When I was at Harvard Business School, one of the most scoffed-at courses we were required to take was “organizational behavior” or OB. We envisioned ourselves creating audacious strategies and new financial instruments — not dealing with mundane “HR issues”.
We couldn’t have been more wrong in our misplaced focus.
You can concoct the best strategies, or invest in the best financial instruments, but it all comes down to a leader’s ability to inspire members of the organization to change, shift, adapt and align around a singular effort. At Altimeter, our research found that the biggest obstacle to digital transformation is culture. Winning in the digital era isn’t about having the right technology — it’s about having the right leadership and team that can execute what is often a constrained and flawed strategy in the face of daunting competition.
That’s why at Altimeter we’re very focused on the role of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) or its equivalent within organizations. We found that HR is often not sitting at the strategy table, or it plays a tangential role as an afterthought. That’s because HR has traditionally been involved in two areas: 1) Recruiting talent, and 2) Mitigating risk of underperforming or rogue employees. For most organizations — as it was for me and my business school classmates — these are ‘keep the business running’ priorities, not necessarily strategic.
HR’s Influence Extends Outside the Organization
What’s changed is that employees are now empowered in the digital era. They are connected not only to each other but also to a broader ecosystem and network outside of your company. Like it or not, they have power because of their ability to leverage mobile, social, and digital technologies, regardless of whether it’s provided by the company or not.
These empowered, connected employees can tap their influence on behalf of their company, and increasingly, they are choosing to work for organizations where they can contribute in a meaningful way to a shared mission and outcome. Or they can vote with their feet and go to a competitor.
I believe the digital transformation of HR and employee engagement will be a competitive advantage for organizations over the next five years -- if you can harness the enthusiasm of great employees, it will be reflected in the bottom line. Our research found that 63% of organizations cite culture as the biggest barrier to digital transformation. This means digital strategies are more of an HR issue than a technology issue. And yet, we treat culture as if it were an afterthought, rather than a starting point.
Issues around talent, culture, and the nature of work not only extend throughout the organization, but also externally. The landscape for CHROs has expanded exponentially to become strategic in nature -- and it’s up to the leaders of an organization to start working in a new way that reflects this reality.
How to Make the CHRO Role Strategic
Given the challenges of modern organization, it’s time to think differently about the role of the CHRO. Here are some of the organizational challenges where HR should play a central, strategic role -- it’s up to the CHRO and other members of the C-Suite to ensure that this happens.
The CHRO Digital Toolkit
In order to support and accomplish these strategic goals, CHROs must have the right digital tools and the team skilled to provide insight and take action. While every organization will need to assemble the platform that will best support their unique strategies, here are some guiding principles to consider:
If your organization wants to become more customer-centric, then developing talent that is focused on customers will be a key strategic asset that CHROs must bring to the boardroom table. Ensure that your CHRO has a place at that table, and the tools and resources to be able to execute on that strategy.
It’s time companies brought HR into the C-Suite.
New updates from Oracle Marketing Cloud help brands unite disparate data and business units on a single platform.
Susan Etlinger’s thoughts on the recent TED@IBM event on data.
A new book by Altimeter’s Brian Solis underscores the importance of great design and empathy in creating lasting customer experiences.
The implications of Facebook’s new range of buttons.
Customer experience is no longer just the responsibility of marketing, martech must be used by the sales and service teams as well.
A new thought leadership study from Altimeter and Cofactor.
Employee advocacy of your brand coupled with divisive political expression can harm both your brand and employee influence in social networks.
What every company needs to consider before organizing for social business.
Companies need to look beyond communication to earn consumer trust.
How Altimeter will continue to do research as a part of Prophet Brand Strategy.
Acquisition underscores the potential of social to deliver results outside the marketing department.
A look at why it is imperative for the IoT industry to invest in, collaborate, and innovate specifically around security and privacy, not just broader IoT verticals.
How much further can we take the “customer profile?”
It’s less about the hardware and more about the interoperability of content, services, use cases, communications across devices.
The implications of connected devices communicating at every moment.
A new report from the CMO Council identifies the biggest barriers to effective lead generation through content.
Brian Solis talks about marketing to Generation “C” at the Adobe Summit EMEA in London.
What you need to know about how companies can use your data to discriminate against you.
