Friday, October 12, 2007

Time is now

The first morning keynote at the Forrester Consumer Forum featured Josh Bernoff, VP at Forrester Research, gave brands an accessible road map to break into the Social Networking space and he reminded them that the time is now to make practical use these social technologies.
Instead of focusing on technologies, brands need to focus on objectives to be successful and get the buy-in from senior executives.

He introduced 5 key objectives:


Learning from what customers are saying by developing sounding boards for researching decisions (Communispace/Think Passenger, Market Tools)

Monitor buzz to measure ongoing trends and perceptions (Brand monitoring – Nielsen Buzz Metrics, etc.)


Two-way conversation, not just shouting
Let fans spread message more easily (Social Networks)
Communicate continually and monitor responses (Blogs)

Helping your customers to recruit others

Energizing with ratings and reviews
Use customer opinions to boost sales - Ratings and reviews (Bazaarvoice, etc.)
Designate lead customers to energize others - Brand ambassador programs


Enabling your customers to support each other
Enable customers to solve each others’ problems (Support Forum)
Enable customers to build solutions together (Wikis)


Involving customers in your product development
Harvest customer ideas in a public setting - Idea community (
Cultivate dedicated idea generating community - Private community

He also recommended to calculate the ROI of Conversational Marketing. This would change the perception of SN initiatives within organizations and allows for bigger budgets

He emphasized that diving into social media initiatives will change your company:

Customer feedback in all your processes
Much faster development cycles
Frequent trial balloons
Faster, smaller failures
Internal boundaries break down

And, as a last carrot for the brand managers in the audience:
If you tap into the power of SN, you will get more powerful within your organization.

Can you see brand managers developing SN initiatives this weekend?
I do.

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