that can assist organizations in their decision-making.

To answer the question of why it has become so important, it’s probably best to answer the last part of the question, as to what the most obvious applications of social intelligence are.

The importance is driven by the changing business realities that the advent of the social media represents.  There are now billions of people online around the globe, and those people represent a huge diversity of opinions, preferences, sentiments, and related expressions of interest across an even more diverse set of topics and issues.  That includes expressions that impact brands and organizations around the globe.

Those companies wishing to adapt, learn, and benefit from those expressions are well advised to “listen”to those conversations, and to work to glean useful information and insights from those expressions.

To do that effectively and efficiently requires organizations to establish new ways of gathering market insight and intelligence, this time via the social media, and to structure their social intelligence gathering efforts in a way that maximizes the benefit they get from the data and insight collected there.

Actual examples run the gamut of business functions.  PR and communications may be listening in order to understand the impact of a recent PR initiative…Marketing may be interested in understanding the awareness of a new product or service, or perhaps to understand how the competition is faring…support or CRM in a service business may be wanting to understand how happy customers are, or aren’t, with a new service initiative.  There are a garden variety of social intelligence mining opportunities.

  • Talk to me a bit about the analysis of SI data, which is more import to our readers than is the gathering and management of SI data.  What are the key aspects involved in that analysis?

Great question.  Whenever I talk to people about social intelligence, I like to put it in some kind of a construct to help people get their heads around the opportunity it presents.

I refer to the four “O’s” – organization, opportunity, outcomes, and operations.

With respect to organization, you need to determine where in your company the social intelligence gathering and analysis function should reside, as that will help determine the type of insight and analysis you’re to gather.

Opportunity helps determine what you’ll eventually come to analyze.  If you’re an organization that largely markets products, your social intelligence analysis could well center around gathering product feature insights, or competitive insights.

The outcomes help put the analysis to practical use.  Too often, companies don’t listen with any sort of end in mind.  Establish a hypothesis and outline what it is that you’re looking to ultimately do with the intelligence you gather. That will help focus and bring clarity to how your organization will use its social intelligence.

Finally, operations.  Build an operational framework for taking action on your social intelligence.  Establish an organizational workflow and identify the constituents whom you will share and ask to act on the social intelligence you distribute.

Then, hold them accountable for the actions emerging from those insights.  Otherwise, you may soon find you’re just gathering intelligence for its own sake instead of actively leveraging the insights you gather from it to the betterment of your business.

I find that this is where too many organizations typically start their social intelligence journey, with the tools and vendors as opposed to what is it they wish to elicit from their efforts.

Go back and start with the four O’s above, THEN, as part of your conscious evaluation of what you’re trying to accomplish, you can start to outline what partner vendors or tools will be your best fit.

If you’ve read any of Forrester’s work in this area, you know they break this market into three key areas: Social dashboards, Multichannel Analytics Providers, and Listening Service Partners.

Full disclosure: IBM is in this business, with products like Cognos Consumer Insight (which would fall into the Multichannel Analytics category), but as a practicing marketer as well, we’ve examined and experimented with tools and vendors across this spectrum.

If you’re simply looking for a dashboard that allows you to monitor the landscape, and you’re going to establish a certain self-sufficiency, then the social dashboard approach may fit best for you.

If you need more handholding or professional services, or want a partner that can help you gather, analyze and even summarize your social intelligence, then an LSP would be warranted.

If you’re looking to gather data both in and outside the social media realm, structured and unstructured, then you’ll need a Multi-Channel Analytics Providers’ solution that can accommodate those unique requirements.

There are scores of vendors in each of these areas, and I’d be doing a disservice trying to mention certain tools without identifying specific use cases.  That said, here is a link to a wiki that was put together of some of the more notable social media monitoring solutions.

  • I know that “social intelligence” is also a psychological term. Are you familiar with that term? In order to avoid confusing our readers, is there any connection between the two? I need to draw a distinction.

