Biggest Kids on the Block Becoming Bigger Fans of Social Media |


Fortune 500 firms are taking a leap forward in their use of social media, from Facebook to Pinterest.

By Robert Berkman

The very largest corporations in the country — those who make up the Fortune 500 — are showing “the first signs of really embracing a range of social media tools.”

That’s the finding of a study undertaken this past summer by the Charlton College of Business Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Nora Ganim Barnes, the Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a Chancellor Professor of Marketing, Ava M. Lescault, the Assistant Director / Senior Research Associate at the Center and Justina Andonian, the Social Media Coordinator / Research Assistant at the Center, examined how companies from the 2012 Fortune 500 list were using blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

Some of the more interesting findings include the discovery of many more Twitter accounts than blogs among Fortune 500 companies. Many companies are also doing specialty blogging and using their own YouTube channels.

Here are some details:

Blogging: A total of 139 companies, or 28% of the Fortune 500, had blogs. Those in the telecommunications industry had the most (40%); followed by commercial banks, specialty retail and utilities (25-30%). Several industries on the list — forest and paper products, railroads, tobacco, toys/sporting goods, real estate, building materials/glass and trucking and waste management — had no members with blogs.

What are these firms blogging about? While the purposes vary, Barnes says that her research shows that blogs are becoming more popular for branding and thought leadership, with some companies using the forums to discuss social concerns. For example, Exxon Mobil’s Perspectives blog often discusses environmental protection.

The Gap Between the Vision for Marketing and Reality

By Philip Kotler, Bobby J. Calder, Edward C. Malthouse and Peter J. Korsten
The ideal role of marketing was articulated 60 years ago. How close to the ideal have we come by now?

THE GROWING NUMBER of chief marketing executives reflects the increasing importance companies attach to marketing. Yet the average tenure of a chief marketing officer (CMO) is three and a half years, well below that of the typical CEO. Both the prevalence of the CMO position and its precariousness give rise to the question: Has marketing realized the vision to which its adherents have long aspired? A recent global survey of CMOs reveals both how far marketing has come and where there is room to grow.

The Vision for Marketing

For more than 60 years, marketers have had a clear vision of the ideal role of marketing, which consists of two core ideas. One is the concept of the “marketing mix,” which dates to the late 1940s. Harvard’s Neil Borden, while president of the American Marketing Association, realized there was no set formula for successful marketing. Instead, the marketer must choose the best mix from the set of all possible mixes. Jerome McCarthy later codified the mix in the classic 4Ps of marketing — product, price, place and promotion. The task of the marketing executive is to have control of, or at least influence on, all of the 4Ps and blend them to produce the best value.

The second fundamental idea is that marketing decisions should be based on a solid understanding, supported by hard data, of target customers and other stakeholders. Anchoring decisions in data has become part of the bedrock vision of marketing. These two core components — control of the marketing mix and customer-oriented, data-based decision making — are fundamental to the field’s shared vision of marketing. It has been over a half century since that vision, now clearly spelled out in marketing textbooks, took shape. So what is the status of the field relative to the vision?

HOW CHIEF MARKETING OFFICERS RATE THEIR INFLUENCE >>>  Seguir leyendo “The Gap Between the Vision for Marketing and Reality”

The Role of the Chief Strategy Officer

By Taman H. Powell and Duncan N. AngwinBy understanding how the duties of the chief strategy officer (CSO) can vary significantly from organization to organization, boards and CEOs can make better decisions about which type of CSO is necessary for their leadership teams.

 (CSO) is a comparatively new but increasingly important role in many organizations. To explore the role of the CSO, we conducted 24 interviews with CSOs at U.K. companies that are part of the FTSE 100 Index, across a number of industrial sectors. Secondary data — company reports, strategy documents and presentations — were used to complement the interviews. All interviews were conducted either at the CSO’s office or via telephone and followed the same semistructured outline and set of questions.

They were transcribed verbatim and analyzed through qualitative data management software.From the outset, it was clear that there was a variation in CSO roles, focused on two dimensions.

The first dimension was the stage of the strategy process in which the CSO was involved. Our findings identified a significant demarcation between whether the CSO was focused on the formulation of the strategy or the execution of the strategy.

