If you've been following my sporadic blogging this year, you'll no doubt notice a recurring theme: the call to action around the social data collect. This theme comes as a result of the past few years of writing research and working with companies on their social media strategies but still seeing too many companies stuck just monitoring for brand mentions or collecting weekly "social listening" reports that tell them what happened on Twitter. Count all the Facebook likes you want, but there's a lot more to the data social media creates than what most companies touch today.
Fortunately, I'm not alone in this crusade to get companies using their untapped social data. My post back in March — Listening Must Evolve Into Social Intelligence — currently has more comments than any other post on the Customer Intelligence blog in the past two years. This isn't meant as bragging; it just shows that the message resonates within our community. We know we need to make social data actionable — it's time to start evolving our social intelligence strategies. That's why I'm excited to launch the culmination of this crusade: Forrester's Social Intelligence Playbook.
The Social Intelligence Playbook lays out the path to help companies establish the right framework and mature their practices around capturing, managing, analyzing, and applying social data. It contains twelve reports, focusing on four key areas:
Discover the value of social data. The first series of reports lays out the concept of social intelligence, addresses the framework of how successful companies got there, and provides business cases for how to justify the investment.
I just finished reading Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Asset by Eric Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle. The book is based on the premise that company culture is a critically important yet often uncredited driver of success and failure, even correlating to financial performance. And, like other aspects of modern corporations, culture requires active management. Companies with great cultures don't get there by accident. The book is a worthwhile read for those with an interest in general management and the implications of culture for mid-sized to large companies.*
The book defines corporate culture as the "values, beliefs, and norms that influence the thoughts and actions (behavior) of people in organizations." The connection between cultural attributes and actions made me think about applying the concepts of culture directly to digital intelligence. Why is culture important in the context of digital intelligence? Because simply hiring people or implementing technology isn't enough to achieve digital intelligence proficiency. I see proof of this on a daily basis as I work with clients who struggle with digital intelligence despite substantial investments in the best technologies and most talented teams. These organizations have many of the individual pieces but cannot put the puzzle together. Culture is the connective tissue that binds technology, people, and action together.
To take the idea a bit further, let's look at the five key components of corporate culture according to the book and their digital intelligence implications:
As a product strategist, do you struggle with a sluggish innovation “process” in your firm? Do you think it takes too long to identify great ideas and turn those ideas into compelling new products and services for your customers? If you’re like most of your peers, the answer to both questions is probably a resounding "yes." That is exactly why Forrester’s Consumer Product Strategy practice developed The Open Innovation (OI) Playbook.
Forrester defines open innovation as:
The act of innovating, whereby new ideas or methods are requested from three broad participant groups: employees, partners, and customers.
This approach to innovation is in stark contrast to the typically closed and often secretive product innovation practices that most firms still use today. Our OI playbook provides you with an end-to-end framework, organized in twelve easy-to-find modules, and designed to give you the insight, tools, and best practices that you need to successfully adopt an open innovation approach within your organization.
To get started, I suggest reading the Executive Overview: “Revolutionize Products And Services Through Open Innovation”. This report will set the stage at a high level for you. Then, depending on where you are in your open innovation journey, you can “pick your spots” by navigating directly to the most applicable chapter for your needs. In general, the OI playbook is divided in to four phases as follows:
Forrester's global Marketing Technology Adoption survey investigates:
What technologies do marketers currently use, and what do they plan to use?
How much do marketers budget for technology acquisition and operations?
What are the users' top goals for and pain points from marketing technology?
You can use the survey results to:
Provide justification for a business case in your 2013 technology road map.
Compare your spend levels and technology use to those of other marketing professionals.
Spot trends and see best practices to incorporate into your technology strategy.
The survey will close on Friday, August 3, and the completed research report will publish in early September. Once the research publishes, I will also present the findings in a Forrester Webinar and in advisory sessions to interested clients.