Gilt Grants Discounts Based On "Influence" -- Does This Have Staying Power?

Gilt Groupe recently ran a promotion with Klout in which it offered tiered discounts based on a person’s influence score (see the screenshot below). Members of Klout Perks received a discount for Gilt purchases based on their Klout score; the higher the member’s influence score, the higher the discount.

Gilt’s primary objective with the promotion was to build brand awareness through word of mouth and acquire new customers.  It will be interesting to see how the program performs for Gilt in terms of first-time purchases, long-term customer behaviors, and ROI.

This promotion got me thinking about the potential uses of influence scores for marketing purposes.  I’ve blogged about these scoring methodologies before and believe that we’re still feeling our way through their construction, relevancy, and value.  But I do see at least two general use cases forming.  In addition to incorporating them into analyses for customer insights, marketers can use influence scores — either home-grown or externally derived — to:

  • Identify influentials who can help create awareness. Marketers can seek to create word of mouth by reaching out to people deemed to be “influential” (let’s debate that another day) through services like BzzAgent, Klout, PeerIndex, Swaylo, and others.  In the Gilt example, the most influential people are provided an outsized incentive in the form of higher discounts.
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Direct Marketers Share Smart Online Lessons

My colleague Sarah Takvorian attended the New England Direct Marketing Association’s (NEDMA) spring Marketing Technology Summit in Boston. Here are the lessons learned in Sarah’s words: 

  • Create socially enabled marketing campaigns. In his keynote address, Harry Gold, CEO of Boston’s digital marketing firm Overdrive Interactive, reminded us that you don’t need a million Facebook fans (in fact, most companies will never reach that number). To capitalize on the fans you do have, and in turn extend your reach to the people who orbit those fans, you need to integrate social media into your broader marketing mix, working across channels and allowing their successes to play off of and feed into one another and then measuring the results, of course. 
  • Add clear calls to action. Prominently display “Like” or “Share” buttons in your emails or on your site’s most interesting, share-worthy content (perhaps a compelling graphic, article, or product). When someone presses Like on your site, they might not be a Facebook fan, but their action will still feed back into their Facebook newsfeed, thereby allowing you to tap into their network of friends and boosting your brand’s social presence. For example, Levi’s increased its Facebook traffic by 40% when it invited users to “like” content on its Website. 
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Introducing CLICK For Customer Communities

Join me for an interactive webinar on Tuesday, March 27 at 10am PT/1pm ET on a new Forrester framework for building an online community called "CLICK." CLICK is a new approach tech marketers can use to define the critical elements of a community: context, linkages, identity, conversations, and knowledge assets. 

Why are we so passionate about communities here at Forrester? Well, our research has consistently shown that communities/discussion forums/support forums are the most influential social media information source for BT tech buyers.  In addition, some B2B companies are achieving outstanding results with their community efforts by lowering support costs and increasing conversion rates. And that is just the beginning. We predict that we will see many more success stories in the future.

Most importantly, tomorrow's webinar provides a rare opportunity for you to provide your comments and feedback on a new framework that is in the final stages of development. You can influence the outcome!  Yes...YOU.   Hope to "see" you tomorrow.

For P&G, Will The Revolution Be Digitized? Not The Way You Might Think

 Last week’s announcement by P&G CMO Mark Pritchard that it intends to cut marketing costs in part by shifting money from TV to digital sounds like a possible revolution in the marketer’s traditional TV-centric approach. I agree with my colleague Tracy Stokes that this is not the end of TV.

Nor is it the beginning of a new drive for CPG brands to build digitally based one-to-one, CRM-style customer relationships.

But it is an opportunity for interactive marketers to increase their presence and impact on brand teams if they look ahead of the curve on how the increasing digitization of media, adoption of new devices, and impact of big data will have on TV advertising. Interactive marketers should position themselves to lead brands in the future by adding the tools and concepts of mass branding to their skill sets, then mapping their career path to these changes:

  • Today: Brands like Tide and Bounty still thrive with a brand strategy rooted in mass reach and emotive messaging. Now that is best delivered by TV, but Internet advertising has played the role of reach extender for years. The growth of online video should enhance this role but interactive marketers risk losing control of this medium unless they set aside their traditional action metrics and learn to speak mass media metrics with their colleagues.
  • Tomorrow: Digital will become more important as the Splinternet further fragments media consumption. But tablets and smartphones offer more than reach extension through complementary experiences that will key off the TV ad. Traditionally trained TV experts don’t have the conceptual framework to envision these opportunities; interactive marketers who can plan the reach and design the experiences will have an edge.
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Event Season Has Sprung

For many, spring brings visions of robins, tulips, Easter bunnies, and longer days. For Forrester analysts, it marks the beginning of what I like to call "event season," which officially kicks off with Forrester's Tech Sales Enablement Forum. This event takes place at the lovely Palace Hotel in San Francisco on March 19-20. For those attending, you may catch me during one of the Q&A sessions on Tuesday.  Come say "hi" if you spot me there!  And better yet...mention that you read this blog :-)

In April, we have the Forrester Marketing Leadership Forum in Los Angeles on April 19 - April 20. I will be presenting with other Forrester colleagues at the Tech Marketer track session on April 19. And I am planning a special "tweet jam" that week to discuss many of the topics from the event. Stay tuned!
 
