Digital Transformation: Why and How Companies are Investing in New Business Models to Lead Digital Customer Experiences

April 8, 2014
By Brian Solis, with Charlene Li and Jaimy Szymanski

Businesses are beginning to realize that, throughout their evolution, they must invest in change to keep up with and ultimately lead a new era of connected markets. As a result, companies are now entering an era of “digital transformation” to integrate and improve the customer experience from the inside out. Altimeter Group interviewed 20 ecosystem contributors to uncover what digital transformation is, how companies are embracing change, the challenges and opportunities that emerge, and how to reorganize teams to modernize, optimize, and integrate digital touchpoints. This report covers best practices related to the three key components of digital transformation: a renewed vision and supportive leadership; optimizing the digital customer experience; and forming a digital transformation team.

Shiny Object or Digital Intelligence Hub? Evolution of the Enterprise Social Media Command Center

March 18, 2014
By Susan Etlinger, with Andrew Jones and Charlene Li

To learn more about the state of social media command centers, Altimeter Group spoke with three organizations — MasterCard, eBay, and Wells Fargo Bank — and found significant variations in objectives, priorities and technology for the command centers, but similarities in strategic focus and business planning. In this report, Altimeter analyst Susan Etlinger presents findings, case studies, and expert recommendations for evaluating, building or fine-tuning a Social Media Command Center.

Real-Time Marketing: The Agility to Leverage ‘Now’

December 17, 2013
By Rebecca Lieb, with Jessica Groopman

Digital channels are ‘on’ 24/7, a fact that’s as true for brands as it is for traditional media. Organizations struggle to keep up, not to mention remain relevant. All marketing organizations must now consider to what degree they will function in real time. New research from Industry Analyst Rebecca Lieb and Senior Researcher Jessica Groopman defines real time marketing (RTM), identifies the six RTM business scenarios, addresses the benefits, executional challenges and best practices of RTM and outlines how companies can move into real time readiness.

Social Media Education for Employees: Reduce Social Media Risk and Activate Employees for Scale

December 5, 2013
By Charlene Li and Ed Terpening, with Christine Tran

Based on interviews with ARAMARK, Kaiser Permanente, RadioShack, and more, this report provides a roles-based approach to help organizations design their social media education strategy and curriculum.

The State of Social Business 2013: The Maturing of Social Media into Social Business

October 15, 2013
By Brian Solis and Charlene Li, with Jessica Groopman, Jaimy Szymanski, and Christine Tran

Altimeter Group conducts regular social business surveys to learn how social media is evolving within enterprise organizations. Analysis of survey results between 2010-2013 reveal that social media is extending deeper into organizations and, at the same time, strategies are maturing. What was previously a series of initiatives driven by marketing and PR is now evolving into a social business movement that looks to scale and integrate social across the organization. The following report reveals how businesses are expanding social efforts and investments. As social approaches its first decade of enterprise integration, we still see experimentation in models and approach. There is no one way to become a social business. Instead, social businesses evolve through a series of stages that ultimately align social media strategies with business goals.

Defining and Mapping the Native Advertising Landscape

September 10, 2013
By Rebecca Lieb, with Jaimy Szymanski and Susan Etlinger

This report addresses the questions: What is native advertising and, by extension, what is it not? It also attempts to map and outline product offerings from the native advertising triumvirate: publishers, technology vendors, and social media platforms. What opportunities are inherent in this nascent form of digital marketing? And what are the inherent risks and pitfalls?

Social Data Intelligence: Integrating Social and Enterprise Data for Competitive Advantage

July 25, 2013
By Susan Etlinger

In the past several years, social media has proliferated throughout enterprise-class organizations. Yet social data are still largely isolated from business-critical enterprise data collected from Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI), market research, and other sources. In this report, industry analyst Susan Etlinger lays out an imperative for Social Data Intelligence, identifying key dimensions that organizations must understand, pragmatic steps they can take toward mature integration, and how successful businesses are using social data in the context of other critical enterprise data to drive measurable value throughout the organization.

The Collaborative Economy: Products, services, and market relationships have changed, as sharing startups impact business models. To avoid disruption, companies must adopt the Collaborative Economy Value Chain.

