Research Agenda

Q1-Q2 2014

Do You Really Need a Social Media Command Center?
by Susan Etlinger

In June 2010, Gatorade unveiled its “Mission Control Center,” and in December of that year Dell announced its “Social Media Command Center.” Organizations such as NASCAR, The Oregon Ducks and others have since discussed how they organize social data in a command center model. In 2013, Salesforce and Brandwatch announced command center products. But are these command centers useful, or do they create yet another shiny object—worse, a cost center—within the business?

How the Rise of Social Media is Revitalizing the Digital Revolution
by Brian Solis and Jaimy Szymanski

Social media has led to a revolution in business marketing, communication, and service, but social media in of itself isn’t a means to an end. Instead, it is a powerful catalyst for business transformation. Successful companies are exploring how new technologies can reach and engage customers at every stage of the customer lifecycle. Marketing, service, sales, web, email, and more must now work together to drive desired experiences, optimize click paths, cultivate meaningful relationships, and drive business outcomes. To do so takes nothing less than an infrastructure inspired by new vision and supported by updated or entirely new systems, processes, and teams. To compete for the digital future, companies require complete business transformation.

A More Valuable Customer Relationship: Leveraging Social for Improved Cross-Channel Engagement
by Andrew Jones

Brands face increased competition for customer attention every day. The customer journey has become incredibly fractured, moving across various channels and devices while getting bombarded with more messages than ever. It has never been more complex—yet also so necessary—for brands to target and personalize customer messaging. Social media represents an opportunity to better understand individual consumers and then tailor communication with them across various channels, including email, advertising, website and others.

Vendor Overview: Content Marketing Software
by Rebecca Lieb and Jessica Groopman

As content marketing and content strategy grow in importance and adoption, a plethora of tools and technologies have appeared to help store, manage, share, curate, aggregate, produce, publish and syndicate content. This research will map and compare technology offerings as well as correlate features to marketers’ needs.

Using Social To Increase Employee Engagement and Advocacy
by Charlene Li and Jon Cifuentes

There is a fundamental disconnect between wanting engaged and active employees – and the concern that they may be too engaged and active in the wrong direction. The concept that every Employee is a Marketer thrills some companies – and absolutely terrifies most. This evolving view of employee engagement boils down to the evolving relationship between the employer and employee – all aspects of work are changing in the face of this new dynamic. Social becomes not the end goal but the forcing function, providing a new context for the entire employee engagement space. This report will answer: Does increased employee engagement via social channels lead to better customer engagement/advocacy and thus increased profits How can companies craft a strategy that explicitly leads from employee engagement through to employee advocacy – and measure the impact? What tools and technologies are available to support these efforts, both internally for employee engagement and externally for customer engagement/employee advocacy?

Managing the Execution of Social Business Strategy Through Governance
by Ed Terpening and Charlene Li

As a new medium, organizations struggle with managing social, especially given the fact that it spans multiple paid/owned/earned media and internal silos.  This stress intensifies as organizations mature from Engagement to Strategic social business maturity levels.  The crux of the struggle is ownership and empowerment at scale, expressed as these pain points: which decisions need to be governed, and by whom? How is conflict resolved among spokes/silos?  What principles guide decision-making? Who owns social business, and how is that adopted and extended by spokes/silos? This best practices report will define social business governance, and how it relates to existing digital governance systems; the scope and boundaries of governance; and what good governance looks like.