The second dimension of variation was how the CSO engaged in the strategy process. Some CSOs were facilitators, advising business units during the strategy formulation or assisting in the execution. Other CSOs were enactors, far more likely to execute the strategy process by themselves or with their team.Based on variation in the roles carried out by the CSOs, we have developed a typology of four CSO archetypes. Seguir leyendo “The Role of the Chief Strategy Officer”

Why Innovations Are Arguments
By Randall S. Wright 

Too many executives confuse what an innovation is with what an innovation would do for them if they had one. The solution? Think of innovation as an if-then argument.

ATTEND ALMOST ANY conference on innovation, and one will hear someone in the audience ask, “Yes, but how are you defining ‘innovation’?” Why is there no clear, shared meaning of “innovation”? I believe it is because most executives confuse what an innovation actually is with what an innovation would do for them if they had one. For example, most companies think of an “innovation” as something that wins a sale with a better solution, increases revenue or takes market share from a competitor. But those aren’t definitions of innovation. They’re outcomes executives would like to get from innovation.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at the fifth D: All ...

The problem is a serious one, not the least because companies send engineers, “technology entrepreneurs” and “technology scouts” in search of innovations when a shared understanding of what they are looking for may not exist across the organization’s people and functions or between “scouts” and managers. More significantly, to “innovate” means to “regenerate” — and most companies decline or fail because they fail to regenerate.

I propose that all true innovations are arguments. By this I mean that all innovations are composed of three elements: a proposition and a conclusion linked by an inference. I further propose that this is not merely a convenient or workable definition that covers most instances of innovation. Far from it: Stating that innovations are arguments is not just stating a definition — it is an identity, an equality. Innovation = Argument.

Let me explain. When the late Steven Jobs went to Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center in December 1979 to kick around the lab to see what was up, he made an argument — an innovation. He stumbled on a proposition — the graphical user interface — and inferred that this interface would be the way that everyone would experience computing. Jobs later told Rolling Stone, “Within 10 minutes, it was obvious that every computer would work this way someday. You knew it with every bone in your body.” Steve Jobs was an innovator because he could make inferences between technology propositions and conclusions about human experience. Seguir leyendo “Why Innovations Are Arguments”

Should ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ Mean ‘Creating Jobs for Average Workers’?

By Leslie Brokaw
From >>>

An annual event called “Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford,” which took place earlier this month, featured a debate at the Oxford Union on this motion:

“This house believes that the average worker is being left behind by advances in technology.”

The concept of “Silicon Valley community” is a geographically loose one, because helping make the argument were MIT Sloan’s Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the center.

It was logical that the two were invited: their new book, Race Against the Machine (Digital Frontier Press, 2011), is on exactly that theme. (Here’s our blog post about the book.)

McAfee’s opening statement, which he posted at his blog, includes this challenge for how we might rethink the meaning of “corporate responsibility”:

It’s also time to change our minds and broaden our definition of ‘social entrepreneurship.’ When we hear that term at present, we think of sustainability, or clean or green tech, or improving the lots and lives of people in the developing world. All of these are worthwhile and wonderful things to do. Here’s another one: create jobs for average workers. Because there aren’t enough of them right now. The greatest scarcity in our economies now is a scarcity not of resources or even of good new ideas, but of opportunity — of chances to let people realize the American Dream, and the English Dream, the Indian and Chinese and Mexican dream. Seguir leyendo “Should ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ Mean ‘Creating Jobs for Average Workers’?”

Using Social Media For Peer-to-Peer Collaboration: The Xilinx Example

By Leslie Brokaw
From >>

Social media is good for a lot more than marketing. Smart companies are figuring out how to use it internally to supercharge peer-to-peer collaboration. And results at one company include an increase in engineer productivity by about 25%.

In the recent MIT Sloan Management Review interview “The Amplified Enterprise: Using Social Media To Expand Organizational Capabilities,” Anthony Bradley, group vice president in Gartner Research, and Mark McDonald, group vice president with Gartner Executive Programs, explain how it worked at Xilinx:

We worked with a chip company out of California and Dublin by the name of Xilinx back in 2006. We were working with the CIO there, a guy by the name of Kevin Cooney, who recognized that there was a lot of value inherent in the work they were doing but that it was kind of locked up. He knew there was all this unstructured data and knowledge that existed between people’s ears. Seguir leyendo “Using Social Media For Peer-to-Peer Collaboration: The Xilinx Example”

Is Data Overload Killing Our Creativity?

