Today, there is way too much data for most companies to effectively use, thus many brands look to short term measurements and standard metrics to challenge their agencies with.
Unfortunately, most agencies are wired to give you the metric you ask for, instead of the one that you need. Do you want impressions and engagement or sales and customer lifetime value? Most ask their agency for engagement while what they want are sales. One is not necessarily a path to the other. Of course impressions and engagement are valuable, but they only achieve sales, or CLV in the framework of a more complex customer journey informed by a more evolved analytical construct.
In the future, companies will need to stop collecting data and begin to actually use it to be a responsive and dynamic brand worth the love of an actively evolving marketplace.
David Berkowitz at MR Y as kindly agreed to co-host the New York launch of the latest edition of my Best of Branded Content Marketing ebook in partnership with my colleagues at Tenthwave.
David was one of the book’s contributors, and you can hear part of his contribution here. I’ll be posting more about the book soon, but the event will be held at MR Y’s Manhattan offices on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
The event will included presentations and panel discussion chaired by Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter Group, that includes David, OgilvyEntertainment’s president Doug Scott, John McDermott from Digiday, and Eric Schwamberger at Tenthwave.
Spots are limited, and you can find out more about the book and event here
Last year I interviewed Stowe Boyd, he interviewed me, and I did a round up of opinion over on Our Social Times as a response to Chris Heuer’s Social Business is Dead! Long Live What’s Next! post on Brian Solis’ blog.
What amazed me was how much time was spent disagreeing about a begrudging acceptance that the term social business had failed to resonate with the so called C-Suite of top senior executives. I was less surprised given it’s a space where a fictionalised account such as Philip Sheldrake’s Attenzi appears to have become a substitute for factual evidence, possibly because there’s a shortage of the later.
At the same time, the discussion was also a collective expression of doubt by the social business faithful resulting from the challenges they faced with adoption. This was summed up by Headshift (now part of Dachis Group) founder Lee Bryant when he described the painful process of trying to implement social business strategies within large organisations:
“We have been banging our heads against the brick walls of corporate structures, culture and politics for too long, trying to change them from the inside, network by network, node by node, when their very structures (HR, IT, Operations, Finance, Marketing) act as a barrier to change”.
Lee’s quote is included in Luke Brynley-Jones’ new white paper The Future of Social Business: Is the Gold Rush Over?, which is more of a description of the challenges than prescription or framework. For me the report highlights what missing in terms of hard evidence, and a scaleable model that social technologies are there to support, e.g. SAP and ERP, Six Sigma, etc. It also highlights some of the less productive discussions within social business, such as the nitpicking about terminology and definitions.
What’s more significant for me is that report also highlights how few, if any, social media technology enthusiasts have any real experience in behavioural psychology, organisational development, change, leadership, and other more people-focused disciplines. That’s probably why I often hear the refrain it’s not about the technology, it’s about the people, but hey look at this cool new technology. That seems to put the cart before the horse. So despite all the talk about more open, collaborative and social approaches to business the collaboration doesn’t seem as yet to be all that interdisciplinary.
There are some like the analyst Stowe Boyd who seem to be looking in the right direction with his research into what he calls ‘Socialogy’, the theory and practice behind social business. What I haven’t seen is an interdisciplinary collaboration that uses social technologies to co-create a model for social business, or at the very least some conceptual framework that sets out the problems it attempts to solve. Perhaps an initiative like this could help propose a set of interventions and the metrics by which any success would be measured, and that could include those used within the social enterprise and international development arenas to assess social rather than financial impact, e.g. micro finance, etc. I’m not going to hold my breath though.