Yes, Social Does Impact Sales |


Recent research from Forrester suggests that social media has an insignificant impact on sales. While this may be true within the specific context of the study, the study’s methodology makes it impossible to draw broad conclusions around the impact of social on sales across all of the “buyer journey.”

Here are three key reasons why:

  1. More comprehensive tracking of content engagement paints a very different portrait. The Forrester study tracked social as a driver of sales only if someone clicked a link on a social property and made an online purchase within 30 days. In fact, brand social strategy is about engaging people with the brand with the intent to increase sales in the future —  both online and offline. In a quick service restaurant study we did with partner ChatThreads last year, exposure to social media was a significant drive of sales increases. And, when combined with other media (for example, editorial and billboards) social exposure resulted in a 1.5-2x higher likelihood of purchase across all 5 restaurants in the category. Further, two more studies support a social-sales link: Edison Research’s study last year showed that 28% of social media users cited social networks as influencers of their purchase decision. And in a 2011 ROI Research study, just over 50% of respondents reported they would likely purchase a product after following the brand on Facebook or Twitter. Seguir leyendo “Yes, Social Does Impact Sales |”

Facebook’s 6-Point Plan for Building Brands in the Social Media Age


The Digital Marketing Series is supported by HubSpot, an inbound marketing software company based in Cambridge, Mass., that makes a full platform of marketing software, including social media management tools.

Social media has turned the purchase funnel on its head.

That’s the crux of a study that Facebook recently published in conjunction with Forrester Research. The two canvassed 101 C-level and VP-level marketing pros in December 2011 and found the profession has changed. Or, in Facebook and Forrester’s parlance, “The connected world has rerouted the customer journey.”

How does changing media affect the way people hear about brands? First, take a look at the traditional purchase funnel:

It’s easy to see how this reflects a TV-dominated age. In the pre-social media days, you’d see a TV ad and become aware of a brand. Then, after you got familiar with the name, you might consider if you wanted to buy it. Next, you bought it. Then, you might decide you liked it. Finally, you identified yourself with the brand. (“I’m a Budweiser guy.”)

Here is what Facebook and Forrester are proposing as the successor to the purchase funnel. It looks more like a circle:

In this schematic, social media influences every stage of the process. They hear about new brands and investigate said brands via social media. When it comes time to buy something, consumers increasingly consult their friends via social media. Then, they expect to be able to interact with the brands through social media after they buy a product.

The new environment calls for new tactics. Facebook and Forrester propose a six-point plan for building brands in the social media age: articulate, connect, engage, influence, integrate and rejuvenate. We will look at each in greater detail.

1. Articulate

Facebook and Forrester recommend that companies identify components of the brand it can communicate via social media. The report has a suggestion for how to do this. “Apply a social lens to your brand identity by asking ‘What about my brand is inherently social? Why do people engage with it and why do people want to talk about it or share it with their friends in the real world?’” Often, those attributes aren’t obvious. For instance, Secret, Procter & Gamble’s deodorant brand for women, found it got currency by connecting with women on an inspirational level and got behind a Facebook-based anti-bullying campaign, “Mean Stinks.” For Coca-Cola, the attribute was “happiness,” which it attempts to express via social media. Seguir leyendo “Facebook’s 6-Point Plan for Building Brands in the Social Media Age”

5 Reasons Why Live Chat is The Untapped Potential for Your Business

The trouble with online shopping is that many customers are disconnected from someone who can answer their questions in real time with precision. Rather than watching potential customers click away from their e-commerce sites, many businesses have been adding live chat support. As it turns out, live chat has the ability to provide the convenient answers that customers want, while also adding significant benefits to the staff and bottom line of companies.

In this post we’re going to get into why live chat can improve your business and tips on how to maximize its effectiveness.

1. Live Chat is Convenient for Customers

live chat is convenient

A study called “Making Proactive Chat Work” that was conducted by Forrester Research found the following:

“Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.

