We're Hiring In Europe: Senior Advisor For The Forrester Interactive Marketing Council

Interested in managing and growing the European business within Forrester's largest Marketing & Strategy Leadership Board? Then I would love to speak with you. We are hiring a Senior Advisor for our Forrester Interactive Marketing Council, based out of London. We're looking for someone who loves interactive marketing as much as we do and is motivated to help our leadership board clients be successful practitioners in the space. You'd be joining our growing European IM team: Nate Elliott, Lauriane Camus, James McDavid, Lucilla DeSarlo, and me. Experience in interactive marketing and client-facing work is a must; interest in football and good food a plus. ;-)

Here's the job description. You can apply for the position directly from the page. Hope to hear from you!

Three Ways To Create An Advocacy Program

In my new Forrester report, Three Ways To Find, Create, And Energize Advocates, we share data and examples of successful advocacy programs. We also recommend an approach to define and reach the best candidates for your advocacy program. 

Not all advocates are created equal—someone who “likes” your brand or follows you on Twitter is not an advocate (yet).  This is an important fact to realize before you plan and launch an advocacy program.  Building a program can be costly, so you need to invest wisely in advocates who can create the biggest bang for the buck.  While it’s nice to have anyone advocating on your behalf, you need to get the Mass Influencers doing so.

As introduced in the Forrester Peer Influence Pyramid, Mass Influencers are the minority of those in social media who create the majority of the influence posts and impressions about products and services.  These are the people who combine influence, trust, relevance and scale to create powerful advocacy. 

Three ways to create advocacy programs - Promote, Find or Attract

There are three ways to create mass-influencing advocates: 

  • Promote them:  Take people who have little influence on their own and make them Mass Influencers through involvement in your program.  The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is a successful example of this approach. 
     
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Google's Eric Schmidt, Serendipity And The Future Of Social Media

Eric Schmidt has seen the future, and it's "autonomous search." That's a fancy term that means "discovery." But no matter what words you use, it still means the same thing:  more empowered consumers and greater value in earned media. 

Some people are creeped out by portions of what Schmidt said, but he has suggested an exciting future for empowering people to create greater influence and be armed with timely, relevant, and useful information.  At TechCrunch Disrupt, Schmidt envisioned a future where people and technology come together to create "a serendipity engine . . . a new way of thinking about traditional text search where you don't even have to type."

As you look into the future, the distinction between “search” and “discovery” gets muddy.  While it sounds like science fiction to suggest that technology can help search for things you don’t even yet know you want, the opportunities to improve human discovery are very real.  Combining a person’s context—where they are, who they’re with—with their past opinions and actions and the opinions and actions of others can create tremendous value and relevance.

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Why Are Social Behaviors Plateauing?

Since 2007, Forrester has tracked the growth of social behaviors.  For years we’ve seen increases in more complex social behaviors such as Creators—those who generate social content including YouTube videos and blog posts.  But for the first time, we’re seeing a change in the growth trend.  Our latest 2010 Global Social Technographics report demonstrates that many social behaviors have reached a plateau.  Why, and what does this mean to marketers?

There is not a single answer to those questions.  The reasons span things as complex as human nature and as simple as Web site usability.  For example, is it sensible to believe that Creator behavior will ever be universal? Not every person has a burning need to be a reporter, an industry expert, a videographer, a musician, a thought leader, an editor or a broadcaster.  The fact that more than 1 in 5 online adults in the US are exhibiting Creator behavior is a testament to how social technologies have lowered the bar, since these tools have allowed more people to create and distribute their ideas, opinions and creations than was ever possible in the past. 

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Changes In How Europeans Contribute Social Content Will Force Marketers To Update Their Social Media Strategies

 If you’ve ever talked to Forrester about social media, chances are you’ve heard of the Social Technographics® Ladder -- our tool for measuring how people use social technologies and for helping marketers (and product strategists and market researchers and others) understand how to engage with those people in the social Web.

Today we’ve released our new 2010 Social Technographics data worldwide (you can see the US data here), and you’ll notice that this year, for the first time since we introduced the ladder, we’ve added a new category of social engagement. The new category -- “Conversationalists” -- is designed to capture the short, rapid conversations that are now taking place on Twitter and through Facebook status updates. How many people are engaged in these behaviors? Almost one-third of European online adults participate in these rapid public conversations every week. In just over two years, this activity has come from nowhere to become one of the most popular social behaviors we track.