June 4, 2013
By Jeremiah Owyang, with Christine Tran and Chris Silva

Social technologies radically disrupted communications, marketing, and customer care. With these same technologies, customers are now sharing products and services with each other, bypassing existing institutions. Beyond business functions, the Collaborative Economy will impact core business models. This report defines the Collaborative Economy, looks at companies that are already moving into this space, and provides a framework, the Collaborative Economy Value Chain, which companies can use to help rethink their business models.

Organizing for Content: Models to Incorporate Content Strategy and Content Marketing in the Enterprise

April 25, 2013
By Rebecca Lieb with Chris Silva and Christine Tran

Despite an overwhelming trend toward content marketing and the need to continually feed an ever-increasing portfolio of content channels and formats, most organizations have not yet addressed content on either a strategic or tactical level. This report explores scalable organizational models for addressing content needs across the enterprise and makes recommendations for a holistic program.

The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation

March 6, 2013
By Charlene Li and Brian Solis, with Alan Webber and Jaimy Szymanski

Companies are not created equal when it comes to social media maturity. In its latest research, Altimeter Group’s Charlene Li and Brian Solis uncovered a distinct gap between organizations that execute social media strategies and those that are truly a “social business.” On one side, there are businesses (specifically departments) that are actively investing in social media without being tied to business goals. On the other side are organizations that are deeply integrating social media and social methodologies throughout the company to drive real business impact.

As companies mature in social, Altimeter Group found a natural progression through six distinct stages: Planning, Presence, Engagement, Formalized, Strategic, and Converged. In “The Evolution of Social Business,” readers will find common guiding success factors for organizations achieving success in each social business maturity stage, as well as prescriptive recommendations and checklists to grow to the next level of maturity.

Scaling Social Business: How Brands Manage Complex, Distributed Programs

February 7, 2013
By Jeremiah Owyang and Andrew Jones

For brands today, the complexity of social business is steadily compounding. For every additional variable — each account, customer conversation, business unit, location, language, distributor, etc. — social media becomes a greater challenge. Meanwhile, brands struggle to prepare appropriately and adopt the right technology. This report includes four case studies that demonstrate how brands are addressing social media proliferation.

Building a Solid Platform for Enterprise Mobility

September 19, 2012
By Chris Silva

Managing mobile devices proactively depends on more than the tools — such as mobile device management — that offer a “silver bullet” for the onslaught of mobile support requests. IT has two choices: 1) work to patch and fix by continually amending policies and myopic infrastructure or 2) establish a stance rooted in control over the devices in place today and those likely to be requested tomorrow and well into a multi-device, connected future.
Solving this problem and establishing control is an issue not only of the proper technology but key relationships across the organization, informed and enforceable policy, and a multi-part technology stack to operationalize said policy. We call this the mobile control plane, a complex but critical layer of support that serves as the foundation for enterprise mobile rollouts that’s lacking in most companies today.

Guarding the Social Gates: The Imperative for Social Media Risk Management

August 9, 2012
By Alan Webber with Charlene Li and Jaimy Szymanski

Social media is the modern Pandora’s box: it has had a meteoric rise as a tool to interact and engage with customers, but also a dark underside exposing companies to new types of risk. Almost two-thirds of companies surveyed say that social media is a significant or critical risk to their brand reputation, yet 60% of companies either never train their employees about their corporate social media policies or do so only upon hiring. This report outlines how to be more proactive about managing social media risk through following a detailed four-step process: Identify, Assess, Mitigate, and Evaluate.

The Social Media ROI Cookbook: Six Ingredients Top Brands Use to Measure the Revenue Impact of Social Media

July 24, 2012
By Susan Etlinger

Today, customers move constantly between the online and offline worlds, using a range of devices — such as smartphones and tablets — that didn’t exist a few short years ago. Thousands of applications and dozens of social media platforms collect and transmit an unprecedented amount of structured and unstructured data, and API changes are a fact of life. The volatility of social data and the pace of change mean that tried-and-true measurement methods are no longer enough. Social data is different. This report identifies six primary approaches and includes case studies for how organizations measure the impact of social media on revenue.

