Recently, I was researching how market insights professionals can enhance their internal position and have a greater influence on their companies’ strategies (for an upcoming Forrester Leadership Board exclusive research report). As part of the research, I spoke with leaders at the market insights and CMO levels to get their views on how market insights professionals can succeed, build internal awareness and reputations and be able to more effectively influence the company’s direction and strategies.
As I spoke to these leaders, I kept hearing things I had read years ago from a beat-up 10-cent book I found at the local flea market. That book was Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. It was published back in 1937, which was right about the time George Gallup (of Gallup Poll fame) founded the American Institute of Public Opinion, part of the growing tide of companies doing this new thing called market research.
For those who are not acquainted with Dale Carnegie’s book, it provides advice on how to make people like you, win them to your way of thinking and change them (without giving offense or arousing resentment). It even provides rules for making your home life happier! Salespeople swear by this book and I have to say that it’s been a great guide for me (and provided an amazing ROI on my 10-cent investment).
Social influence is one of the hottest issues for Customer Intelligence and Interactive Marketing professionals today. Not a day goes by that I don't talk with marketers or vendors about how to identify, measure, and utilize influential sources online. But for all the interest, there's not much out there defining or standardizing how influencers work — or what online "influence" even means. As a result, I'm kicking off some new research covering how social media makes it possible to find and engage with your brand's influencers. My last research on this subject — now over a year old — is still one of my most-read reports, proving that there's a need for an update.
As luck would have it, thanks to @SarahSGlass, who's a researcher on our Interactive Marketing team and our Customer Intelligence Community Manager, and @Mike_Grant_FORR, we have a perfect venue to open the discussion around social influence: a tweet jam. Yes, "tweet jam" sounds silly, but it's a great way to connect with others and to share and learn about an interesting topic. Our Interactive Marketing team holds a weekly discussion on Twitter, using the #IMChat hashtag, around certain marketing topics and has had great success so far.