When it comes to consumer data use, communication isn’t just ethical, it’s an integral part of brand strategy.
The mixed feelings video creators have about using Facebook instead of YouTube.
What you should keep in mind when evaluating your company’s social business maturity.
How every company should evaluate itself against consumer privacy concerns.
A new report from eMarketer predicts that by 2017, Instagram ad sales will cross $2 billion in ad sales.
What both consumers and businesses can learn from the Ashley Madison cheating website data breach.
The start of a new era for Altimeter Group.
A new survey by Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud highlights the challenges marketers face in using Big Data platforms.
Understanding the full implications of being connected everywhere and anytime.
The way Pinterest discloses its data use practices is a great example for brands.
Brian Solis speaks with Entrepreneur Magazine’s Jason Ankeny on the future of business.
New updates to Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder platform now allow users to map customer journeys across sales, service, marketing and custom apps.
How to get your business noticed in a sea of content and media.
Was Twitter wrong for taking down “Politwoops?”
Jessica Groopman’s guest post for the TRUSTe blog.
With “Buyable Pins,” brands can now use Pinterest to directly sell their products to consumers
The Apple CEO delivered a scathing critique of companies misusing customer information.
Altimeter’s latest consumer survey focuses on privacy in the new age of connected devices.
Why leaders are so hesitant to engage digitally, and what they can do to overcome that fear.
Salesforce is fielding inquiries from potential buyers, one of whom may be its biggest competitor, Oracle.
If customer experience is based upon data, the first step is earning their trust.
The three key benefits sensors can offer retailers for using IoT to drive loyalty.
The implications of Twitter turning off the tap for one of its biggest data partners.
At its annual conference, Marketo launches real-time, automated messaging capabilities for mobile apps, along with new advertising and IoT tools.
Why the competition between the big marketing cloud vendors shouldn’t be the focus of their clients.
Does Facebook’s restriction on its huge data sets serve the public interest?
Oracle announces long-awaited web, data, and commerce integrations for its Marketing Cloud, highlighting its big ambitions for a unified offering of all its enterprise platforms.
The impact of IBM’s partnership with the Weather Company and its mammoth investment in IoT.
A look at the growth of Beacon devices and their impact on consumers.
Facebook is emerging as an even bigger threat to YouTube by announcing some attractive new features for its video platform.
Five definitive use cases illustrating how companies can use sensors to enhance customer experience.
A look at the digital ethics and privacy conversations from this year’s SXSW conference.
How leaders can make the most of the biggest digitally-focused event of the year.
Why won’t Apple focus on the actual use cases for Apple Watch instead of how it looks?
I recently partnered with Genesys to explore the state and future of customer experience (CX).
Sprinklr is taking on the marketing cloud bigwigs with the release of its Content Lifecycle Management platform.
The reasons you need to attend Internet of Things World.
We match up Hillary Clinton’s actions against our social business governance framework.
The CEO of Altimeter Group has a new book out which contains essential guidelines for how leaders can engage employees and customers on digital channels.
What leaders need to do to earn the trust of their employees and consumers in the digital age.
A new law banning the collection of personal information in South Africa could influence legislation in other countries as well.
What social media teams need to do to get tweets showing up in Google search results.
Customer experience is meant to be evocative, not reactive, and the current state of call centers isn’t helping.
A list of essential do’s and don’t for vendors and their PR teams.
The implications of the Internet of Things is so much more than the immediate value of a shiny gadget that connects to the Internet.
A new startup called Locket is revolutionizing the way we use our mobile lock screens by turning it into a content and messaging playground.
DonorsChoose shows how simple targeted emails can produce great engagement across all digital channels.
A new book by Charlene Li tells today’s leaders how to start engaging their employees on the same digital channels as their customers.
Here’s the first, crucial step every organization needs to take before formulating its content strategy.
This year’s results have troubling implications for the technology industry.
The Internet of Things is the next big channel of engagement for brands, yet most of them still find it difficult to get on board.
The digital trends and practices that require the most attention from business executives this year.
We answer all the questions we couldn’t get to during our webinar on the mobile-only customer experience.
A look at the future of advertising in a world where the channels to view them are rapidly changing.
If you’re making the trek to Austin in March, we hope you’ll catch up with the Altimeter crew.
