I regret I am missing a really good show in Boston at the moment, "The Business of Community." I'd actually been invited to blog at the conference but because of my new job and the show here in New York at Search Engine Strategies I was not able to make it for the first three days. I will be going tomorrow for one or Boston Community.
In for 8:30am, checked out my new office at ideaLaunch. The ideaLaunch offices are right on the border between the Rose Kennedy Parkway and the North End in Boston.
Met Aaron Robinson for the first time, ideaLaunch's Director of Technology, he has developed all the web applications at the company. Later was given a warm welcome and introduction to the rest of the company by Byron White, President of ideaLaunch.
Met with Byron White to get a deeper understanding of the company's tip and advice center content development process. I will be developing several tip and advice centers for ideaLaunch's core services, content marketing services. Byron and I thought it would be a great time for me to use the process so that I get up to speed in how ideaLaunch develops content for clients for our content marketing services and specifically for tip and advice centers. So I will take the role of the writer and Byron the role of the customer.
Next we spent some time going in depth on the products ideaLaunch provides to clients, and the rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for the trip down to New York for the Search Engine Strategies Conference. Easy trip down talking about marketing strategy and the growing importance of social media in company's marketing plans.
Dinner at Rue57 with the team, I had the salmon it was good.
I'll be in New York next week for the Search Engine Strategies 2009 conference and Expo. Always a favorite show, as my background in internet marketing was in the search industry, starting in 2000 with Portent Interactive.
I'll be manning the 202 booth in my new role as Director of Marketing at ideaLaunch.
If you are at the show, stop by, we are bringing recording equipment so if you have time we can record a podcast.
The New Communications Forum put on by the Society for New Communications Research is a great event because the participants are some of the leaders in social media around the world. Many of the participants know one another very well because they communicate through social media on a daily basis, that's one reason why the level of conversation and good fellowship is excellent. This is not your social media 101 event. You should just attend New Comm. Forum just for the evening dinners, but in addition they have great panel and speaker events during the day.
I regret I will not be able to make the event this year, especially as I am a Research Fellow with the Society, I am speaking in New York at the PRSA's Digital Impact conference later in the week, but if you are attending for the first time, and would like to check out this great event, let me know, I have some discounted tickets available.
Marketing to some is about sales, to others advertising, to me it is about listening and then taking action, building a product or service that customers want and need, and as a result you sell more and make more profits, which is why I am pleased about the news I have to write about today. I will be joining ideaLaunch as Director of Marketing in their Boston headquarters. Byron White is the President of ideaLaunch and he shares my passion for listening to develop great content on the web. ideaLaunch is a content marketing company, and offers a number of content marketing services that hundreds of clients are using to gain the trust and win the business of online customers. I'll be working on content, marketing ideaLaunch's services and expanding the company's social media presence.
Thanks to all of the people who helped me in the search process, especially Ian Lurie of Portent Interactive, Gene Kavner of Innovation Ads, and Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research.
Develop a blog, start a Facebook fan page, create a Second Life Island; all efforts in building a social media infrastructure that can be used to engage customers and community. Yet, launching a social media website is no indicator that a company will build a thriving engagement strategy. Rather how a company engages customer and community using social media is more important than what technologies they deploy. You might be able to rattle off a list of companies that have a blog, but it is much tougher to identify the companies that have a successful engagement strategy. Jon Garfunkel & I have developed a social media maturity index to make it easier to identify social media engagement leaders. Working with Jon Garfunkel, we took my original ideas, influenced by others, about a social media engagement rating system and developed the social media maturity index. Interestingly, Jon took our same discussion and has his own take on the model, The Open Community Enablement Model (oCEM).
This index can be used to determine the best practitioners in the industry regardless of the size of the company, and as a consequence the community can learn from those leader’s efforts.
One innovation suggested by Jon Garfunkel was changing the existing three point scale of my ranking system to a five point scale for evaluating social media leaders. John suggested we use the Capability Maturity Model’s process for evaluating the level of engagement. I think the maturity index rating should scale from 1 = no involvement, to 5 = heavily involved with engaging customers or deploying social media technology for engagement.
1 Listening – Describes the level of social media monitoring conducted by a company. Integrated into a monitoring system, has a triage system been developed by a company to sort and pass on information within the company?
1 = No monitoring is being conducted. 2 = Limited monitoring is being conducted, maybe at the level of free tools such as Google or Technorati. 3 = A formal monitoring system has been developed and deployed, the monitoring system feeds a triage system that passes information onto people who will respond to opportunities discovered within social media. 5 = Sophisticated routing of opportunities
2 Receive Feedback – A company is ready to receive and accept feedback from customers over the web. Here the customers will use the company’s mechanisms for sending feedback.
1 = No formal mechanism has been made available for customers to give feedback to a company. 3 = Customer feedback is welcomed by a company, however the mechanism is primitive, there has been the embryonic development of a feedback system, and there is a workflow process for who will take action on customer feedback. 5 = Sophisticated web 2.0 tools for customer feedback are being deployed that allow for the aggregation and sifting through of customer feedback, for example, bazaarvoice’s feedback system and salesforce.com’s idea engine.
3 Problem & Innovation Response – Does a company conduct outreach within social media to engage customers and community?
1 = A company does not allow or encourage a response using social media. 3 = Engagement happens on a limited basis, perhaps on the company’s blog or within social media networks, the company is taking a web 1.0 stance in a web 2.0 world. Responses are restricted to thought leadership rather than innovation management or customer support. 5 = Extensive engagement occurs on company social media websites. A company conducts outreach to their community beyond the goal of thought leadership or responding to controversial issues. Goals such as innovation management and customer support are pursued through a response strategy.
4 Acknowledgment & Demonstrating Action – This rating determines the extent to which a company will acknowledge receipt of ideas, and criticism, and how the company demonstrates it is taking action. To achieve a high maturity level a company will have both the processes in place for acknowledging, demonstrating receipt of ideas and taking action, and also deploying a company infrastructure for handling innovation management and customer support issues.
1 = A company may be active on social media and respond to customer feedback, but there is no acknowledgment and demonstration of the actions that will be taken based on customer feedback and suggestions. 2 = System for implementing innovation management embryonic, it is possible to take action based upon feedback but the mechanism is organic. 5 = A process has been developed for acknowledging feedback. When needed, resources and people are committed to taking action. To acknowledge receipt of feedback and ideas, whether a decision is taken to act or not, the decision results are published within social media for public consumption.
5 Knowledge Management - Knowledge Management is the process of recognizing useful information and publishing it in an open, searchable forum. A social media technology is deployed that enables customers and community to contribute and build a resource.
1 = No process or tools are used for building useful knowledge 3 = Off the shelf tools, bookmarking tools like del.ici.us, or wikis are used to collect useful information. 5 = Purpose built tools for knowledge management, active management and moderation of those tools.
Please let us know what you think of the index, and if we should add something or edit the description?
Scott Henderson from Mediasauce is asking for your help with his Hunger Pledge campaign. The campaign in association with Tyson Foods intends to encourage the social media connected to pledge their support for the campaign. In return Tyson will give 35lb's of food donation. The campaign launches next Thursday, and if 1,000 people sign up Tyson will ship a semi-trailer of food to Austin during the SXSW 2009 interactive festival. The Pledge to end hunger in the US site launches next week.
Blogging is all about starting a conversation with another individual. I don't mind if someone from a company posts useful and relevant information on my blog. But that information has to be within the context of an existing conversation. I reserve the right to delete or edit content and links from comments on this blog if I think you are just making a sales pitch or trying to increase your SEO standing.