What Is a “Fully Engaged Customer”?

What Is a “fully engaged customer”? That’s a very good question! Some of the answer depends on who you ask.  Marketing has one opinion, Sales generally another and then Customer Service might see a fully engaged customer from a whole different point of view.


Sharing is Caring. If a customer is talking to you – whether online or in-person, there’s engagement. If they are sharing a compliant, don’t see it as a compliant. See a compliant as an opportunity to understand, from their point of view, what’s working and what’s not working. Then you will be able to help them with relevant information in the context of their experience.  That’s engagement.

Make sure if you are in sales,  you are listening online to what customers are saying about the products and service that you offer. Listen to what they say about your competitors. Why? because customers, whether B2B or B2C are talking to each other about your product and services (and your competitors) and you need to know what they think before you try to sell them something. And if there’s something that’s really not working about your product or service, you need to communicate that back into the organization so the issues can get handled.

If you are in marketing, you will also want to be listening to customer conversations. You’ll not only find what is relevant to them, but be able to take that information and use to to craft your marketing messages and in messaging, you’ll be able to combat sales objections, product questions, and really be of service with your content. That will make you relevant in your customer’s eyes and entice them to be fully engaged.

Here’s where you can find more information on what a fully engaged customer is from some of the top experts in the world:

@drnatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences


Customer Experience: How Marketing, Sales and Customer Service Drive Customer Loyalty

Customer Service is Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Henry Ford, an innovator in personal transportation said, “A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” Nearly a century later, the number one reason a customer recommends a business to another customer is still outstanding service. Some things never change and they never will. But it’s up to brands and the senior leadership team to truly embrace this and support it with resources: people, process, strategy and technology. The right technology with the wrong strategy, only means you will be doing the wrong things, faster.

While delivering superior customer service has continued to be a key differentiator for companies, some things have changed forever. Today there are more channels, devices, and technologies. Customers’ behaviors have changed and so have their expectations. To win business and your customers’ loyalty, you have to deliver a modern service experience.

Marketing Maybe Bring You Customers, But Sales and Customer Service Keep Them

If no one knows about your product or service, no one is going to buy it. Marketing is very important to get the word out and make sure your customer acquisition is high. The content for marketing is one of the most important aspects on marketing, especially in the digital era. People do a ton of research on products and services online before they buy – either online or in a store. So making sure you are reaching your key target audience is key — but so is making sure your content is relevant, humanized (doesn’t sound like boring, corporate speak), authentic and genuine is key to getting or keeping the attention of our attention deficient audiences that are so prevalent today.

Is your marketing modern? Have you changed your marketing practices? Are you listening to what customers are saying? Often times creatives struggle with how to come up with new “catch phrases” or how to describe a new product or service. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Often listening to online conversations (just like many companies held in-person focus groups) you will understand more about the customers you are targeting and be able to kraft messages that are truly meaningful. And you’ll want to use analytics in your marketing to make sure you are targeting the best audience with the right messages at the right time. And then there’s channels and distribution of content on those channels. Marketers have more to do today than ever.

Sales Is Dependent on Both Marketing and Customer Service

Often customers read what’s posted in social networks about a product (think product review sites) or posts about how they have been treated as well as garner insights and research from respected analysts, journalists and bloggers.

Most information that decision makers collect and act on comes from their network. People—not databases or reports—form the primary source of information they use to formulate and validate decisions. And today’s personal network extends far beyond just the people they talk to in person. It reaches out to hundreds and even thousands of people, in nanoseconds, via social networks. And that’s in part, why it’s important to make sure your Marketing Content and Customer Service are aligned with your Sales initiatives.


It’s all about being in-tune with the customer and seeing the entire experience from sales, marketing, and service as a complete customer experience journey. Here’s a short video and my point of view on this topic of how intertwined marketing, sales and customer service really are. It’s time CEO’s put their foot down and demand that these three functional areas stop thinking of themselves as independent departments, but rather focus on how they can work together to make the best possible customer experiences:

What’s your take on intertwined marketing, sales and customer service?


VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences


7 Steps to Create Powerful Customer Experiences and Get Social Media ROI

In this webinar with Crimson-Hexagon, I walk through seven steps that help brands create powerful customer experiences as well as where the ROI is… which seems to be difficult for some people to see where the return on integrating social media into a business is possible. Here’s the link to listen to the webinar. In particular, I show how social media monitoring is key to a social media business strategy.

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How to Overcome Social Media Marketing Obstacles

MediaPost released the results of the Chief Marketer 2012 Social Marketing Study, a survey of marketing professionals. While 76% of respondents are currently using social media as part of their marketing, they expressed several frustrations.

SalesForce has pulled together some takeaways and resources to help marketers overcome these social media obstacles.

