Social Media: Future of Customer Marketing

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Social Media: Future of Customer Marketing

The onset of new social media technologies has fundamentally changed the way people communicate and network with other people. The future of customer marketing will be shaped by combining traditional customer analytics with insights from the emerging social media analytics discipline to meet enterprise strategic goals.

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What is a Social Intelligence Initiative?

A social intelligence initiative is a new priority for success in today’s instantaneous global market. Success means being able to identify and act upon trends, recognize patterns and ultimately anticipate customer behavior that is signaled first in social media streams in real-time. Significant first-mover advantages exist for companies that execute an effective social intelligence strategy before their competitors.

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Step 1: Enterprise Self-Examination

To get started, your enterprise has to undertake a thorough self-assessment of its current state and understand what your target state looks like. How are you leveraging social media data today? What are your objectives in leveraging social media data? To what extent are you integrating social media with other customer data? Are you able to leverage that integrated customer data at the point of interaction with customers? Is your current IT infrastructure struggling to adapt to the volume, variety and velocity of data of this new social world?

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Step 2: Know Where You Want to Go

Creating your social business plan requires a shared agenda and business case for social media adoption. It involves creating a highly-detailed definition of the business plan goals state which should be validated with industry specific benchmarks. Additionally, the plan should include a detailed definition of the actions required and an estimate of the financial impact of implementing your program.

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Standard Business Intelligence Apps Don’t Work With Social Media Data Sources

Unfortunately, traditional business intelligence approaches fail to provide the flexibility, timeliness and mobility required to respond to the real-time marketing demands of this new environment. In addition, legacy BI applications can’t support analysis of social media data sources, nor can they integrate these new sources with existing customer information.

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Step 3: Design an IT Transformation Project

The next step involves designing a social, business and IT transformation program. This involves providing a detailed requirement analysis, designing new and revised business processes, preparing for IT transformation, estimating transformation time, cost, and effort required to carry out the transformation plan.

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Step 4: Listen to Your Customers on Their Networks

Once you have created your program of social, business and IT transformation, you are ready to implement your social business. The first step involves listening for chatter on sites and communities. The next is analyzing the gathered information and extracting useful, relevant information. The final step is engaging stakeholders to deliver information and insights to new and existing customer management processes, which enables marketers to act quickly and decisively.

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Know That There is New Governance for Real-Time Analytics

New governance processes will need to be implemented that take into account the need for real-time analytical insights at the point of customer interaction. Companies will need to design a governance model and align it with the overall organization.

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Know How to Calculate ROI

The return on investment from a social intelligence program can be measured through four strategic areas: digital brand management (increase share of voice, improved reputation and sentiment); customer experience optimization (expand customer base and grow customer value); product lifecycle innovation (leverage open innovation); and resource empowerment (unleash knowledge and collaboration).

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Stay Informed About Social Network Marketing Evolution

Once this program is in place, keep apprised of the emergence of new networks—and network devices used on those networks—as well as back-end technologies (cloud storage, networking monitoring, analytics, and others) that can help you maintain close connections with your customers at all times.

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