And this Conversationalist activity has come along at just the right time, too -- because more “traditional” forms of online contribution have levelled off. The percentage of online Europeans who post their own blogs, videos, photos, or other media -- what we call “Creators” -- hasn’t grown in either of the past two years. And the percentage who participate in message boards and forums or who post comments on blogs or other social sites -- what we call “Critics” -- has grown just one percentage point in Europe each of the past two years.

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Win A Signed Copy Of Empowered: Predict The Social Network Box Office

We're less than a week away from the release of The Social Network.  What do you think the film's US box office will be? Are we looking at a $150-million blockbuster?  A $100-million success?  Or a $50-million disappointment?  Post your predictions here or tweet them on Twitter to @augieray with the hashtag #SNBO (for Social Network Box Office), and you could earn not only bragging rights but also receive a free copy of Empowered, signed by best-selling author Josh Bernoff.  You must post your prediction before 8 a.m. PDT on Friday, October 1, and we'll declare a winner on Monday, October 25.  

It seems everyone in the world (or at least everyone in my world) is buzzing about The Social Network.  In case you're living in a cave, The Social Network is the fictionalized story of the founding of Facebook, featuring real-life characters such as Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Sean Parker, and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. 

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Tablet News From Apple, HP, Samsung: Forrester's Take

As September closes and the holiday shopping season approaches, we expect near-daily developments in the burgeoning tablet market, and this week didn't disappoint. Here's our take on the headlines that caught our eye this week:

What's news: Apple's iPad Contributes To Highest Customer Satisfaction Score Ever From ACSI

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POST: A Pragmatic Framework For An iPad Product Strategy

You're busy. And you have limited resources. But you think this iPad thing is big, right? But what about all these other tablets coming out? And Android TVs? And connected printers? Do you need to produce apps for all of these devices?

Welcome to the Splinternet. The bad news: Devices and platforms will continue to proliferate. The good news: There's action you can take now to build a framework for delivering your products and services on the platforms where it makes sense for you to be -- whether that's iPads today or wearable gestural interfaces tomorrow.

In a new Forrester report, we lay out the how-to of building such a framework. It's called POST -- People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology -- and if it sounds familiar, that's because we've written about how to use it to build a social media strategy, a mobile strategy, and now we're introducing it for the iPad and the whole category of "and" devices that will follow it. (You know...and Android tablets, and WebOS tablets, and connected TVs, etc.)

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Why Aren't Facebook Ads More Transparent?

For a company that thrives on transparency, Facebook's advertising isn't very transparent.  Check out your Facebook home page, note the ads on the right side, and tell me what companies they're for.  Sure, the ads probably cite brand or company names in the headlines and images, but who are the companies who paid for those ads? Where will you end up if you click those ads? And an ever better question is, what will happen if you "Like" the ad--will you be giving information to a trusted brand or a spammer?

Now go to Google, conduct a search, and check out the AdWords on the right side. Who sponsors those ads? And where will you end up if you click on those ads?

Google advertising is transparent, and Facebook advertising is not. The difference is a single line of text: AdWords creates transparency by including a "Display URL."  Within ad AdWords, advertisers can set different Destination and Display URLs, but the two must be within the same domain so that (in the word of Google's AdWords form), "users know what to expect when they click your ad."  (The reason there is a difference between the Destination and Display URLs is so that advertisers can direct people to a specific page in their domain while displaying the much shorter root domain in the ad ). 

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Breaking News: Twitter’s New User Interface And What It Means To You

On Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new and improved user interface for its Web site.  Twitter’s new Web functionality is a significant evolution that promises to attract more visits to Twitter.com, improve Twitterers’ interactions with content and each other, and ease adoption for Twitter newbies.  The changes will roll out over the next few weeks, and there are implications for users and advertisers.  (For example, if you have one of those elaborate, custom background images that conveys URLs or contact data, I hope you’re not too attached to it.)

At first glance, the new Twitter.com interface seems to be a minor redesign of the current Web site.  The left column containing the tweet stream is largely untouched, but the right column holding Twitter follower counts and trending topics is much wider. The extra width accommodates a new “detail pane” that improves engagement with tweets and discovery of other Twitter users.

Click on a tweet in the left column, and the detail pane permits viewing and interaction with the content of that tweet. What is displayed in the detail pane depends on the nature of the tweet: 

  • Videos: If the tweet contains a link to a video from sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and USTREAM, that video plays in the detail pane.
  • Maps: If the tweet is a check-in via services such as foursquare, the detail pane displays a map.
  • Pictures:  If the tweet includes a link to a picture posted using services such as Flickr, DailyBooth, Twitpic  and DeviantArt, that image appears in the detail pane.
  • Hashtags:  If you click on a hashtag within a tweet, the detail pane conveys up-to-the-moment search results.
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