It’s Hard to Calculate True ROI

At 56%, this was the biggest frustration for marketers. While social media metrics on their own do not ROI make, correlating these metrics with overall business objectives will allow you to calculate the return on investment of your social media efforts. We go over the fundamentals in 7 Steps to Measuring Social Media ROI and cover seven essential equations for social media measurement. If you have more time, check out the below webinar on ROI with and be sure to download the ebook.

It’s Hard to Link Social Engagement to Sales

When linking social media metrics to sales, you need to look at conversions or the number of people who took action as a result of your social media efforts. Create landing pages and promo codes available only via Facebook or Twitter and use web analytics to help track your referral traffic. You can also cross-reference inbound leads with your social media subscribers to measure conversation rates for your customers who follow you on social media versus those who do not. A CRM system will help you track your lead sources and how many convert to sales. For more on this, download SalesForce’s ebook, 5 Steps to Effective Social Media Measurement.

Curating Content is Too Time Consuming

While some brands and agencies have full-time teams dedicated to producing content, it is an achievable goal for brands of any size. Creating content takes time, but doesn’t need to be time consuming if you delegate your resources. We give you some ideas for how to organize your social media editorial team here. If your team is small, consider having members from other departments in your organization create or collaborate on content, whether it is a blog, ebook, or webinar. You likely have lots of employees outside your marketing team who would be willing and eager to help out. Don’t rely on your internal team alone – turn to your customers and industry influencers to contribute as well.

Read the original post here!

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Want to get more info on the business use of social media? Connect with me here:
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Lithium Technologies Positioned in the “Leaders” Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Social CRM

Lithium was recognized by Gartner, Inc. in the Leaders Quadrant of the Social CRM Magic Quadrant. Here’s the links to the press release: Lithium Press Release. The Gartner Social CRM Magic is an annual report tracks trends in the Social CRM market and analyzes key market qualities. Lithium’s inclusion in the Magic Quadrant is based on Gartner’s evaluation of the company’s ability to execute on social strategy and overarching vision. Lithium is the only non-public company among the leaders and contenders in this space. 

Rob Tarkoff, CEO of Lithium Technologies said, “We believe Lithium’s recognition in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Social CRM is exemplary of the exciting company momentum seen through providing competitive solutions for our clients and globally expanding our customer base. We consider the acknowledgment reflective of our leading commitment to make brands successful with the social customer experience to optimize Social CRM strategy and exceed business goals.”

Image representing Lithium Technologies as dep...

Image via CrunchBase

In addition, the Wall Street Journal named its third annual ranking of the top 50 start-ups in the U.S. backed by venture capitalists. http://on.wsj.com/ScG7ij Lithium was named part of the Next Big Thing.

In looking at the Gartner Magic Quadrant, I wonder how easy it is to use it to choose software to build a social enterprise. Having been an analyst, I know how difficult it is to keep track of all the regular vendors- for instance, I covered CRM – Marketing, Sales and Service software and then added social media software as applied to those disciplines. Covering 100 or more vendors is nearly impossible for any human being. On the other hand, I wonder how useful it is to have a report that has many software types that are not apples to apples comparisons.

The Gartner Social CRM Magic Quadrant has received criticism. My colleague, said it very well on his blog, “I have the highest respect for the authors and contributors to the recently released Gartner Magic Quadrant for Social CRM. I am disagreeing with the ideas and concepts, not people. I am more troubled that what was published is so off the mark, as it leads to further confusion in an already confused space. This is not to say that the companies included in various locations are right or wrong either, it is simply the apples to oranges comparison of ‘things’.

I don’t mean to say that Lithium’s placement in the Social CRM Magic Quadrant isn’t well deserved. It is.

For me, what I am wondering about and pondering questions around – is how to make sense of all the content and information- sometimes misinformation about software, especially when it comes to social software. Maybe one strategy is to write a software analysis document that is not very clear or one that does not completely covers the whole landscape (which is not possible) or one that doesn’t have apples to apples comparisons – with respect to building a social enterprise– so that people need to call you and get help? Could that be part of the reasoning?

What I do know is that there are so many vendors in social media software that my clients have a very tough time sorting through vendors – their features, functions and benefits and then making a short list and then choosing and implementing software — AND to then use the software to reach business results…

What’s your thoughts on figuring out the social media software landscape?

About Lithium

Lithium helps companies unlock the passion of their customers. Lithium software powers amazing Social Customer Experiences for more than 400 iconic brands including AT&T, BT, Best Buy, Sephora, Skype and Telstra.  Lithium helps companies grow brand advocacy, drive sales, reduce costs and accelerate innovation to create a brand nation that redefines the customer experience. For more information, visit lithium.com, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and our own brand nation–the Lithosphere. Lithium is privately held with corporate headquarters in Emeryville, Calif. and offices in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Download Complimentary Copy
A complimentary copy of the Magic Quadrant report here.