An online chat system provides customers immediate access to help. Wait times are often much less than a call center, and customers can easily multi-task while waiting. Additionally, the pain of having to dial a 1-800 number and navigate through a maze of numeric options is non-existent.

An ATG Global Consumer Trend study found that 90% of customers consider live chat helpful and an survey found that 63% were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. The report goes on to say:

“62% reported being more likely to purchase from the site again. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. All these attitudes were even more prevalent among respondents who bought online at least weekly.”

2. Live Chat Cuts Down on Expenses

live chat cuts down expenses

Live chat software has consistently demonstrated that it can save on both employee task time and phone expenses. Some of the most notable cost savings are:

  1. Live chat reduces overall contact center costs by lowering average interaction costs.
  2. Increases efficiency by allowing live chat representatives to handle multiple chats simultaneously, thus reducing the need to hire more representatives.

With employees spending less time on the phone, they can multi-task during chat conversations and cut the waiting queue to a fraction of its former size when compared to a call center. Not only is this a process improvement but it increases the chances of overall sales (which we’ll get into next!). Seguir leyendo “5 Reasons Why Live Chat is The Untapped Potential for Your Business”

Most Americans still don’t have smartphones

Forrester Research reports that less than one-fourth of U.S. mobile phone owners have an unlimited data plan.
Forrester Research reports that less than one-fourth of U.S. mobile phone owners have an unlimited data plan.
  • Only 17 percent of Americans own a smartphone, a Forrester study finds
  • Less than a fourth of cell phone users in Gen X and Gen Y own a smartphone, study says
  • Study indicates social networking is one of the least popular non-voice mobile communication functions
  • But smartphones have spurred considerable growth in, and demand for, mobile services

Editor’s note: Amy Gahran writes about mobile tech for She is a San Francisco Bay Area writer and media consultant whose blog,, explores how people communicate in the online age.

(CNN) — If you’re a tech news junkie (and that’s why you’re reading Tech, right?), you might have gotten the impression that everyone already has — or at least wants — a smartphone. Or that smartphones and tablets are the only mobile devices that matter.

But new research from Forrester indicates that while cell phone penetration is high across all U.S. demographics (82 percent of consumers own a cell phone, and 73 percent report that cell phones are their “most used device”), only 17 percent of Americans own a smartphone.

This is true even among the most digitally savvy generations: Gen X (roughly ages 31-40) and Gen Y (roughly ages 18-30).

According to Forrester, Gen Yers and Gen Xers are most likely to own smartphones. However, less than one-fourth of cell phone users in both of those age groups own a smartphone.

Also, Forrester reports that less than one-fourth of U.S. mobile phone owners have an unlimited data plan.

All of which means that the vast majority (more than 75 percent) of the “digital native” generations does not use smartphones. Instead, they rely on cheaper, simpler-feature phones and limited access to mobile data-supported services.

Of course, feature phones are getting smarter. Many of the the most popular feature phones can do a lot beyond voice calls — from text and multimedia messaging to e-mail, to social media, to web browsing, to even running simple apps based on JavaME.

Granted, feature phones generally offer a more difficult and limited digital experience (especially for web browsing). But that doesn’t stop people from using feature phones in sophisticated ways.

In fact, according to Forrester’s figures, just under half of all U.S. mobile owners have internet access from their cell phone. So, since only 17 percent of U.S. cell users have a smartphone, this means that the vast majority of Americans who are able access the mobile internet use feature phones.

But being able to do something is not the same as actually doing it. Just under a quarter of U.S. mobile owners report going online from their phones.

The simplest mobile activities remain the most popular across all types of cell phones. Topping Forrester’s list is SMS text messaging, which nearly 60 percent of all U.S. mobile owners use.

Despite the booming popularity of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Forrester found that social networking services are one of the least popular non-voice mobile communication functions: Only 14 percent of U.S. mobile users access such services from their phones.