New York Times reporter Matt Richtel says that too much digital consumption and a steady stream of distraction appear to change the brain and affect our ability to be creative.

The Neurological and Creative Toll of Digital Overload

If you’re like a lot of people, during your work day you might check 40 websites. You could be switching between programs such as Word and Excel and your email application 36 times an hour. You probably stop what you’re doing — or at least pause — when a text message buzzes or an email comes in or your cell phone rings.

Matt Richtel, technology reporter for the New York Times, says in an interview on the NPR program Fresh Air that for all the productivity upsides to digital consumption, there are huge downsides, too, including changes in the brain that seem to affect not just the ability to engage in conversation but the ability to be creative, too.

“Twenty years of glorifying all technology as if all computers were good and all use of it was good, I think science is beginning to embrace the idea that some technology is Twinkies and some technology is Brussels sprouts,” Richtel says. “If we consume too much technology, just like if we consume too much food, it can have ill effects. And that is the moment in time we find ourselves in . . .with the way we are digesting, if you will, technology all over the place.”

Richtel notices, he says, that he’s “not quite as engaged in my world when I’m constantly using devices as I am when I’m away from them.” Away from them, “I can give myself over to conversations a little bit differently.”

Awarded a Pulitzer Prize this year for his Times series “Driven to Distraction,” about the dangers of driving while multitasking with cell phones and other devices, Richtel says that the digital glut appears to not just increase distraction but decrease creativity. Seguir leyendo “Is Data Overload Killing Our Creativity?”

10 Data Points: Information and Analytics at Work

By Nina Kruschwitz and Rebecca Shockley

Early returns are in from the first annual New Intelligent Enterprise Survey. Here are major highlights of what executives and managers said about how they are — or are not — capitalizing on information.

The New Intelligent Enterprise inquiry is all about the intensifying wave of data that organizations are facing, and its implications for managers. Companies are becoming data driven in ways that are new, raw and — in many cases — untested. And now so are we: We’re trying something new by letting the data come first, without a lot of editing or parsing. Here is a slice of the raw goods, a kind of behind-the-scenes look at the data we gathered from our survey of nearly 3,000 managers and executives from every major industry and all regions of the globe. (Also see “10 Insights: A First Look at The New Intelligent Enterprise Survey.”)

We chose these 10 charts to share because they captured our attention. Some are provocative, some are telling, and some raise questions we haven’t even tried to answer yet. They’re by no means comprehensive, and our final report will cover many more points accompanied by rigorous analysis. But we do think you’ll find these graphics worth a look if for no other reason than that they allow you to do some immediate benchmarking. How does your organization compare with others? What are your peers doing, and how might that influence decisions you’re considering right now?

The survey respondents answered two questions that allowed us to group them and their answers in some interesting ways. One question asked them to assess where their organization is along the journey to an ideal state: an organization that has been “transformed by better ways to collect, analyze and be prescriptively guided by information.” Those that were farthest along that path we deemed Sophisticates; those who were midway became Intermediates; while those that were just beginning to look at data and analytics we called Starters.

We also asked them to describe their organization’s competitive position. Those that rated themselves as substantially outperforming their industry peers we named Top Performers. Those that were underperforming we labeled Lower Performers. You’ll note both groups called out in the accompanying charts.

1. Innovation is the Top Business Challenge

More than 60% of all respondents chose innovation for competitive differentiation as their main business challenge over the next two years. In a recessionary business climate, doing more with the resources and talent you already have is always a favored strategy. When we parsed the data, we found that Starters (new users of analytics) were entrenched in “survival mode,” focused on cuttings costs and creating efficiencies as their main challenge. Intermediates (moderate users of analytics) were in “growth mode,” focused on growing revenues. Sophisticates (advanced users of analytics) were in an “expansion mode,” focused on growing revenues and expanding their customer base through acquisition or retention strategies, perhaps because their use of analytics had already helped them optimize their operations and general growth approaches.