A look at what we give up and gain when we allow our lives to be turned into sources for data.
How content marketers can take advantage of the new partnership that allows tweets to show up in Google search results.
Successful IoT strategies the consumer product world can learn from B2B enteprises.
Sprinklr will be looking to its new COO to convince enterprise leadership of social media’s importance across the entire organization.
Brands aren’t the only ones who must adapt to a mobile-first audience.
Takeaways from all the advertising we saw on Super Bowl Sunday.
Here are five data questions about the Super Bowl that we’d like the answer to.
With a slew of new features, Facebook could be taking up more space in the video marketing mix.
This month, we welcomed Omar Akhtar as our Managing Editor, a role that we created to shepherd exciting new initiatives at Altimeter.
Microsoft’s cool new gadget could be a powerful tool in the hands of a business.
The inevitability of a mobile-only customer experience will have a big impact on how brands create and deliver content.
Why it’s not enough to simple be present on every digital channel
Highlights of what the Big Boulder Initiative accomplished in 2014, and its plans for the new year.
The essential steps you need to take to start building your customers’ mobile experiences.
A look at the best new startups to graduate from Alchemist Accelerator, an accelerator for enterprise collaboration tools.
Things you need to know before you consider spending on Snapchat.
CES 2015 showed that companies are building too many devices, and not focusing enough on the the value they can provide through connectivity.
Before you hire an outside agency to help your content marketing efforts, here are a few key questions you need to ask yourself.
We evaluated the US Congress according to our social governance framework, and the results weren’t great.
The increasing number of collaboration tools is overwhelming employees. Here’s why companies need to simplify.
What you need to know about Facebook’s newly launched workplace collaboration tool, and the impact it could have in a highly competitive space.
These last few years have been an interesting ride. As fun as it has been, it is the next few years that will be the most telling and also transformative if all goes according to plan.
There is an elephant in the room when it comes to the Internet of Things. There is a critical element inherent to just about any IoT application that hardly ever sees the light of day in industry coverage of the topic.
Predictions? Humbug. Never done ‘em, never will. As a research analyst, predictions are antithetical to my methodology, which is research followed by analysis.
In my last post, I discussed some themes for 2015, one of which was an imperative for us as an industry to get serious about digital ethics.
In a late 2013 study, Gallup found that only 13% of workers actually feel engaged at their jobs. What’s worse is that 63% of the workforce is not engaged at all.
When I published the first in a new series of reports exploring the state and future of Digital Transformation, it was almost the antithesis of a typical technology report.
I’m not generally a fan of annual predictions; they always remind me of a carnival in which you’re encouraged to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”; you almost never win the giant teddy bear.
Content marketing is hot, but it is not solely created by, inspired by, or used by marketing.
The story of the blind men and the elephant originated centuries ago in the Indian subcontinent. In the well-known parable, each man has limited context and therefore believes the elephant to be something different. One feels the trunk and thinks it’s a fountain. One touches the ear and thinks it’s a fan. Others think it’s […]
Employees are disengaged at work, and organizations have been exploring how social and digital technologies can address this problem.
For most of digital marketing’s relatively short history, personalization has been the ne plus ultra of sophisticated marketing.
Content. It’s not just for the marketing department anymore. These last few months I’ve been researching how organizations are forming, and benefitting from, what my co-author Jessica Groopman and I are terming a “Culture of Content.”
Companies recognize one of the big opportunities related to the proliferation of consumer channels and devices is to gain deep insights about their customers. Join Janrain and me this Wednesday for a conversation about the opportunities and challenges related to customer data and identity
In our latest research report, “A Culture of Content,” my colleague and co-author Rebecca Lieb and I present a framework for how organizations of any size can establish, evangelize, and foster a culture of content.
We can all pretty much universally agree that with native advertising comes the obligation of disclosure and transparency.
In our research and client work at Altimeter, one of the most misunderstood issues we see is social business governance.
When Facebook announced last week that it will soon become more difficult for brands’ page posts to appear in the news feeds of their friends, fans, and followers, the outcry was predictable.
Facebook is working on a new offering called Facebook at Work, according to the Financial Times.
Charlene Li and I are pleased to offer you Altimeter’s latest research report focused on Social Business Governance.