The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Will Combine Paid, Owned and Earned Media

July 19, 2012
By Rebecca Lieb and Jeremiah Owyang

Advertising and media are converging. The results will disrupt how companies must deploy their marketing efforts. Marketers, and their agency partners must converge their media efforts by combining social, corporate content, and advertising reach –or risk connecting with the fleeting customer. Owned and earned media are vital to campaigns, helping to amplify and spread brand messages through the complex paths consumers follow across devices, screens and media. Advertising, or ‘paid’ media, has traditionally led marketing initiatives both online and off-. But advertising no longer works as effectively as it once did unless bolstered by additional marketing channels. While consumers distinguish less and less between these channels, marketers remain specialized in one medium at the expense of the others. Rather than allow campaigns to be driven by paid media, marketers must now develop scale and expertise in owned and earned media to drive effectiveness, cultivate creative ideas, assess customer needs, cultivate influencers, develop reach, achieve authenticity and cut through clutter. ”The Converged Media Imperative,” a new research report co-authored by Altimeter Group Analysts Rebecca Lieb and Jeremiah Owyang, explores today’s media landscape, and provides a success checklist and actionable recommendations for converged media deployment.

Power to the People: Identify and Empower Your Mobile Workforce

June 7, 2012
By Chris Silva

One-in-two mobile owners in the US owns a smartphone, and many more own tablets. As most of these same consumers adapt their personal lifestyle to be “mobile first,” they expect their employers to be there to meet them. With the growing number of personal mobile devices in the hands of users, as well as increasingly remote organizations , there’s a great opportunity for organizations to increase productivity of their employees by allowing the use of these personal devices. Taking this on seems daunting, as IT has less ability to enforce a single standard than ever before. Not taking action, however, and ignoring this trend risks exposing corporate data to public clouds with no visibility on the part of IT. Enforcing a single standard will do a lot to serve all users partially, but none particularly well. ”Power to the People: Identify and Empower Your Workforce,” the new report by Altimeter Group analyst Chris Silva explores how companies are deploying mobile strategies to meet the the specific needs of their employees and the organization at large.

The Rise of Digital Influence: A “How-To” Guide for Businesses

March 21, 2012
By Brian Solis

Digital Influence is one of the hottest trends in social media, yet is largely misunderstood. The Rise of Digital Influence, the new report by Altimeter Group Principal Analyst Brian Solis is a ‘how-to’ guide for businesses to spark desirable effects and outcomes through social media influence. The report helps companies understand how influence spreads, and it includes case studies in which brands partnered with vendors to recruit connected consumers for digital influence campaigns. Brian evaluates the offerings of 14 Influence vendors, organizing them by Reach, Resonance, and Relevance: the Three Pillars that make up the foundation for Digital Influence as defined in the report. Also included are an Influence Framework and an Influence Action Plan to help brands identify connected consumers and define and measure strategic digital influence initiatives.

Making the Business Case for Enterprise Social Networks

February 22, 2012
By Charlene Li

In 2011, the US hit a milestone — more than half of all adults visit social networking sites at least once a month. But when it comes to using social-networking technologies inside organizations, many business leaders are at a loss to understand what value can be created from Facebook-like status updates within the enterprise. Some organizations have deployed social-networking features with an initial enthusiastic reception, only to see these early efforts wither to just a few stalwart participants. The problem: Most companies approach enterprise social networks as a technology deployment and fail to understand that the new relationships created by enterprise social networks are the source for value creation. In this first of two reports, Altimeter looks at four ways enterprise social networks create value for organizations.

Content: The New Marketing Equation

February 16, 2012
By Rebecca Lieb

Content marketing requires a shift in company culture, resources, budgets, partners, and strategy. Rebalancing is critical to achieve these goals. The choice is whether to rebalance now or later — when the battle for attention may become even more difficult than it currently is. This report from Altimeter Group introduces a five-step content maturity model, complete with real-world case examples, to guide organizations from “standing” to “running” with their content strategy. A self-audit tool, content channel review, and actionable recommendations are also included.

Make an App for That: Mobile Strategies for Retailers

February 7, 2012
By Chris Silva

Retailers are seeing more and more of their customers enter the store with a smartphone; what are they doing about it? Many aren’t doing much. This report chronicles the successes of a few key brands and highlights a means to calculate the maturity of strategies, among others, navigate the right path to mobile, and design an app for success. From companies just starting to ponder mobile and still “on the ground” to those “flying high,” Altimeter illustrates the next steps brands and retailers must take to ensure success.

