Anyone else feeling like New Year’s Eve was, like, 2 months ago? Seems like an amazingly fast start to the New Year.
Like you, I’m reviewing my annual business objectives as I sit down with members of my team. One of our biggest discussions revolves around which metrics are indicators and which measure business impact.
I think we’re all used to reacting to & measuring volume – views, likes, and followers. It does tell us something and we need base indicators to get a pulse of what’s going on. If you heard a video was posted last week already had a million views, you’d be very curious. Similarly, if I told you a new music service has 2,000,000 followers, there’d be a perception that they’re very popular.
But what these examples don’t show and where social strategy goes amiss is measuring impact. How satisfied are customers? Was there a jump in qualified leads or number of new customers? What was the effect on the business in terms of revenue or profit?
In the Fall of 2011, Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang), partner at Altimeter Group on Customer Strategy, identified this business challenge for social strategists and posted the following advice: Number of Fan and Followers in NOT a Business Metric - What You Do with Them Is. Jeremiah emphasizes that unless your focus on business achievement, you will deem yourself irrelevant. Impact comes when you measure business advances such as: customer interactions, content sharing, engagement in a meaningful (mutually beneficial) dialog, brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, or new product innovation These are more meaningful metrics because they measure a converting activity (from one state to another). The truly savvy marketers and support professional map these more meaningful social success metrics into top line business metrics such as increased revenue, market share, or reducing operational costs.
So, there’s our current task for 2013 goal setting. Take a look through your 2013 commits and make sure you are confident of the following:
Yes, there’s a method and analytic report that can accurately capture this info.
Yes, this will measure a converting activity, not just a base quantity.
Yes, this measure can specifically relate to a top line business goal.
If you get all 3, you’re on your way to having a solid social strategy.
Here's what happens when you miss...
You can also visit www.lithium.com/getserious to assess how serious you really are and get more advice on how to move the needle.
Best wishes for a prosperous and impactful 2013. It's time to get #seriousaboutsocial.
Dan Ziman is Lithium's VP Corporate Marketing. When he isn't sailing round the 'bay, he loves to contribute to in the Social Customers Matter blog right here on the Lithosphere. In the Lithosphere, you can follow him as DanZ and you can catch up with his exploits on Twitter at @lostintheflog
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As Lithium's VP of Marketing, Dan Ziman is 'in the thick of it' on a daily basis. When he isn't sailing round the 'bay, he is a frequent contributor in the Social Customers Matter blog right here on the Lithosphere.
In the Lithosphere you can follow him as DanZ and you can catch up with his exploits on Twitter at @LostintheFlog
I recently attended the annual Forrester Consumer Forum in Chicago. And, in usual fashion, I came away with a new outlook on my digital creativity. Oh, I wasn’t really in a rut… well, maybe a little. And, considering the oodles of free time on my hands between 8am to 10pm, I figured I needed a fix beyond more caffeine on what I could do next.
As I was halfway thru the first day, lessons of an older time began to surface out of every conference session—starting, in fact, with the very first keynote. James McQuivey, Ph.D. , Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, relayed a story about an idea he proposed at an internal research meeting. An idea that others perceived might not be successful. Yes, a potential failure.
McQuivey pushed to have an iPad application created. That certainly wasn’t a new idea. The entire research team wanted the application, as there’s a general feeling that Forrester clients want easier access to published research on mobile devices and tablets. The issue was—it had to be more complete…the mobile app team wanted more time, more features, and they needed proper resources to get the app ready. McQuivey argued, just “get an application out that shows you the last 10 papers you’ve downloaded” (“Yes!” I replied to myself).
But, “No”. The push-back: Holy cow…what if doesn’t work? What if no one likes it? Read = what if my project is a failure? McQuivey’s key point was “don’t try to get it perfect, get it out there and learn”.
In today’s hyper-sensitive, time-intensive world, who the heck has time for less than perfect? Some might even call your project a failure. It’s not comforting to put ourselves in a position of losing responsibility or even our jobs due to lack of performance, particularly when it may be an external/customer-facing program. However, it’s a fairly well-known fact that great wins have often come as a result of learning from early losses.
There have been numerous articles on this topic. One of the most popular articles was in BusinessWeek a few years ago called “Fail Fast, Fail Cheap”, by Doug Hall. Mr. Hall states, “I am not encouraging you to fail. Rather, I am stating the fundamental truth that you can't know the answers before you start. It's foolish to assume you know things that it's not possible to know.”