On May 8, I am the keynote speaker for Ragan's "Advanced Social Media Strategies Conference" at the Cisco campus. I am very excited about this event, and will be talking about "the New Age of Social"...and what it means to PR, marketing and communications professionals. 
 
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Reflections On SXSW 2012

I returned home this week after 5 packed days in Austin at SXSW. It was my first year attending the event and everything I'd heard about in the last couple of years was true.  The event is huge; loaded with celebrities, parties, free breakfast burritos, and long lines.  Attending sessions reminded me of my college days where I had 30 minutes to race across campus to get to my next class except campus in this case was an entire city. Logistics and distractions aside, as an analyst focusing on emerging media, attending this event is downright necessary.

Once you set aside the parties and free swag, the event is really about networking and the content. It’s quite rare that you have so many marketers, innovators, thought leaders, and enthusiasts in the same place at the same time. The conference hallways and bustling streets were abuzz with all matters interactive and that’s what makes the event so special. The folks that attend are passionate, trend seekers, and starving for content and demos. 

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How Is Social Impacting Your Business? Join Our #IVJam Tweet Jam On Monday, March 12!

I am honored to be at InsideView's Insider Summit on Monday, March 12 at 9:15am PT to host a keynote and tweet jam. Join me and my fellow analysts, @ZacharyRD, @loriwizdo, @JRSilber, and @timharmon for a lively and interactive discussion on the impact social media and social data are having on marketing and sales processes. 

The tweet jam hashtag is #IVJam

Some of the topics we will discuss are:

  1. How do you think social media impacts an organization’s lead-generation and lead-nurturing processes?
  2. How has your company reacted to the use of social media for work purposes?
  3. How has social media influenced your customer's buying experience?
  4. What are the best practices for using social media to engage with customers?
  5. What results are you getting from your social media tactics?
  6. What are your top social business priorities in 2012?

 We look forward to your participation!

Stay tuned to this blog for a recap on the event and attendee feedback!

SoLoMo Or So Not Yet?

Are you thinking about SoLoMo yet?  My clients definitely are, and I haven’t been surprised by the number of questions I’m getting about it considering that 86% of US online adults engage in social media and 2/3 of online Generation Y fall into the SuperConnected category of Mobile Technographics®. But what does SoLoMo really mean?

It’s a concept that brings together social, local, and mobile media — and it’s intriguing to marketers because incorporating social engagement, local targeting, and the mobile customer into a single program seems like it should lead to especially creative and effective engagement. But I’ve been researching this topic over the past couple of months and I have a couple of concerns:  

  • First, the way we talk about SoLoMo puts too much focus on the technology and easily lets marketers slip back into technology-first strategies driven by trends rather than audience insights.   
  • Second,  SoLoMo programs often take the form of a check-in offer today. This can certainly be an effective marketing tactic for retailers and brands with brick-and-mortar presences. But isn't there something SoLoMo can offer other brands?
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The New iPad: How A Gut Renovation Masquerades As Incremental Innovation

We’ve gotten greedy. We — the media, the industry watchers, the tech enthusiasts — have an insatiable hunger for novelty. The original iPad wowed us because it introduced an entirely new form factor. iPad 2 slimmed down and got a snappy cover. The new iPad shares nearly nothing with the iPad 2 hardware, according to Apple executives I spoke with. Its retina display has 1 million more pixels than a large-screen HDTV. The new A5X chip has, according to Apple, four times the processing power of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip. Compared with iPad 2, it has a nicer camera, a video camera, dictation input, and 4G, while still squeezing out 10 hours of (Wi-Fi) battery life. It’s a wee bit thicker and an ounce heavier. And yet, in my conversations with numerous reporters over the past few days, the theme they kept bringing up was “incremental innovation”: Will the next iPad be innovative enough to maintain Apple’s momentum?

If the iPhone 4S is a case study, the answer for consumers is a resounding “yes.” The 4S, though not as dramatic an update as the technorati hoped for, has been the best-selling iPhone ever. The new iPad will fly off the shelves too: We expect tablets, led by the iPad, to reach 60.7 million US adults by the end of the year, or 19% of the US population. The engineering feats accomplished in the new iPad would have been inconceivable in the early days of personal computing, when colored pixels were in themselves a revelation. We the tech watchers may be jaded, but Apple’s consumers still appreciate the mesmerizing beauty of an ever-nicer screen.

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Online Customer Service Is Essential To Successful Social Marketing

Here is a picture of a cute cat doing something Internet related! 

(Click image to see larger version) 

That got your attention didn't it? Something else which gets a lot of attention is when customers share stories of exceptional customer service online (if those examples include cats that's just a bonus). This fantastic forum thread  taken from UK ISP Be Broadband is currently doing the rounds. In it the customer complains his wireless network is frequently disrupted by his cat's fascination with the router. After some playful banter that issues with feline "agressors" are a known problem the customer was supplied with a tactical decoy router. Subsequent images of the clearly fooled cat were posted by the customer showing success.

Wow. If you were currently feeling disatisfied with your ISP what would your brand perception of Be Broadband be right about now?

Customer service impacts social marketing

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