A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation

January 6, 2012
By Jeremiah Owyang

Get account control now — or risk a career of continual social media sanitation. To match the growing consumer adoption of social media, many companies have launched social media efforts with little planning. As social media spreads beyond corporate communications and marketing, business groups are deploying social media without a standardized process. In fact, enterprise class corporations (those with over 1,000 employees) have an average of 178 social media accounts, and this number will only grow if left unchecked. Companies that don’t control these accounts are at risk of having abandoned accounts, lack of consistent experience, or untrained employees creating a crisis.

Social Business Readiness

August 31, 2011
By Jeremiah Owyang

This report examines four common ways brands are investing in internal readiness. The report looks at how these brands prepared internally to spearhead momentum and makes recommendations on how to dissect business benefits, as well as where continued investment is needed.

A Framework for Social Analytics

August 10, 2011
By Susan Etlinger

This report is intended primarily for business people who are tasked with understanding, interpreting, and acting on social data — executives, strategic planners, social strategists, and marketers. It outlines the key challenges of social data, proposes a value-based framework for social analytics, and recommends clear and pragmatic steps that companies engaged in social media must follow to ensure they are gaining insights, measuring effectively, interpreting accurately, and taking appropriate action — both today and in the longer term.

How Corporations Should Prioritize Social Business Budgets

February 20, 2011
By Jeremiah Owyang and Charlene Li

Altimeter Group surveyed 140 corporate Social Strategists, primary business decision makers at large corporations, and found that social business maturity drives social business spending. In 2011, our data shows that investment in 12 discrete social business categories will vary greatly between three social business maturity levels: Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced. Faced with difficult spending decisions, corporations should heed the benchmarks from our survey — spending on social business should be prioritized on key areas for each maturity level.

Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist

November 10, 2010
By Jeremiah Owyang

Senior managers must hire and foster a Social Strategist’s career based on our 10 guidelines, including the following: find a candidate who comes from a strong digital or marketing background, seek those who focus on business objectives over the latest technologies, and give them the opportunity to take on risk safely. Furthermore, because these programs can cause internal strife, executives must provide air cover and clear roadblocks and then appropriately reward their Strategist with challenges and compensation — or risk losing this key person to companies who can understand and leverage their skills.

Rise of Social Commerce: A Trail Guide for the Social Commerce Pioneer

November 1, 2010
By Lora Cecere and Jeremiah Owyang

Meet the digital consumer. The “Great Recession” set the stage for this new era, and emerging technologies accelerate the transformation. The shopper has fundamentally changed and wants a new buying experience. Trust in big brands is low. Consumers want confidence in what they buy from their friends, as well as insight from their community. Social technologies are enabling this shift in shopping habits. They are maturing from social for the sake of being social in marketing to a new and transformative phenomenon: what we call “The Rise of Social Commerce.”

The 8 Success Critera for Facebook Page Marketing

July 27, 2010
By Jeremiah Owyang

Altimeter Group conducted research and gleaned input from 34 vendors, agencies, and experts to determine success criteria and develop a roadmap for Facebook page best practices. We found eight success criteria for Facebook page marketing and then tested the maturity of 30 top brands across six industries. Our heuristic evaluation revealed that brands fell short — nearly half of the brands we reviewed (14 out of 30) did not fully leverage social features to activate word of mouth, the hallmark behavior of social networks. Within this immature landscape, a few brands were on the right track to successfully harnessing Facebook page marketing. Brands like Pampers, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and AXE increased engagement and activated word of mouth through advocacy and peer-to-peer interactions, or they solicited business calls to action that resulted in transactions.

Social CRM: The New Rules of Relationship Management

March 5, 2010
By R “Ray” Wang and Jeremiah Owyang

Customers continue to adopt social technologies at a blinding speed — yet organizations are unable to keep up. Why? Rapid adoption of social networking enables users to connect with individuals and communities who share mutual interests, increasingly leaving organizations out of the conversation. Simply hiring more people to keep up with social marketing, sales, and support will not be sufficient, as consumers and their new channels will always outnumber employees. As a result, companies need an organized approach using enterprise software that connects business units to the social web — giving them the opportunity to respond in near-real time and in a coordinated fashion.