We’re not talking about “Enron-level" failure. Like positioning your entire company’s market value on non-existent assets. I’m talking about taking that leap into a major initiative to figure out what will work and what won’t. After all, the worst that will happen is that you’re marketing at the same rate as anyone else. If I don’t try, you know you can’t get ahead, and you’re limiting your ability to innovate.
THE QR PILOT
At the Forum, Lithium also staffed a booth on the exhibit floor. We knew that this event would produce a steady stream of great visitors, and it did.
But, along with our sponsorship of the event, we also had an insert included in attendee materials. So, we came up with the idea of handing out one of our most popular tchotchkes – the “Nation Builder” t-shirts in our favorite pantones.
To promote the t-shirt give-away, we included a QR Code on the ad insert (sample in orange).
If you scan the QR Code, it initiates an email with a pre-populated, subject line – “Reserve My T-Shirt, I am a size <enter size>.”
Upon clicking send, the email would go to email@example.com, and we would be able to identify the exhibit hall visitor using their email address.
The technology worked great. And, while it would be quite tough to call this a raging success (there were less than 1% of the attendees that scanned and sent us an email), I wouldn’t call it a failure either. Since there were a few responders, we can now walk away with a clear data point on whether or not this “works” or is even remotely useful for the attendees.
Thus, for every new idea or campaign, we can learn that:
Finding the right way may be by first seeing the wrong way.
A small success can be turned into a big success.
A limited failure may end some ridiculous, time-sucking conversation that’s taken place over the last six months which can finally be put to grave (i.e. you can state this in the meeting without hurting anyone’s feelings—we tried it, it sucked, let’s move on.)
You can make good ground on a major initiative and save the company thousands by not biting off more than you can chew.
If you have that inkling to launch that mobile initiative, create a new conversation lounge for your premier customers, build that partner network, the blog, the iTunes app, the event, the knowledgebase, or the customer experience you’ve stared at, talked about, but haven’t lifted, let’s give it a whirl—with the right dosage and expediency.
Oh, and you could fail and be successful simultaneously, which will always be better than not trying at all.
Warm wishes for your 2012 planning session and new customer experience ideas. I’m off to flag down my CMO and see if my new campaign will reap a “you’re nuts!” response. Then, possibly, I’ll know I’m on the right track.
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As Lithium Technologies’ VP of Marketing, Dan Ziman is 'in the thick of it' on a daily basis.
He is a frequent contributor in the Social Customers Matter blog on the Lithosphere. In the Lithosphere he is DanZ and you can follow him on Twitter at @LostintheFlog
I bolted from LiNC. I’m sure like many others, I didn’t want to leave the LiNC fun, but it was time to get home and daylight was burning. So, I walked up to Market St. and headed southwest from downtown San Francisco at BART speed. And, I was overcome by the thoughts of meeting so many great people who are making great strides for their brands and pushing their careers forward.
I had planned a camping weekend with my son. It was with the Cub Scouts, a parent-child weekend at Camp Cutter Scout Reservation in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I had already packed before I left for LiNC, so now all I had to do was get home and change from business casual to camp clothes. Swapped out my slacks and dress shoes for blue jeans and hiking boots. And, off we went on a short 75 miles journey up into the hills between Saratoga and Santa Cruz.
By 6pm Friday night, just 3 hours removed of the modern luxuries of the Intercon, I had traded in my city by the bay view to an immersion of tall pines, redwood trees, twigs, and dirt. My mobile phone had no service. My warm comfy bedroom was now a tent with sleeping bags and an air mattress (I did remember that). And, quickly I found bug repellent for the early eve mosquitos and the eau de Cutters was in full stench. I went to the restroom, affectionately called a “Latrine”, which was indescribably primitive. I can tell you that it had a huge trench sink with one temperature control - cold water. Very cold water (more on that later).
After a few campsite games and introductions to other parents and young scouts in our campsite, we marched off to the lodge for dinner.
There was a huge kitchen and mess hall to feed the 100+ scouts under the age of 11 and 100 or so parents. More adjustments for me... Gone were the cloth napkins and silverware. It was replaced with napkins that could barely dry a wet pinky, paper plates, and plastic utensils. And, from premium bar to completely dry (scout camp rules). Heck, 2 “dry” days was probably what the doctor ordered anyway.
And, by the time the whole dining hall broke out into a group song, my re-initiation to scouting was complete. I had left behind the Lithium Nation, and now contentedly succumbed to the Scouting Nation.