Every day, there’s seemingly yet another disruptive trend that emerges out of nowhere which affects consumer behavior and the future of everything along with it.
What goes into creating and fostering an organizational culture of content? As an analyst that’s the topic I’m currently researching.
What goes into the marketing process today, and what technology is required? Will a “Marketing Cloud” help coordinate efforts and drive efficiency? What are the alternatives?
We’re in the final stages of a new research report that is looking at the hot space of social selling, exploring how this nascent but quickly evolving approach to the sales process is being used by both sales and marketing teams with both trepidation and success.
According to Wikipedia, “marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product to customers, for the purpose of selling that product (goods or services.)” But that is what marketing used to be
Social selling has become a hot topic. Organizations in every industry are working feverishly to leverage social platforms and social networks for a number of reasons
In a moving talk, she explains why, as we receive more and more data, we need to deepen our critical thinking skills.
Marketers are struggling with a customer journey that has become more complex than ever. The journey is difficult to track across channels and devices. The infographic below illustrates the modern marketing cycle…
I crossed an item off my bucket list when I gave a TED Talk at TED@IBM on Sept. 23rd. The event was part of the new TED Institute, which partners with companies to create TED-curated events.
Altimeter and Capgemini Consulting to Collaborate on Thought Leadership, Research, and Global Consulting
For our latest report, Altimeter Group partnered with LinkedIn to study the importance of relationship building among the most socially engaged companies on LinkedIn. We found that, by using social technologies to improve relationships, businesses witness incredible results.
We’re excited to announce today that we’ve formed a strategic alliance with 7Summits — a social business agency specialized in creating online community experiences.
Now more than ever, content must be recombinant. This means a critical component of content strategy is the ability to rapidly dissemble, reassemble, reuse, repurpose, and remodel discrete elements of digital content.
This week, Facebook re-launched Atlas, the ad platform it bought from Microsoft last year.
Content Marketing: How do we do it globally?
Altimeter’s recent research for its report, The 2014 State of Digital Transformation, uncovered that investing in new digital technologies (social, mobile, big data, cloud, etc.) doesn’t always equate to uniting those efforts around a common vision supported by an updated, integrated infrastructure.
Yesterday, Oracle’s new CTO Larry Ellison kicked off OpenWorld. He focused significantly on the cloud. How are the two themes related?
Ten years ago today, I wrote my first blog post, entitled “Blogging as a State of Mind.”
Altimeter Group is planning to publish a research report this fall on how businesses are enabling sales organizations with social media tools. We will be discussing the markers for social selling transformation, best practices on training and governance, and a snapshot into the suite of tools available as marketing and sales organizations are pushed to […]
As part of our open research process, I would like to extend an invite for your input, feedback, case examples, or any other insights you’d like to contribute to our upcoming research around the Internet of Things.
Today, we’re happy to officially announce the launch of our new site, designed by digital marketing firm Bluetext.
A genuine culture of content goes far beyond enabling and empowering content creators outside of marketing.
We’re pleased to announce that Susan Etlinger, Brian Solis and Rebecca Lieb are each speaking at this year’s event.
While most of the tech and business press focused on the functionality of the Apple Watch (digital crown, battery life, taptic engine, yadda yadda…) discreetly milling around the event were the fashion press, invited by Apple’s new fashion and design team.
Digital Darwinism is a fate that threatens most organizations in almost every industry. Because of this, businesses not only have to compete for today but also for the unforeseeable future.
Our research found that the content marketing space is rife with challenges, both internal to the organization and externally across the ecosystem. The following infographic helps visualize this struggle.
How should content be measured and analyzed? Let us count the ways (or at least begin to).
How should content be measured and analyzed? Let us count the ways (or at least begin to).
I follow the Maker Movement as a consumer, analyst and also as a maker. What is the maker movement?
Businesses today are met with unique challenges and opportunities that necessitate pause. For years, management models were developed to optimize the pursuit of business objectives.
How much does content marketing cost? Tough question, right? So let’s break the question down a bit to try to simplify it.
We recognize that existing RFP templates cannot be retrofitted to the task of soliciting content marketing solutions due to a number of specific challenges.
Pervasive technology fundamentally changes how people communicate, discover and connect. With smartphones and tablets serving as digital appendages, we focus on small screens throughout our day, every day and in all we do.