The “Magic Quadrant for Social CRM” was written by Adam Sarner, Ed Thompson, Jenny Sussin, Nikos Drakos, Michael Maoz, Jim Davies, Jeffrey Mann — September 27, 2012.

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts

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Social Media Club LA presents “Loving Your Customers: Social CRM”

The Social Media Club/LA (SMCLA) today announced it will present, in cooperation with sponsor SAP, a panel discussion on social customer relationship management (CRM) titled “Loving Your Customer.”  In this second SMC_LA presented panel discussion of the year, speakers will highlight how customers can tap into the latest mobile trends to get the most benefits from their social programs.

The discussion will take place on Tues., Feb. 21, from 6-10 p.m. at the ING Café in Los Angeles. Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, president of SMCLA, will moderate the discussion. She will be joined by speakers Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble; Gary May, president of Interactive Marketing and Consulting Services (IM@CS); and Charles Miller, director of Digital Care and Social Media, Mobile Smartphone at Direct TV. To learn more about the presentation or to RSVP, please go towww.socialmediaclub.la.

The Social Media Club of Los Angeles focuses on the unique mix of entertainment, technology and culture that makes Los Angeles an epicenter of the next evolution of the Internet. It hosts monthly panels on topical and relevant social media issues. Its February panel discussion will be presented in sponsorship with SAP, the market leader in enterprise application software, which also offers leading social CRM solutions.

“Today, SAP is on innovation hyperdrive,” said Vinay Iyer, vice president, Global Marketing, SAP CRM. “With a user-centric lens on big data, mobility, cloud and social technologies, we are helping our customers have more relevant and smarter 360-degree conversations with their customers like never before, without requiring them to dig into existing ERP and CRM foundations every time. Not only can our offerings inspire social marketing efforts, but SAP is also an exemplar of social in-bound and out-bound marketing practices. We grew our own social channels two-fold last year, and we’re leveraging best practices through our participation in Social Media Club/LA.”

SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device, SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition.

About Social Media Club LA

Who is SMCLA?

SMCLA is a non-profit, volunteer-based club. Members of SMCLA include influencers throughout the Los Angeles community who range from tech, marketing, PR, entertainment, entrepreneurs, and media to name a few.   SMCLA panels typically draw 100-150 in-person attendees and when livestreamed, an additional 400+ who tune in via our video webcast.  Our panels have already covered the movie and music industries, branding in Social Media, search engine marketing and more.


English: Picture of Chris Heuer, founder of So...

Image via Wikipedia

What is SMCLA?

The Social Media Club of Los Angeles focuses on the unique mix of entertainment, technology and culture that makes Los Angeles an epicenter of the next evolution of the Internet.  Founded in July of 2008, SMCLA hosts monthly panels on topical and relevant Social Media issues.

To learn more about Social Media Club Los Angeles, please go to www.socialmediaclub.la

Find Us Here:

Website: http://www.socialmediaclub.la

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/smc_la

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/socialmediaclubLA

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1839487&trk=hb_side_g


# # #


SAP and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries.

All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies


Jon Ferrara, CEO, Nimble 


English: Jon Ferrara Portrait

Image via Wikipedia Jon has over 20 years of experience in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Force Automation (SFA). An entrepreneur at heart, Jon founded GoldMine CRM in 1989 with a college friend and turned it into a very successful venture that he eventually sold to FrontRange.

Today, business has changed. With the advent of social media, email, IM, text messages and more, businesses are overwhelmed by the myriad applications needed to listen to and engage with their customers. The question is no longer how to stay connected – but how to efficiently and cost-effectively build business relationships given multiple communication channels. From that new need sprang Jon Ferrara’s latest innovation: Nimble.

After two years of development and thousands of real world users, Nimble has emerged as the next evolution in relationship management – the only web-based solution that brings together all of your contacts, calendar, communications and collaborations in one simple, free platform.

Gary May, President/Consultant, Interactive Marketing and Consulting Services (imacsweb)

IM@CS continually evolves to build, educate on and support platforms in critical sales, branding, process, media and best practice application for forward-thinking companies and those trying to grasp the online space. We work with retail, manufacturers, portals and service providers that have a large consumer-facing business, primarily in the automotive industry as well as luxury and specialty markets and other high-end services.

IM@CS also specializes in working with companies investigating opportunities within the automotive market to make sense of a diverse and dynamic environment, providing insight, direction and solid fundamentals to achieve success.

Overall we provide greater opportunities through brand awareness, reputation management, process improvement and sales organization coaching for companies looking to create sustainable improvements and add to their bottom line.

Charles Miller, Director, Digital Care and Social Media / Mobile Smartphone Support Strategy, DIRECTV, Inc.