In this report, Forrester seems to be trying to spin its findings to make smartphones sound like the most important current mobile trend. For instance, the report says, “Gen Yers and Gen Xers are the most likely to have smartphones and unlimited data plans, providing the tools needed to lead in mobile Internet adoption” — despite the fact that they’re describing the behavior of a minority in that age range. Seguir leyendo “Most Americans still don’t have smartphones”

Valor social, un paso más hacia la segmentación de clientes

por Francisco Javier Sánchez

Muchos estudios demuestran la gran influencia que tienen las experiencias y valoraciones de otras personas en nuestras decisiones de compra.

Es más, las opiniones de los demás no impactan sólo en la valoración de productos y marcas por parte de los consumidores, sino también en su nivel de fidelidad a la marca (Gruen, Osmonbekov & Czaplewski).

El éxito de comunidades online de viajes como minube o tripadvisor es la prueba más palpable de que la opinión de otros conduce a la acción.

En esta línea, Forrester ha reconocido que cualquier inversión en medios sociales es una pérdida de tiempo a menos que las marcas dejen de valorar a sus clientes únicamente desde el punto de vista financiero, ignorando su faceta social.

Coherente con este planteamiento, Forrester ha creado una metodología llamada “The Social Value Scorecard” que permite evaluar el valor social de tus Clientes, para lo que recomienda dar dos pasos relativamente simples:

  1. Saber qué hacen los consumidores. Aplicando herramientas como la escalera de Social Technographics y centrándose en el número y variedad de actividades realizadas por los distintos usuarios.
  2. Medir cuál es el nivel de influencia de estos consumidores. No siempre es más interesante relacionarse con los clientes que más conexiones tienen. Es mejor vincular a aquellos que ejercen más influencia sobre sus contactos.

Una vez cuantificado el valor social de nuestros clientes, Forrester propone cruzarlo con la rentabilidad de nuestros Clientes, variable que muchas empresas llevan midiendo desde hace tiempo.

De este modo obtenemos la clasificación que nos permite identificar cuáles son nuestros clientes más valiosos y definir qué estrategias son más adecuadas para cada segmento. Esta es mi propuesta, adaptada del planteamiento de Forrester… Seguir leyendo “Valor social, un paso más hacia la segmentación de clientes”

Cómo enfrentar el lado oscuro de las redes sociales

Las compañías no pueden llevar un control estricto de las conversaciones que se suceden en las redes y los blogs, pero pueden responder a los usuarios más activos.

Por Joseph Hughes y Chris Boudreaux

Todas las bondades de los nuevos medios sociales están trayendo importantes problemas para muchas compañías. La interacción instantánea de información y opiniones sobre productos en Twitter, blogs y otros sitios está obligando a las empresas a intentar influenciar estas conversaciones con tecnología y una nueva forma de pensar. Seguir leyendo “Cómo enfrentar el lado oscuro de las redes sociales”

Study: Location-Based Services Users are Passionate but Niche

By Sarah Perez<!– –>

A new report released today from mobile media provider Myxer examines the current trends among “check-in” applications, that is, the particular group of location-based mobile social networks that allow users to announce their arrival at a specific venue in return for rewards, coupons, deals or other offers. The company found that among the top mobile check-in applications, there was a clear leader: Booyah Networks’ MyTown, a location-based game built around your own city’s local shops and businesses. MyTown is heavily favored by consumers, attracting 56% of the mobile audience that uses location-based applications such as these. Loopt was in second place, with 12% of users and Gowalla and Foursquare lagged even further behind, at only 8% each.

However, only 11% of mobile users are participating in the location-based social networking community, with the majority of mobile users claiming they’re simply “not interested” in these types services.

Myxer surveyed over 1,500 users in the U.S. and found that only 11% of the respondents used these location-based mobile applications. While that figure seems low, it’s actually several points higher than analyst firm Forrester Research’s report from July, which claimed that only 4% of U.S. adults used apps like these.

Forrester also claimed that only 1% of those who use location-based apps do so more than once per week. Myxer, however, found heavier usage. 31% of those surveyed claimed they check-in a couple of times per week, 30% check in once per day, 26% check in every hour (who are these people, we wonder?) and 13% said they check in just a couple of times per month.