Lately I’ve been doing a ton of work around the content marketing vendor landscape: conducting research, as well as helping clients ascertain what their technology needs are and pinpoint the vendors that can solve their problems.
There’s a lot of talk about the future of work… Technology is indeed connecting us in ways that improve communication, discovery and connectivity.
What’s a digital newsroom? Seems like such a simple question, until you start pondering the potential answers.
Today, I’m proud to announce the release of Altimeter Group’s second report on Digital Transformation. This new report is aimed at executives and digital strategists to help them (you) further understand the state of digital transformation as you plan your next steps and investments.
It’s no corporate HR secret: the greater investment made into employees, the greater the ultimate reward back to the company.
How teens use social media and why it matters to you. Generation Z = (Today’s Teens, Preteens and Children)
Michael Brenner has long been a recognized leader in content marketing in his role as VP marketing at SAP. Very recently, he joined content marketing technology vendor NewsCred to head strategy for that company…
During the past several years, the television industry has changed dramatically, spurred by device proliferation, changing distribution methods, and the increasing popularity of social media.
Murky research collided with lazy journalism last week to create a torrent of #socialmedia + #advertising = #fail link bait.
Silicon Valley is more than a place, it’s a movement. While many debate where the “next” Silicon Valley will gain prominence, the point that many onlookers miss is that innovation is at the heart of the crusade.
By now, you’ve probably heard that data scientists at Facebook recently published a study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science…
Social Media Examiner’s 2014 annual Marketing Industry Report found that while 97% of marketers use social media in their marketing efforts, only 37% are able to measure the ROI of those activities.
Modern marketing requires deeper customer understanding to drive meaningful engagement. With social media — and the abundance of social profile and activity data — brands can glean this insight to identify and better understand prospects and customers throughout the customer lifecycle.
Today, I’m happy to announce the publication of my research report, Leveraging Social Identity: Know and Engage Customers Better to Build More Valuable Relationships.
Twice a year, we publish our planned research agenda. You can see the first half of the year’s agenda and what’s already been published here. Today, we’re excited to announce our planned research for the remainder of the year.
This month, we need your help with two reports that will be publishing in July. We’re fielding two surveys – on social business governance and employee engagement.
You know about ad stacks, right? Get ready to say hello to the next big thing in content marketing technology: the content marketing stack.
Our new research report, The Content Marketing Software Landscape: Marketer Needs & Vendor Solutions, published today to help marketers navigate the tangled and complex content marketing software landscape.
Today Sprinklr is announcing the availability of a paid media offering as well as a $40M in series D funding led by Iconiq Capital (which notably manages money for many of Facebook’s early employees, among others).
A key factor to creating and delivering a great customer experience is the ability of a company’s workforce to modernize, use new technology platforms to connect with each other and customers, and most importantly, adopt a new mindset of openness and transparency.
Marketing has changed substantially in the past few decades. With the proliferation of CRM, ecommerce, cookies, loyalty programs, etc. marketers have more customer data than ever.
IBM officially joined the Marketing Cloud battle today, with the news that it is acquiring marketing automation vendor SilverPop.
“Digital transformation” isn’t a trendy moniker to signify an increase in technology investment. It’s a renewed focus on the customer and the human side of business.
Late last year, I started wondering about social media command centers. Salesforce had launched one, as had Brandwatch, but I wondered: were they really still relevant? Were companies investing in command center deployments, or had interest subsided since their heyday in 2010?
When Google bought Wildfire for $350M, it took many by surprise. What did Google want with a Social Relationship Management company? Google is in the ad business, not the SRM business.
Your refrigerator has a message for you — and no, it’s not that you need more orange juice– it’s an ad for belly fat pills. Thanks, Refrigerator. This post was originally posted on Wearable World News. The original can be found here.
At the most basic level, the Internet of Things (IoT) is connectivity between people, processes and things. While this is as vast as it sounds — spanning all industries, the enterprise, and consumers — one of the central-most challenges facing…
Two things: To stay competitive with (or arguably ahead of) the giants in the social world—Salesforce, Adobe, and Oracle—Sprinklr needed to build out its analytics capabilities. Sprinklr’s customers increasingly need custom consulting services, especially for implementation and training.