Image via WikipediaA leading Social Media practitioner, speaker and panelist, Charles has advised CMOs, CIOs, and CTOs on Social Media best practices, sCRM, and customer communities nationally. Within DIRECTV he has influenced and helped employ Social Media use throughout the enterprise including advising PR, Marketing, Engineering, Research, Field Services and Mobile Advanced Services. His operations team is both U.S. and internationally based with overseas travel to Manila, Hong Kong, London, Paris and Rome.


Forrester Research and Frost & Sullivan seek out his insight for studies, publications have noted his expertise, and case studies are now featured in recent business books for adapting business practices based on online feedback. Expert Social Media practitioner featured on Mashable, ComputerWorld, ZDNet, Financial Times of London, and CNNLive.com

Dr. Natalie Petuohoff Dr. Natalie, a former social media Forester Analyst, heads up the Social Media Executive Education Division at UCLA and is President of the Social Media Club Los Angeles. Her experiences as an Ad Agency executive and management consultant provides unique business insights that she shares as an accomplished keynote speaker, quoted expert and featured guest expert on TV and radio.  Dr. Natalie helps companies understand how social media affects the bottom-line and to create executable strategies that provide real business value. She does this by benchmarking the “As Is” state of social media initiatives and compares them to “Could Be” via best practices.  With this insight, businesses can create a world-class social media and digital presences and monetize their investments. Dr. Natalie wrote the world’s first social media ROI calculator.

Hope to see you there!
Learn. Share. Grow!

Ebook: Social Media ROI Myths and Truths
New Book on Facebook: Like My Stuff – How to Monetize Your Facebook Fans With Social Commerce & A Facebook Store
Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
website/blog: www.drnatalienews.com/blog
YouTube Videos: On ROI of Social Media
G+ : Google Plus posts
White Papers: Social Media ROI




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Top Social Commerce Statistics from SocialCommerceToday.com – You Can Monetize Facebook Fans!

When I was writing the book, Like My Stuff: How to Monetize Your Facebook Fans with a Facebook Store, many people said they didn’t know that you could make purchases on Facebook.  As I was doing research for the book, I came across a site, SocialCommerceToday.com that has the most amazing collection of information on social commerce and f-commerce. Below is an excerpt of what they offer! These facts could be the key to getting your Facebook initiative approved and monetized!

Facebook Drives Loyalty Sales:

  • 117%: the additional amount a fan will spend on a brand compared to a non fan
  • 17%: proportion of Facebook users who say simply having the ability to ‘Like’ a brand makes them more likely to buy
  • 51%: the increase in likelihood a customer will purchase, after clicking the ‘like’ button
  • 41%: the increase in likelihood a customer that a customer will recommend, if they have liked the brand
  • 28%: the increase in likelihood that customers who ‘like’ a brand will repurchase
  • 40%: Proportion who ‘Like’ businesses in order to receive special discounts and promotions
  • 30% to 200%: increase in site registrations for sites using Facebook sign on
  • 15% to 100%: Increase in the number of reviews and other user-generated content generated when using Facebook social sign-on

Facebook Drives Word-of-Mouth Sales:

  • 75%:  Percentage of Facebook users who have “liked” a brand
  • $2.52: what a Facebook share generates for ticketing site Eventbrite
  • 11: Visits generated by  a Facebook share for ticketing site Eventbrite
  • 30bn+: pieces of content shared online every month by Facebook users (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.)
  • 90: Average pieces of content created by a Facebook user each month
  • 130: Average number of Facebook friends of a user (who receive their word of mouth recommendations)
  • $3.60: the media value generated by the average Facebook fan is $3.60/year

Facebook Drives E-Commerce Traffic:

  • 6.5%: click-through rates on Facebook walls are 6.5%
  • 67% of retailers plan to use Facebook to drive traffic to their e-commerce sites
  • 25%: proportion of users who post links to other companies, products or services
  • 20%: proportion of e-commerce sales from Facebook (for Wetseal)
  • 1.5x: Facebook users spend 1.5x more online that other Internet users
  • 1 in 11: humans that are on Facebook (642 613 700) [Q2 2011]
  • 40%: The drop in Coca-Cola’s website traffic in the past year, but Coke’s Facebook page is up and is now the world’s most popular Facebook brand page (22m)
  • 7.9: In 2010, Facebook grew by 7.9 users/second
  • 1/3: Proportion of time spend online on Facebook by Facebook users
  • 50%: proportion of users who log on to Facebook in any given day
  • 700 billion: Minutes spent on Facebook every month
  • 80: Average community pages, groups and events to which a Facebook user is connected
  • Bigger than Google: In August 2010, U.S. Internet users spent 41.1 billion minutes on Facebook, surpassing Google Inc.’s 39.8 billion minutes for the first time
  • Nine in Ten: Proportion of US social network users who use Facebook
  • 57.1%: Proportion of Internet US users using Facebook

f-commerce is a Viable Retail Platform:

