Monthly Archives: February 2012

New Altimeter Report: Enterprise Social Networks

Here at Altimeter Group, we’ve been working over the last six months to publish a slue of open research reports, and the latest comes from Charlene Li, supported by Jon Cifuentes and Alan WebberMaking the Case for Enterprise Social Networks was published last week — a look into how organizations can utilize social networking internally, across the enterprise. It’s the first of two reports that will be published this year that will look into the value offerings of social networks within vs. external to organizations.

A brief report summary is below. To check out the report in-full, visit our SlideShare page.

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 report, Altimeter looks at four ways enterprise social networks create value for organizations.

As enterprise social networking is a relatively new concept being experimented with, it’s no surprise that organizational maturity is still in its early stages for the majority:

Fig. 4 Most Organizations Are Still Early In Their Social Business Maturity

Additional images from the report can be found in a Flickr set here.

Next on docket for Altimeter is a report that delves into online social influence from analyst Brian Solis. Stay tuned!

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Fresh Research from Altimeter Group – Content: The New Marketing Equation

**Update: Content: The New Marketing Equation is LIVE! http://slidesha.re/TheContentEquation

If you’d like to embed the report, ping me – I’ll shoot the code your way. And, if you’re on Twitter, use the link above and the hash #ContentMarketing to spread the word about the report! …

The day is finally here!

This morning at 10 a.m. PST, Altimeter Group will launch its latest research report – Content: The New Marketing Equation, by Rebecca Lieb. This report is Rebecca’s first with Altimeter Group, as well as for Zak Kirchner and myself as researchers who have supported her throughout the report process.

I am extremely excited for the report to go live. It contains a world of insights for companies who are interested in content marketing. From those just beginning with their strategy, to advanced media moguls, the report’s maturity model, self-audit tool and content channel insights will prove useful for all audiences.

Here’s a sneak peek at the maturity model stages before the report goes live (this post will be updated with the SlideShare link when ready) …

Altimeter Group Content Marketing Maturity Model

Five stages of content marketing maturity:

  1. Stand –  Curiosity and consideration – Not yet practicing content marketing
  2. Stretch –  Advocacy & experimentation – Begin to build strategy and support to publish content
  3. Walk – Strategy & Processes – Solid organizational and strategic foundation, teams formed, metrics introduced
  4. Jog – “Culture of content” – Sustainable, meaningful, scalable content initiatives, broad training organizationally, top-down and bottom-up
  5. Run – Inspired and inspirational (and largely aspirational) – The company actually monetizes its content, which has a separate P&L
Stay tuned via this post or Twitter (@jaimy_marie) for the link the the live report at 10 a.m PST. I’ll also update this post with the embed code, as well as Flickr graphics set.
I’m extremely grateful to have contributed to this report. It was really an Altimeter Group team effort. Congrats on your first report, Rebecca! #GONG
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Pinterest Potential: User Collaboration

If you would have asked me, even a week ago, what I thought of Pinterest, I would’ve likely given this tongue-in-cheek answer:

“I’m not getting married anytime soon, so it’s not really for me.”

To some extent, I still think that, and I’m not alone. A recent stat released by Ignite Social Media confirms that 80 percent of Pinterest’s users are female. Does that mean they’re all wedding planners? No, of course not. But it’s still fun to joke about, considering I’ll likely marry my cat.

But, as I’ve further assessed the social network’s potential, I believe it goes beyond that of roses vs. gerberas, DJ vs. live band, veil vs. tiara. If this is where Pinterest currently stands – a visually oriented social network, aimed toward the stylings of Gen Y- to middle-aged women, where will it head? How can it grow? And, most importantly – how can it transition itself to be more widely accepted as a network of utility, rather than expression?

I believe Pinterest’s future lies in collaboration. Currently, users can “pin” items of interest to various-themed boards within their user profile. They can also “re-pin” someone else’s pinned content on their own board, further sharing it within the Pinterest community. But, users can not yet collaborate with each other on the same board. I think this is a huge element of missed potential for Pinterest – not only for its current user base, but in attracting a more B2B crowd that may use the site as a data collection system.

[Update: Multiple contributors are now allowed on the same board, but privacy settings do not exist that control who can view the board, limiting the success of its use in an internal capacity of an organization. Ideally, contributor and viewer settings (as well as over-arching private vs. public) would make for the most valuable tool in a B2B sense.]

This idea came to me during a conversation with an Altimeter Group colleague, Charlene Li. She explained that she uses Pinterest to keep track of infographics that she thinks could be useful to future research, or that she simply finds interesting. So, in effect, it is a new (or, supplementary) bookmarking system for her. That got me thinking — imagine how useful the site could be if multiple people could collaborate on the same board, using it as a ad-hoc bookmarking “database” of sorts, housing all images in a collaborative environment that could be accessed by specific individuals, based on privacy settings.

I picture it going down like this: I get assigned to work on a project with two co-workers. It’s a large research endeavor that will go on for a couple months. We’re all working on researching different facets of the topic, but all are interrelated. Rather than each of us store the information we read, the graphics we see, within our own heads or laptops, we “pin” items of relevance to a shared board on Pinterest. This not only mitigates duplication of work, but also gives a much more effective over-arching picture (pun completely intended) of where the research is headed, what common themes are emerging and what direction may be fruitful next.

Hopefully Pinterest will head this way in the future. Although it would require a more complex user interface and privacy controls, it definitely has the means to do so — especially with its built-in differentiation that it doesn’t rely on a timeline like Facebook and Tumblr do. In the end, it’d definitely be worth it … especially if the network wishes to grow its users beyond that of food spotters and brides-to-be*.

*Simba and I will be registered at Petco and Barneys.

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Refine your mobile strategy with help from Altimeter Group’s latest report

Altimeter Group’s mobile analyst Chris Silva, with support from Alan Webber and Jessica Groopman, launched his first report with the company today: “Make an App for That: Mobile Strategies for Retailers.” It covers the growing trend of using mobile devices to enhance the shopping experience and chronicles brands’ and retailers’ strategies to capture those shoppers.

Visit the Altimeter Group site to download the report in full.

It’s a fantastic read for organizations on all levels of the mobile spectrum:

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A few key findings of the report:

  • At the end of 2011, nearly 50 percent of mobile consumers had a smartphone. The number of these users is quickly growing, and shopping is a top activity for smartphone owners, with 77 percent of smartphone owners using their device in a store.
  • Retailers, to date, have had mixed success targeting these users. While many have achieved success with mobile, a maturity level Altimeter defines as “flying high” with their mobile strategy, many are in a middle ground of maturity, called “hitting turbulence” and many more are still not yet started and highly immature, or still “on the ground.”
  • This report outlines strategies for each of the three maturity levels of mobile retail strategies, and highlights successful traits of successful mobile efforts from brands like Best Buy, Starbucks and Zappos. The report also contains a maturity scoring tool for retailers to assess their current level of maturity and take discrete steps to improve their mobile fortunes by tuning their mobile strategy.

Chris is also hosting a Webinar on the report. You can sign up for that here. If you prefer to chat about the report on Twitter, use the hashtag #makeanappforthat to stay on top of the latest tweets.

I’d love to know what you think of the report. What were your move valuable takeaways? What additional research on mobile would you like to see Altimeter Group tackle in the future?

P.S. I’m also working on an upcoming Altimeter Group report on content marketing with our advertising and media analyst Rebecca Lieb that will be released in February — stay tuned for more information when we publish!

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