The new survey also found that the use of location-based services is increasing within its user base, with 74% saying they’ve been using the apps more often than before, while 27% said they’ve been decreasing their use. Nearly half (47%) of respondents say they use 2-5 location-based social networks, 45% say they use just one and only 8% say they use 6 or more. Seguir leyendo “Study: Location-Based Services Users are Passionate but Niche”

Análisis web: cómo medir y optimizar

En los negocios online, el dato es hoy el activo más valioso. Qué hay que tener en cuenta a la hora de emprender un análisis de este tesoro con éxito. Cuánto se debe invertir y a qué resultados apuntar.

por Rocío Pujol

En el ecosistema digital argentino, hay más de 23 millones de usuarios y no existe ninguna brújula o mapa que oriente a las empresas sobre el camino acertado para aumentar la visibilidad de su sitio. Según un informe elaborado por Prince & Cooke, difundido por la Cámara Argentina de Comercio Electrónico, el e-commerce movió cerca de $ 5.240 millones en 2009. Para este año, se llegaría a $ 6.500 millones.

Las cifras reflejan un incremento de la participación en línea y una mayor predisposición a la gestión de compras vía Internet. Es por esto que, para acompañar la toma de decisiones en los procesos ligados a la optimización de sites, se nombra cada vez más al estudio de los datos que genera la presencia en Internet, la denominada “analítica web”, como una inversión estratégica capaz de ofrecer datos valiosos para los negocios online. Porque ya no se trata únicamente de cuantificar la cantidad de visitas, sino de obtener indicadores clave de rendimiento. “Hoy en día, medimos la actividad de los usuarios en cada sitio y escuchamos sus voces por fuera del mismo para revelar la opinión y percepción acerca de la marca/imagen de nuestros clientes y la de sus competidores a través de las redes sociales y foros, blogs, entre otros”, explica Hernan Carballal, responsable del Departamento de Analítica Web y Reputación Online de BGL. Seguir leyendo “Análisis web: cómo medir y optimizar”

Forrester: Consumers Will Not Only Buy, They’ll Help Create

If the general trend toward crowdsourcing is any clue, then we are all well aware of the value of the Internet masses. Having access to a loyal fan base can be like a fount of free ideas and labor. From translating Wikipedia and Facebook to beta testing Google Chrome, crowdsourcing is used all across the Web for a number of purposes and analyst firm Forrester is suggesting one more – co-creation.

According to a report released this week, U.S. consumers a willing “co-creators”, a fact that many companies have yet to take advantage of. Seguir leyendo “Forrester: Consumers Will Not Only Buy, They’ll Help Create”

La madurez del marketing de geolocalización

Luis Pablos, Director Técnico de Genetsis, Agencia de Marketing Digital

Siempre se ha debatido sobre si técnicas aplicadas en el marketing dependían de la evolución tecnológica, o si la tecnología era lo que marcaba las tendencias en marketing. Voy a tratar en este caso de algo del cual se habla mucho últimamente, pero no se usa tanto como se dice: los servicios de geolocalización, y su aplicación al marketing.

Hay un interesante artículo que trata sobre ello en el blog de PuroMarketing en el cual se extraen conclusiones a partir de un estudio de Forrester Research con datos muy poco alentadores: sólo el 4% de los usuarios online adultos de EEUU han usado al menos una vez algún servicio de geolocalización, y a su vez, sólo el 1% lo usa más de una vez por semana. Seguir leyendo “La madurez del marketing de geolocalización”

Microsoft mató al Kin

Kin, el teléfono inteligente de Microsoft, fue sacado de la venta a sólo 48 días de haber sido lanzado al mercado. Motivo: no consiguió buen nivel de ventas.

El  flamante teléfono inteligente.

La repentina decisión de retirar un producto que llevara dos años de desarrollo y un abultado presupuesto publicitario, es atribuida por los observadores al desorden provocado por la reciente reorganización de la unidad de productos para el consumo.