  • Top 3: The top 3 brands on Face book (by fans) all sell directly on Face book – Coca-Cola (24m), Starbucks (20m) and Disney (19m)
  • 2-4%: f-store conversion rates – on a par with web-stores (avg. 3.4%, according to Forrester/Shop.org)
  • $650,000,000: The drop in Netflix share value when Warner opened up a Facebook movie rental (streaming) service in 2011
  • 1000: Number of diapers P&G sold on its f-store in under an hour
  • 50,000: Number of retailers who have opened an f-store with Payment
  • 6 hours: Time it took for the Rachel Roy Facebook jewelry store to sell out
  • 3rd highest: daily sales made by Rachel Roy, the day it opened it’s pop-up f-store
  • 1m+: Starbucks customers using their e-commerce-enabled Facebook CRM loyalty program
  • 1300: Number of products added every week to the ASOS f-store
  • 20%: Proportion of black Friday sales transactions on Facebook for e-tailer Kembrel
  • 7-10%: Increased Average Order Value for Facebook transactions (vs. web-store) for Kembrel
  • 5000+: customers using Walmart’s group-buy Facebook app on the day of its launch
  • $34: Amount paid for the first transaction ever to take place in Facebook at 11.50 am EST on July 8, 2009 for bouquet of flowers ‘A Slice of Life’ on the f-store of U.S. florist 1-800 flowers

Could Facebook Be the Operating System of the Future? 

  • 200+ million: Facebook users accessing the utility through their mobile devices
  • 2x: People using Facebook on mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users
  • 94%: Proportion of phone users who will communicate on their handsets via social networks
  • 50%:  Proportion of mobile internet traffic accounted for by Facebook and other social networking tools
  • 70%: proportion of Facebook users who engage with Facebook applications
  • 550,000: the number of active applications currently on Facebook Platform
  • 44%: proportion of retailers who plan to use Facebook application in place of microsites for product launches and promotions

Industry Adoption of f-commerce is Accelerating:

  • 76%: percentage of retailers who plan to use Facebook for ‘social commerce’ initiatives
  • 50%+: proportion of the global top 100 websites have integrated with Facebook using it’s social plug-ins
  • 50,000+: Number of websites that integrated Facebook social plug-ins (incl. ‘Like’) in the week they launched
  • 2.5 million+: websites have now integrated with Facebook
  • 10,000: number of new websites integrate with Facebook every day (with social plug-ins) (since April 2010)
  • 2m+: Number of sites that have integrated Facebook social plug-ins
  • 7 out of 10: proportion of digital marketers who have implemented or planning to implement Facebook Like feature

@drnatalie Learn. Share. Grow!

For more information on my book about F-commerce, “Like My Stuff: How to Monetize Your Facebook Fans with a Facebook Store” check out my Facebook store.

Here’s more great resources and posts on social commerce:

How to Monetize Your Facebook Fans WIth a Facebook Store

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Authenticity is Need MORE Now Than Ever! Benioff vs. Oracle’s Debacle

As a Former Forrester Analyst, I attended all the software conferences. Now I only attend the ones that I think are really relevant to my clients. What’s nice about being an independent software and business analyst is that I don’t have to pretend any more to say a vendor is great when they are not and I don’t have to be afraid of speaking the truth.

Why Oracle allowed Benioff to speak at previous OpenWorld’s is beyond me, when they are competitors. But they did. Maybe Oracle didn’t see that they were competitors. I think that they looked down on Salesforce and didn’t see what that the world had changed. It’s not the first time this has happened.

Sometimes even the brightest people don’t-know-what-they-don’t-know. In Joel Barker’s book, Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future, he uses the following examples to illustrate how we negate ideas through our own filters or perceptions of the world. When we see the world from our own limited perspective, sound solutions are dismissed or overlooked.

“The Earth is the center of the Universe.” PTOLEMY, Astronomer, 300 B.C.

“The phonograph is not of any commercial value.” THOMAS EDISON, inventor of the phonograph, 1880

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” Harry Warner, WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES, 1927

“There’s no reason for anyone to have a computer in their home.” Ken Olsen, President of DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, 1977

It’s interesting this year that they did what seems to be a last minute change of heart around having Marc speak. What it did is drive all the PR to Salesforce.com, which as we all know, Marc is a master marketer.

I’m not at OpenWorld because there is really nothing new. Oracle’s Fusion has been promised for years. Their customers are frustrated by the user interface, specially when it comes to Customer Service and I don’t think they are leading the social business capabilities that business must have. Their acquisition of InQuira was a good move.  I did attend Dreamforce and I spoke on the ROI of social media and had a great panel with real-world experience of transforming their organizations.

But Social Media is the MOST important thing that has happened to business in 100 years. Companies need software to facilitate this. Maybe that’s why Oracle decided to un-invite Benioff? The handling of this leaves lot’s of room for speculation on why they would do this.