It’s almost that time of year again: Altimeter’s analysts are mapping SXSW plans and schedules. Making the trip to Austin this year are Brian Solis, Susan Etlinger and Rebecca Lieb.
Large enterprises are rolling out social media at scale – and training and education for employees is critical. Well-developed social media education programs can help companies achieve business goals by reducing social media risk and activating employees for engagement and advocacy.
One question Altimeter hears frequently is “What’s next?” A better way to ask this is “What should we care about?” Often with emerging technologies, there is a disconnect between what people are excited or care most about versus what they will actually invest in.
Digital, Social, Content Strategists: We want to hear from you! Would you be willing to participate in our latest survey? Click here to get started: http://bit.ly/1bK8TRE Wondering how other organizations are mapping their customer journeys?
Take a look around our site today, you might notice a very subtle change. We’ve seen a lot of change in our industry, not to mention at Altimeter, since we started five years ago. It felt like the right time to refresh our brand.
Facebook may be losing teens (/the cool kids), but contrary to some beliefs, 2014 will not be a dire year for the company.
Real-time content synchronization between offline and online media has become the darling of social TV, frequently serving as its very definition for companies looking to marry traditional and digital marketing experiences.
As we launch into 2014, the analysts at Altimeter each pulled together a compilation of trends and issues they are watching closely this year.
Customer attention will continue to fragment in 2014, making it harder than ever for brands to engage with customers. But it will also be the year in which brands capitalize on a largely untapped opportunity presented by social media…
As digital channels operate increasingly in the ‘now,’ all marketing organizations must consider to what degree they will function in real-time, and even define what real-time is relative to their operations and marketing organization.
Miss our recent report, The State of Social Business 2013? If you’re looking for a cheat sheet, here’s a visual of the key findings: The graphic below shows how companies are formalizing, organizing, and growing their social media efforts. For example, three out of four large companies now have a dedicated social media team — […]
Miss our recent report, The State of Social Business 2013? If you’re looking for a cheat sheet, here’s a visual of the key findings: The graphic below shows how companies are formalizing, organizing, and growing their social media efforts.
Last year, we asked companies about their top social strategy priorities. The second top response was “Developing Internal Education and Training.” Yet, when we surveyed companies earlier this year, we saw that only 38% had any education program in place, beyond ad hoc efforts.
In the past year, social data has continued to wend its way into organizations of all types, from large enterprise to small business to media and entertainment and the public sector. We’ve seen use cases far past marketing into product and service quality, entertainment programming, customer service, fraud detection and a host of other examples.
Last month, we published our report, The State of Social Business 2013, based on data and analysis from four years of Altimeter’s annual digital strategists’ survey. Today, we’re happy to release the data charts from that report, in a downloadable, easy to share PowerPoint presentation that you can take and inject in your own presentations.
Each year, Altimeter surveys social strategists and executives, and shares our findings and analysis in Open Research reports. In our most recent report, we looked at our survey findings from the last four years, 2010 to 2013, to share our analysis of the state of social business.
On Tuesday, Sprinklr raised $17.5M in series C funding. That follows additional rounds raised by other enterprise social media management vendors in the past year, including: Spredfast raised an $18M series C in February, Hootsuite raised $165M in its series B in August, and HearSay Social raised $30M in its series C in September. What […]
The concept of using game mechanics to achieve desired outcomes may not be new, but to many brands, the use of gamification across the enterprise to drive business value is gaining speed. In our latest research, Altimeter has found that gamification is quickly evolving to become an important component in many organizations’ internal and external […]
I am thrilled to announce the promotion of Andrew Jones to Analyst at Altimeter.
Adobe Marketing Summit and Oracle OpenWorld both took place recently. It’s another month until Dreamforce, but I expect similar announcements to be made there.
Co-written with: Susan Etlinger, Rebecca Lieb, Andrew Jones, Linda Saindon, Brian Solis, and Ed Terpening The not-so-long awaited Twitter S-1 is out and now the intense scrutiny begins.
Jeremiah Owyang will be leaving Altimeter Group at the end of September to start a new company focused primarily on his passion for the Collaborative Economy.
Not since the legislative debate over spam back in the early part of the millennium has a digital marketing term been so riddled by obfuscation and misunderstanding as native advertising.