Back at the tent after dinner and a small campfire, I played Texas Hold ‘Em with my son in the tent with my iPad (did you really think I’d leave that at home?). It’s a heck of lot easier to play card games on an iPad, then trying to find a flat area in a tent to stack poker chips.
At promptly 7:45am Saturday morning, I was awoken by reveille. It was foggy. The tent was slightly damp and about 46° F outside. We put a few layers of clothes and set out for a day of activities including BB Guns, archery, canoeing, and crafts. I drank coffee. I hiked. I even found a few minutes for a nap.
Each parent had to sign-up for one of the shifts in the kitchen. I arrived at 11:45am and was handed a mop and bucket. I mopped about 500 sq. foot of the dining hall, washed huge pans, served pudding, and ate watermelon. I felt good about my contribution and gladly complied with every request. (I’m sure my boss is wondering what it’s like when I act like a good subordinate).
After dinner Saturday night, the whole camp came out for the ceremonial campfire. It had been sunny most of the day, but it was really foggy now and becoming more windy and misty. We were doing everything we could to stay warm. I was able to convince my son and 3 other kids from our Den to lead one of the campfire songs. It’s called the “Little Green Frog” song. With 4 kids at my side, we had 200 people jumping up and down. I was warm and could feel my toes for about 5 minutes. I’ll show the song if you want, but you’ll have to do it with me.
After we lay down for the night, it clouded up. It then started to rain. Really rain. Followed by a deep mountain fog. I awoke around 6am Sunday to find my son and I’s sleeping bags soaked at the foot of the tent. I had to move our shoes to keep them out of a puddle. By 8am it was 42° F outside, we had packed most of our stuff and headed to the dining hall for some warm coffee and eggs. As I was leaving the lodge to go back to our campsite to pack, I found something amazing.
Many, many years ago, as a young scout, I participated in a Western Region conference. This was 10 scouting councils competing for the prestigious “Conclave Award”. It was my first time at the event and we won, and I remember distinctly how much fun I had be part of a winning team and doing whatever I could. Simply nailed to the wall near the main door, there it lay.
The winning plaque from 1981.
This was just the reminder I needed about what I had experienced at LiNC - how accomplishment can exceed the elements. I’m talking about both the accomplishments by Lithium customers and all of the contributions by Lithium employees to make this a great annual event in San Francisco this year. Along, with the inspirational push from Coach VanDerveer.
Thank you to everyone who came, participated, spoke, questioned, blogged, tweeted, ate, drank…even if it was just for one or two sessions. This was a highly memorably event and I really enjoyed meeting everyone. Can’t wait til next year.
For now, back to reality.
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As Lithium Technologies’ VP of Marketing, Dan Ziman is 'in the thick of it' on a daily basis.
He is a frequent contributor in the Social CRM Matters blog on the Lithosphere. In the Lithosphere he is DanZ and you can follow him on Twitter at @LostintheFlog
From Champ to
For the 9th time, the
Stanford Women’s Basketball team finds themselves in the Final 4. For any sport, that’s an extraordinary
great as the team continues to be, as high as they’re expectations are, upsets
or having an off-day are all part of
the game. When you’re a champion,
you’ve got to be ready – on season, off season, pre-season. ‘Cause champions know that when you’re a top
ranked team, there’s also a target on your back.
Which makes Stanford’s results all that more impressive.
Here’s what this year’s 2010-2011 team has already accomplished:
Pac – 10 Champion for the 11 th
32-2 Record and won every home game of the
season – now 63 straight wins at home
Beat UConn to end streak of 90 wins
And, Coach VanDerveer was
named among finalists for the Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year
Add that to the 25+ years of success at Standard which
23 trips to the NCAA Tourney
19 Pac-10 titles
Coached the Women’s Gold Medal Team at the 1996
Inducted into Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in
Check out her full profile: The
Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball, Coach Tara VanDerveer
By all accounts, Tara has built one of the top collegiate
programs for year’s on-end and been a focal point of the Stanford fan base -- effectively the Stanford nation.
Do you think this represents a nation of brand citizens?
You bet it does.
And, if you take a close look at the women who make up this
program they are after all tomorrow’s school administrators, doctors, lawyers,
business leaders…you name it. Each
interested in leveling up their game, their careers, their aspirations.
We admire how Coach VanDerveer has motivated and built competitive
teams. They exude the type of confidence
to overcome challenges and ready to compete with peak performance. Hence, we are honored and super excited to
announce Coach VanDerveer as a featured keynote
at LiNC 2011. Coach VanDerveer
will share her philosophy for motivating and coming thru in the clutch.
GO STANFORD! GO LiNC!
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