What’s difficult in the connected social network world we live in, is excuses like, “We offered Benioff a different time slot and he choose not to accept it” doesn’t fly in the face of the need for companies to be authentic, genuine and human. This event has been set in stone for a long time. The last minute change up of Benioff’s time slot doesn’t hit the mark with respect to honestly.

It’s a new world we are living in. We are all under a microscope that our behavior as brands gets played out on the big stage called life. And social media is the giant megaphone and broadcast system that reaches millions and billions in a nano-second.

What do you think Oracle should do now? Let it go? Apologize and admit that they changed the time slot because they felt threatened by Salesforce? Make up a different story? Love to hear your thoughts!

Here’s some other articles: New York Times, IT News,

Forbes AllThingsD

Here’s my friend Charlie Issac’s youtube video on Larry Ellison’s speech- that speech may have been the tipping point to the change in the Benioff schedule…




Could Social Media Monitoring Have Saved Netflix & Blockbuster from Themselves?

Word Cloud On Netflix from Social Media Monitoring

I teamed up with my friend Jennifer Tyler, @JenHowell4, at Sysomos and we did a little social media monitoring on the Netflix situation. One of the goals of this blog post is to show that data can be used to tell a story. When you tell a story, the audience listens.

A Cause for Pause I hope that this case study gives every CEO, CMO… a cause for pause — to consider social media as well as social media monitoring –to give it a real, hard consideration. Not just because you want to avoid risk, but because you can begin to see that there is mission critical, real-time data that you can use in your business. And so now to our story, aided by the social media monitoring data.

Blockbuster’s Customers Didn’t Like the Delivery System Because It Involved Late Fees If we examine what was being said about Blockbuster in social media prior to bankruptcy, the negative conversation was around late fees. Clearly there was something not working about the delivery of movies. Customers had to come in, rent the DVD and remember to return them on time. Or else the “evil” late fees would consume their positivity around the brand.

But was Blockbuster listening? It doesn’t appear that they were “hearing” the feedback, at least not enough to shift their business model. Here’s a word cloud that can be generated via social media monitoring. It tells you what was being said about Blockbuster in social media. You can clearly see- in the word cloud- that the main jist of the conversation was about late fees. (In word clouds, the larger the words, the more times they are mentioned in social media.)

Social Media Monitoring Word Cloud on Blockbuster

If Blockbuster was using social media monitoring, they could have seen that their customer sentiment was not positive. They could have clicked on the red part of the pie chart to understand what customer’s were upset about. By clicking on the graph they could choose to look at tweets, at blog posts, etc… that pertain to that negative sentiment.

Blockbuster Sentiment Chart in 2010

But Blockbuster didn’t listen — or at least they didn’t hear and shift their business and had to file bankruptcy on Sept 23, 2010. You can see in the word cloud about Blockbuster’s bankruptcy, that Netflix is showing up in the conversation. Clearly something to pay attention to — when the word cloud is supposed to be about your business and your competitor is showing up in the same cloud! YIKES!

Blockbuster Word Cloud Sept 23 1010 Bankruptcy

Social media monitoring can show you what is being said about your company. Below are clips that represent blog posts in social media about Blockbuster’s bankruptcy.

Conversations on the web about Blockbuster's Bankruptcy

And here’s customer sentiment around Blockbuster’s bankruptcy in tweets:

Blockbuster Twitter Conversations About the Bankruptcy

July 12, 2011 Flash Forward to July 12, 2011. Was Netflix listening to their customers? If you look at the graph at the top left hand side, you see a yellow-ish curve. It is pretty much the same height until July 12, 2011.

What you can do in social media monitoring is to click on the peak and then see what that is attributed to. In the upper, right hand corner, you can see the blog post by Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings is what gave rise to the spike in social media and online conversations. The screenshot is of the Facebook post with a link to the CEO’s blog post. There are 81,789 comments. Out of those comments, there are 1,429 Likes. That’s about 1.7% positive responses.

If we do a word cloud on the same peak, we can see what the main topics are. That’s the group of words to the lower right. The key words are: Netflix, price, hike, streaming, dear…. It’s clear what the crowd is upset about. If we look at the lower left screen grab, you can see a buzz graph. The buzz graph tells you what words are being used in association with other words and the thicker the line, the more prominent is the use of the word. Those words are: increase, stream and redbox…

Social Media Monitoring Data on Netflix July 12 2011 Price Hike/ Change

Here’s the actual blog post by Hastings— note that he ends the post with telling customers that they can cancel their services at any time.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Blog Post July 12 2011, With Invitation To Cancel Customer Subscriptions

Here’s some of the thousands of comments to the CEO’s posts, most all negative, about the changes to the Netflix services:

Customers Reaction to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Blog Post July 12 2011

Despite the >23,000 negative comments on the blog on July 12, 2011, Netflix sent out a notice on the price hike on Sept 19th, 2011. What happens when you don’t listen or hear & you act without considering what customers think, feel and know? Customers were outraged… and the press picked up the coverage… If for no other reason than the press looks to social media for stories, companies MUST start taking social media seriously.