“Es un fracaso total,” dijo a The New York Times Charles S. Golvin, analista de Forrester Research. Golvin está sorprendido de ver a Microsoft matar un producto tan rápidamente, dada la historia de la compañía de mantener productos nuevos y luego ir mejorándolos con el tiempo.

La unidad de productos para el consumo viene esforzándose para ofrecer buenos competidores al iPod de Apple y luego al iPhone y a los teléfonos alimentados por el Andoid de Google.

Microsoft también canceló hace poco un proyecto para desarrollar una computadora tableta que competiría con la iPad de Apple.


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YouTube Dominates Online Video Views


Videos viewed online graphic

Although Google’s purchase of YouTube hasn’t paid of financially, it has clearly made Google a giant in the world of online video, displaying more than 13 billion videos during the month of April.

On Tuesday, comScore, which monitors online usages of e-commerce, advertising and video, released its April data of video usage on the Internet. According to a company press release, 178 million United States Internet users, or 83.5 percent of the total American Internet audience, watched some form of video online during April. Seguir leyendo “YouTube Dominates Online Video Views”

How to Connect with Your Customers / VIP article, read ;)

This morning, I’m the keynote presenter at the J. Boye Conference in Philadelphia for the online communication track. We’re talking about how to connect with your customers. Not just reach, connect. It’s a different ballgame, one that needs to integrate what used to be — and still are — many company silos.

Imagine this scenario. A customer walks up to you asking to locate a technical support rep. Because you’re curious, while you find out the name and look around to see where that person is, you ask how you can help. The customer proceeds to give you a list of problems that need addressing. He looks and sounds really upset. Seguir leyendo “How to Connect with Your Customers / VIP article, read ;)”

Marketers: It’s Your Fault if Your Ad Agencies Flounder – Advertising Age – CMO Strategy

Forrester Study Finds Client Companies Must Take the Reins in Digital World Rather Than Wait for Shops To

NEW YORK ( — Eighteen months ago, Honda‘s chief marketing officer Steve Center wanted to curtail what he felt was the company’s overemphasis on print marketing materials to communicate with customers.

STEVE CENTER: Honda CMO prodded his agency to think more  digitally.
STEVE CENTER: Honda CMO prodded his agency to think more digitally.

But rather than hunt for a hot new digital shop, Mr. Center requested that his lead agency, California-based RPA, restructure to replace its brochure-marketing group with a digital-marketing hub. “They saw that brochures can come out of all digital assets you’re creating, and that’s not to mention the digital brochures and things you’re doing online,” said Mr. Center. He’s now convinced that his relationship with RPA is stronger and that Honda is using its creative assets and messaging more efficiently.

While it sounds like a simple request from a client to its agency, the Honda-RPA example is a sign that brands may need to take charge of their agency partnerships. Simply put, if marketers are counting on their agencies to lead them into a world of changing consumer behaviors and media habits, they should think again.

As digital-marketing channels multiply, agencies are struggling to figure out their own businesses, and a recent Forrester study suggests that marketers may need to force their agencies to evolve rather than wait for them to do it themselves.

Ad Age got a peek at the 16-page study, called “The Future of Agency Relationships,” for which Forrester spent nearly four months interviewing agency and marketing executives.

In it, Forrester says that over the past few years the already-complex agency-marketer relationship has been significantly altered by factors such as the recession and the rise of social media, resulting in agencies quickly trying to expand their offerings, sometimes promising capabilities they are unable to deliver, and even more agency partners at an already-crowded marketing table.

Sean Corcoran, an analyst at Forrester and lead author of the report, said one of the biggest challenges marketers face today is how to know who to turn to when they want to change their ad strategies. He said it’s further complicated by the fact that the unbundled world of traditional, PR, interactive, media and direct agencies, in some cases, are trying to “bundle themselves back up” to become jacks of all trades.

“It’s up to marketing leaders to change the demand,” Mr. Corcoran said. “They can’t just flip a switch and have things change. But they can lay some groundwork for the changes happening in marketing today.”

