Dave Wieneke of UsefulArts.us and I have been discussing who are the product leaders for social media products and services amongst agencies and product companies?
As a first step we talked about developing a list of categories as defined by the industry. So we've decided to start a research project where we will catalog the agencies providing products and services in social media, define the categories and then determine which companies are the categories leaders.
Here's a quick category leadership definition:
"Category leadership can be defined as the company with the most sales in a product category."
I think it's important to understand who the leaders are in any industry because that will inform the industry on what it takes to become a leader. That's fairly obvious in Tablet computing, Apple's the category leader at over 90% market share, but for social media agencies, who would you think is the category leader in the U.S. and how did they obtain that position? Not so obvious, partly because you have to define what services each agency provides and distinguish between social media and more pedestrian services like public relations.
I'm sure this will involve a nice debate about whether social media is new, different, and can be separated from marketing, public relations, interactive, SEO etc.
We also thought that by defining categories, we'd actually discover new categories of service and products. The space is evolving so rapidly it's tough to know what's growing, and what's just the latest darling of the moment. Both Dave and I would like to get a better handle on the most important categories, and what's becoming important that will help us in our own research, and work, and the industry.
Now it's going to be difficult to get revenue data because many of the companies are privately run, but estimates and customer counts may help with the process.
Let's start the process off by thinking about what categories are in the industry, here's a short list that will grow:
- Social Media Content Creation
- Social Media strategy
- Social Media Monitoring
- Social Media engagement
Dave and I intend to have an open discussion back and forth between our blogs, but we'd be happy for you to join in, and discuss the categories, and leaders.