Press That Covered Netflix Price Change and Splitting Up the Company

And here’s some of the titles of the articles below. Companies work very hard to get coverage like this. Unfortunately, it wasn’t positive coverage.

Titles of Articles About Netflix

Here’s a sample of the tweets about Qwikster (Netflix’s new offering) – Sept 19th, 2011.

Sample of Tweets About Netflix Qwikster

And the three top words in the Buzz Graph?

• Hastings
• Apologize

Buzz Graph on Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

Here’s Doug Gross’s article, from CNN Tech and The Daily Dog’s Report on Netflix:


Daily Dog's Story on Reed Hastings and Netflix

And Tom Loftus’s Wall Street Journal story on Netflix and Reed Hastings:


Wall Street Journal's Story on Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings


And more stories from some great journalists:  

, Mashable: Netflix’s @Qwikster Problem: Twitter Account Controlled by Weed-Smoking Elmo  

Ben Fritz, LATimes: Netflix CEO admits ‘arrogance,’ renames disc business Qwikster  NPR: Netflix’ News: Signal Of DVD’s Demise?

Scott Cleland, Forbes: Netflix Crushes Its Own Momentum

Matt Burns, TechCrunch: Netflix Stock Erases 12 Months Of Massive Growth, Crashes Through 52 Week Low

Mike Issac, WIRED: Meet Qwikster: Netflix Spins Off Discs-By-Mail from Streaming Video

Austin Carr, FastCompany: Netflix: What We’ve Got Here Is A Failure To Communicate

What was interesting is that I checked Blockbuster’s twitter handle… and guess what I saw? Blockbuster is NOW listening! They are offering 1 year subscription to the people who provide the best reason for leaving NetFlix:



Blockbuster is listening now!!!

What makes this whole situation even worse, like Stan at Mashable said… Netflix didn’t even check the twitter handle– @Qwikster. Someone else has it. Here is one of his typical tweets. It’s not “on brand” with Netflix and Netflix doesn’t own the twitter handle. (Note to companies- before you pick the name of a new company, go to Twitter and check to see if the name is available!!)


Qwikster Tweets

Deming On Steroids Maybe its good to listen to your customers. Deming said it years ago. Listen to your customers and employees. Take the feedback and integrate it into your company. What we have in social media is Deming on steroids. We have feedback that is honest, genuine, and transparent. What’s worse is that, like cave paintings, it is something that will last forever for whomever is searching to find it.

Did Blockbuster cross the chasm of it’s time? No. It’s customers were saying, “We want a different delivery system where we don’t get dinged for late fees.” It didn’t shift with the changes in the marketplace. Did Netflix take their spot. You bet. Did Netflix get arrogant? One would think that after >87,000 comments or 24,000 comments, that if the customer’s weren’t good with what was being proposed, and Netflix went ahead anyways, yes, it appears so.

What could Netflix have done better? Ask the customers what they think before making a declaration. Explain that to keep the company profitable and to keep delivering the streaming services, that there might need to be some changes. Ask, don’t tell is the VERY FIRST things good leaders learn in and out of business school. Asking vs telling would be a paradigm shift for most CEOs.

Netflix announced the deal with Facebook and Michael Drobac, director of Government Relations at Netflix is asking customers to help bring Facebook Sharing to the US. Has Hastings done so much damage that fans and customers will not rise to help? Did the apologies and explanations by Hastings help or hurt the company? Do you think Hastings understands what he did wrong?  Todd Wasserman of Mashable.com reported rumors of Blockbuster to launch a Netflix rival. Is it too late for Netflix?

A Social Media Teaching Moment What can we learn from this? Call it a “teaching moment.” We can conclude that’s its important to listen to our customers. It’s important that executives listen to customers and use that feedback to make good decisions. The information about a company that is contained in social media is real-time and real relevant. It’s your customers, your advocates, your influencers, your ambassadors, the press and your nay-sayers giving you their point of view. And it lives forever, it can go viral and change not only what customer’s think but also what investors think, as well as stock prices. Social media is clearly a medium, that if you don’t understand it, it can get you!

So where is your company in the adoption of social media? If it’s stuck, then perhaps consider social media monitoring. It will give you:

  • A benchmark on where your sentiment and share of voice is- especially compared to your competitors
  • Assurances that what you are doing is working; fair warning when it isn’t
  • Mission critical data to adjust your products and service
  • Data to help create a business case for the decisions you are making
  • And give you data that can be used to calculate social media ROI.

Where is Social Media Going? Many people are asking me what’s the next phase in social media? They’ve got their Facebook and Twitter handle and they are posting. They have somewhat of a content strategy and interaction plan. And they are trying to drive customers through a marketing funnel and help customers with their customer service issues.