Peter Stringham has worn both hats as the current CEO at WPP’s Y&R Brands unit and the former CMO at HSBC Bank. He recalls a huge disconnect between marketer and agency when he was on the client side and believes it is exacerbated today thanks to the rise of new media.

“Clients really have to accelerate quickly up the learning curve and get involved in social media,” said Mr. Stringham. “As a CMO you want the agency to stick to what they can do and not promise things they can’t accomplish. They will tell you they can build a rocket ship and fly it to the moon. But especially today, with the specialized skill sets that are required, you’re better off saying you don’t do this very well … let’s go get someone else to help us handle this.”

Moving forward, more often than not, marketers will have a slew of shops managing their business, and it’s imperative to get them to play nice together. Bob Greenberg, CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned digital agency R/GA, said only some marketers are doing a good job of this, but the future of the business requires all of them to improve in this area. “Agencies have been designed to be fiercely competitive, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it makes it more difficult to collaborate,” he said. “Not only does the client have to lead the relationship, but they also have to force collaboration.”

According to Honda’s Mr. Center, in many cases, stubborn or shortsighted marketers have been the cause of the lack of progress or results that are often blamed on the agency.

“Agencies are exposed to much more than us, and they have to bring in raw ideas, market reconnaissance and intelligence,” he said. “But they will not tell us how to organize our company to accomplish our marketing mission. That responsibility should always fall entirely with the owner of the brand.”

How to lay the foundation for your agency house

Redefine the role of agencies. Strip away above- and below-the-line restrictions and allow ideas and leadership to come out of any agency you have under contract.

Test partners from the non-agency world. Try letting companies like Google, Sapient and Akamai Technologies deliver media and marketing services. Having resources that continually monitor the space and looking beyond traditional “agencies” for help is important. Have an internal resource stationed between marketing and procurement that can regularly evaluate outsourced skills and tools that can be used for marketing.

Create a productive relationship with procurement. The complaint voiced by many agency people today is that procurement teams treat them just like the vendors who clean the carpets. “If you grind the margin out of your agency you will get a marginal agency,” Honda CMO Steve Center said.

Test incentive-based compensation. Eventually marketers will have the ability to more easily quantify an agency’s performance but until then Forrester recommends testing incentive-based compensation so the agency has more skin in your business. “They will be more likely to help you hit your overall goals than just focusing on their world only,” Forrester’s Mr. Corcoran said. This way the agency wins and loses when the brand wins and loses.

Start the process in more advanced markets such as the U.S. and U.K. Different regions move at different speeds through the globe and Forrester believes it’s important to start restructuring agency relationships in markets that can handle it. Marketers can then take those lessons and apply them in other markets such as China, India and Brazil.

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Top analyst tweeters (via TweetLevel)

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase


Who are the analysts who use Twitter the most effectively?

Using SageCircle’s excellent database combined with a good number of my own I have used TweetLevel to understand who are the most important analysts on Twitter. These names are included on the following Twitter list – link

This unique tool compiles twitter data from over 30 sources and feeds the data through an algorithm to rank an individual according to four weightings:

  1. Popularity (i.e. How many people follow you)
  2. Influence (i.e. What you say is interesting, relevant and many people listen)
  3. Engaged (i.e. You actively participate within your community)
  4. Trusted (i.e. People believe what you say)

Of course, the explanation above is a simplified definition of a complex algorithm(the full methodology of this is shown at the bottom of this post).


How TweetLevel can be used?

I use this list by looking at a micro topic area (such as SaaS) and understand who out of the 950+ analysts on Twitter are the ones that truly use this as a conversation tool. I am normally left with ten names who I now know are critical to engage with. What counts is that if my analysts use Twitter as a medium to engage in conversations then I need to know who they are and take part in the discussion with them.

(Blatant self-promotion – if you want me to sort a list for you that is automatically updated for your specific area (that can be as broad or as specific as you want – from BI to Starbucks) then let me know.) Seguir leyendo “Top analyst tweeters (via TweetLevel)”