Bloggers, which have been receiving an incredible amount of attention as the new influencers continue to grow in importance. Reading about the events at Blogher, it's clear that brands are kowtowing to these household influencers and offering them products, samples, and other events. It's not just the women bloggers category, but all over, tech bloggers are now part of the regular media/PR outreach list for tech, security, and device conferences.
Summary: Yahoo's new homepage is more like a feedreader and application platform for users to do more without leaving Yahoo.com. It's a much needed update as Yahoo keeps up with the modern web, but think of it as evolution --not a revolution.
Last week, a handful of Forrester analysts were briefed and given a demo of Yahoo's much needed homepage redesign --here are my observations from the demo and conversation.
Outdated Yahoo.com in need of redesign
The old version of Yahoo is in serious need of a refresher as the main page navigation hampers users with two sections of tabs with even more content and links. For the most part, the content not as personalized, and no integration of social. Perhaps the biggest missed opportunity is the page is designed for people to click through --using it as a pass through only.
I often get asked by brands: "How should we organize our company for social media?" or "Which roles do we need", or "Which department is in charge". So for our latest report (clients can access all the details) answers just that, it has data and graphs about spending, brand maturity in the social space, which department 'owns' the program, and how companies are organizing.
Companies organize in three distinct models
For this post, let's focus in on how companies are organizing. There are three basic models that I've observed and surveyed brands:
The Tire (Distributed): Where each business unit or group may create its own social media programs without a centralized approach. We call this approach the “tire,” as it originates at the edges of the company.
The Tower (Centralized): We refer to this centralization as the “tower” — a standalone group within a company that’s responsible for social media programs, often within corporate marketing or corporate communicaitons.
The Hub and Spoke (Cross Functional): Like the hub on a bicycle wheel, a cross-functional group that represents multiple stakeholders across the company assembles in the middle of the organization. The hub facilitates resource sharing and cross-functional communications (via the “spokes” in the wheel) to those at the edge of the organization (or the “tire”)
Forrester's Marketing Forum in Orlando Florida, see other photos tagged FMF09
Yesterday's theme was to take risks and engage in innovation --even in times of economic hardship. Armed and excited with examples from the speakers and panels, the conference was now focused on the 'how to', with a focus on engaging your customers to be involved, guide, and lead your company in tandem with your own leadership.
Forrester's Christine Spivey Overby kicked off the conference, first reminiscing on how
great innovation comes out of times of economic struggle. Her example, which is
so suited for Forrester’s marketing conference in Orlando, is Walt Disney’s creative genius to
develop an iconic entertainment franchise. She stresses that now is the time to
do marketing differently by thinking differently and embracing innovation.
Marketers should innovate now, despite
the perceived risk.
The Forrester team is gearing up for yet another great Marketing Forum, this time, in Orlando, Florida. We've carefully selected speakers to take on the hard topics of the recession, ROI, and taking risks.
One of the most common misconceptions I hear is that social technologies like Facebook, blogs, and Twitter is just for kids. Yet in reality, our data on social technology usage of Boomers indicates that there's adoption in many generations. With Obama's campaigning to reach middle America with Facebook, Blogs, and YouTube, he continue to reaches the citizens in his ongoing administration --this ain't kids stuff no more!
Communities are a powerful way for businesses to grow
Used correctly, communities can impact the top and bottom line of company's financials: from brands encouraging customers to self-support each other (reducing costs), to spreading word of mouth to each other (efficient marketing and increased sales) to crowd sourcing innovation (streamlining R&D) communities matter more than ever --especially during a recession.