The Third WAVE of Social Media Adoption The next phase, and maybe it should be one of the first phases, is to do social media monitoring. Why? A good case study in this is re: Netflix and Blockbuster situation. Where we are in the social media lifecycle is the Third Wave. Wave One was lead by the Innnovators. Wave Two was championed by the Early Adopters.

The Social Media Adoption Curve by Dr Natalie Petouhoff

For social media to become the business-changing paradigm shift that it can be, it must win over the Early Majority. If that happens, then the business world would be entering WAVE Three, in the Social Media Adoption Curve. (I adopted Geoffrey Moore’s and Roger’s Diffusion Theory thought leadership around this concept.)

So what will it take to get the majority of the business world to buy into social media? The Early Majority are pragmatists. They want assurances that what they are going to do, is gonna work. They want business cases and they’d love to see ROI. One of the ways to show companies that social media matters is all of the above. And one of the best ways to create a business case is to do a little social media monitoring. At least that’s my take!

Don't do the Ostrich

Take your head out of the sand and cross the chasm

What’s your take on where business is in the social media adoption process?
Does this type of social media monitoring data make it easier to understand why someone should invest in social media? Love to hear your thoughts!

The Social Media Adoption Chasm - Don't Fall Into The Gap

@drnatalie Learn. Share. Grow!

Here’s more information to that might help you:
A link to the powerpoint presentation on slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/doctornatalie/social-media-breakfast-club-and-sysomos-presentation-sept-22-drnatalie

Link to my Social Media ROI videos: http://www.drnatalienews.com/blog/did-u-see-the-videos-on-the-roi-of-social-media

Link to my white papers on the ROI of Social Media: http://www.drnatalienews.com/blog/roi-of-social-media-white-papers-by-dr-natalie-petouhoff






What is Dreamforce? Does Sassy Know Jargon Will Be Attending?

Jeese Noyes and I have been exchanging emails on the topic of “What is Dreamforce?” She asked me to give her a few lines for her blog… Her’s her amazing article: http://blog.eloqua.com/what-is-dreamforce/

That inspired me to write a post and expand on that topic… here’s some thoughts… love to hear yours!

What is Dreamforce?
That’s a really good question. You could say its a conference, where analysts, reporters, customers and prospects come together to hear the latest and greatest news about Salesforce. I myself am always looking forward to seeing Sassy… I am wondering if she knows that Jargon is coming this year? He could use some love… (Jargon is the GetSatisfaction’s manifestation of all things not to do in social media… whereas Sassy represents all the things that are on target for this new social customer marketplace.)  I have a feeling love is in the air!

All kidding aside part of why I look forward to Dreamforce is that I get to see people who are near and dear to my heart. Yes, I know I’m a geek-nerd… and see tech conferences as the time to reconnect with some of the smartest and most amazing thought leaders in the industry. It is home week. I get to see my buddies in from the #SCRM or accidental community as they call it. I get to see friends from PR, Marketing and other disciplines…  And we get to banter, evaluate and analyze where the market is, where its going and what Salesforce’s contribution to the next wave of software provides for business. And we get to do some tweeting, some blogging and go see great music, have a beer or two. Life is good.

And think that more than anything Dreamforce is really a tribute to doing things differently. You may not agree with everything that’s said there. You may have your own perspective on the where the market is and what you think the week’s events mean for business. But there’s one thing that I think everyone can agree on. Its a week of celebrating doing things different.  March Benioff started Salesforce.com 1999. A former Oracle executive he had a vision of doing things different. He had the courage to step outside the box and do something so out of the box… literally his software was online… not in a box!

In 2004 Salesforce went public, under the stock symbol CRM. Marc’s vision that there was a way to do software differently. He was doubted and criticized. Twelve years later, he is truly someone to admire because his vision manifested into an amazing reality. Why? Because he thought differently and as a result of that thought leader, the whole software world has been dramatically changed.

As an analyst, a consultant and an executive adviser, thinking different is at the core of what we do. To me Dreamforce reminds me that– to advance business — we as practitioners need to remember to keep thinking different. And that’s why I am excited about being at Dreamforce. It’s a place and time to take stock of where we have come and where we will go- as an industry…

If you want to hear more good thinking different content at Dreamforce, I have to give a plug for my panel… THEY ARE AMAZING! We’ll be speaking on Aug 31 2-3PM on Measuring ROI with Social Customer Service at Dreamforce. Location: Moscone West – 3016

Come hear how companies are thinking differently about Customer Service, Social Media and getting a ROI. Take a note from Marc’s notebook… Think different or die.
@drnatalie www.doctornatalienews.com

Want to help shift the world’s thinking? Learn. Share. Grow… here’s some links to share:

Links to the social media ROI videos

Links to the social media ROI white papers