I was not aware of the psychological orientation of the term until you mentioned it, but upon looking it up on Wikipedia, I would certainly distinguish that original definition with what I’m referring to here.

That definition describes social intelligence as the exclusively human capacity to use very large brains to effectively navigate and negotiate complex social relationships and environments.

Earlier, I set this discussion up with the definition centering around social intelligence being the gathering, management, and analysis of business intelligence via the social media.

The distinction is pretty clear, although I would argue the former definition could be applicable with the social media definition if you were attempting to do a social network analysis of a group of people online, and trying to understand and negotiate the social relationships and environment (read: the social graph).  Otherwise, I think they’re pretty well distinct from one another.

  • Can you provide a “further reading list” of sources of information on social intelligence for those readers who want to learn more.

I have my own personal preferences.  Since this is an emerging area, a lot of the useful insight you’ll find is on blogs and from people in the analyst’s community.

For the latter, I really like the work Forrester’s Zach Hofer Shall puts out around influence and what he refers to as “customer intelligence.”  Note, however, that though his blog is public, much of Forrester’s research is by subscription only.

I also like to keep up with work from the Altimeter Group, notably Jeremiah Owyang and Susan Etlinger.

And of course, it’s also helpful to follow blogs from some of the key vendors in this space.  A few names I’d suggest would include Converseon, Radian6, Cymfony, and Nielsen Online, among others.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be relevant to our readers concerning SI that we haven’t covered here?

The easiest way to get up to speed on social intelligence is to practice.  Practice definitely makes more perfect in this emerging space.

You can easily practice your own form of simple, DIY social intelligence by establishing a few Google News/Blog alerts.  Perhaps you want to monitor a few keywords relevant to your competition.  Or scan the social media for mentions of your brand.

You don’t have to have a multi-million or –thousand dollar investment to get started, that’s the beauty and economics of social media.  So, do some basic monitoring to get going and build from there.

Also, work to educate your colleagues about the opportunity social intelligence presents by offering them up some insight that nobody has been able to collect.  That will help get and keep their attention, and give you the opportunity to make the case for getting investment to take your social intelligence to the next level.

Memorial Day Travel Whisperer

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Happy Tuesday.

How was your long holiday weekend (for those of you in the U.S.)?

I know, hard to believe Tuesday could come around so quickly.

But let’s wallow in the long weekend just one moment longer.

Question: Have you ever ever wondered what kind of practical insight can be garnered from the social media, by what I like to call “social intelligence”?

Okay then, we’ll use data regarding the Memorial Day weekend travel as an example.

Before the long  weekend, IBM Research and IBM Global Business Services conducted an analysis of blog posts, Tweets, news sites, and other social media in the US which indicated that fewer travelers expected to cancel their Memorial Day Holiday trips compared with last year — and this despite the dramatic rise in the price of gas over the past six months.

During the project, analytics software was used to scan thousands of publicly-available social media postings relating to travel and Memorial Day.

The analysis focused on two six-month periods, November 20 to May 20 in both 2010 and 2011.

It identified more than 11,500 individual references to travel and Memorial Day, and revealed that 1.6 percent of posts in 2011 referenced canceling Memorial Day trips versus 2.8 percent in 2010.

Further analysis suggested that in 2010, with fuel costs hovering in the mid- to upper-$2.00/gallon range, online Memorial Day references tended to focus on the overall cost of travel (driving, hotels, entertainment, etc.)

This year, the references centered around the holiday itself, and references to gas prices were not substantially higher than in 2010.

See the topic cloud below for a visual representation of some of the key mentions from 2011.  In last year’s cloud, “travel cost” was the most mentioned meme.

IBM Fellow and CTO of IBM Global Business Services had this to say about this type of an approach can help businesses:

“As a marketplace of ideas and opinions, the Web can appear raucous and chaotic at times — but there is insight contained in all that data. A better understanding of what people are saying online can help retailers, hoteliers, transportation officials, and others with the extremely complicated process of forecasting demand.”

To learn more visit the IBM business analytics and optimization Website.

Written by turbotodd

May 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm

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