Archive for Altimeter Group

Small Companies Unleashing Their Employees on Social Networks

More employees of small companies are advocating for their companies on social networks than their much larger competitors.

That’s what the Altimeter Group found in its recent survey of 140 companies. By ratio, smaller companies in the 1-5k range had one 1 out of 195 employees publishing compared to 1 out of 356 in companies with 100k or more employees (see graph below).

More flexibility, less red tape

More flexibility, less red tape, and evolving cultures may be among the reasons.

As I wrote in a post 6 Steps to Empower Your Employees as Brand Ambassadors, the internet allows companies to empower their employees to promote the company and its products. Small companies can’t compete with the monster advertising and social media budgets of their biggest competitors. But small companies can enlist an army of their own employees to go viral with positive comments on social networks.

I’m glad to see this happening and as the company’s web strategist, Jeremiah Owyang, said in announcing the survey results, “Over time, expect all ratios to drop, as a prolific next generation rises into senior roles. We’ll be measuring this periodically, but for now, I would assert that more employees will be using the official accounts over time, as the younger generation learns their way around the business, climbs up the ladder, and is granted ability to publish.”

The director of operations for Gunwel Associates, a boutique tax and bookkeeping firm with only four employees, wrote a post earlier this year, describing how his firm is building customer loyalty and attracting new customers through the activity of its employees on social media. As Christopher Sheehan wrote, “If you’re not connected then you must get connected…becoming active in social media can and will grow your business as well as build client loyalty. We’ve seen it happen.”

So let your employees publish, you big companies out there. Small firms are nipping at your heels!

"Altimeter research on employees on social networks"

Altimeter research on employees on social networks

Developing a Mobile Marketing Strategy

"QR code"

QR code

I was walking along Lexington Avenue earlier today and passed by Bellmarc, a major New York City real estate broker. There was a QR code sticker in the window. For fun, I stuck the QR code app from my iPhone against the window. Viola! Up popped their apartment listings. I still think it’s magic, but that’s beside the point.

Major retailers are raking in the money with creative mobile marketing strategies. Jeremiah Owyang showed how in his keynote at the recent Mobile Marketing Strategies Summit in San Francisco. Owyang, who is an industry analyst and partner at the Altimeter Group, provided a strategic perspective of how mobile and social technologies work together for today’s top brands.

Beyond Marketing: Developing a Mobile Strategy

The PowerPoint presentation below summarizes Owyang’s points of view and contains case studies of how major brands are utilizing mobile technology.

Some of the “wow” findings for me were:

  • More smart phones and tablets will be sold than PCs this year.
  • Location-based strategies increase foot traffic and sales (I didn’t rent an apartment but someone in the market for one might have gone into the sales office).
  • With a smart phone or tablet app, parents can view their kids’ wish lists from stores like Toys “R” Us.
  • A customer can view weekly specials at ShopRite and add them to his shopping list on his mobile app.
  • Customers can pay their coffee tab with the Starbuck’s app and refill prescriptions with the Walgreen’s app.
  • The Delta app allows customers to check in, use e-boarding passes and receive text messages from the airline.
  • With Tiffany’s app, users can browse rings, learn about settings, save favorites and determine ring size.

Jeremiah Owyang

Owyang spends quite a bit of time explaining why the traditional sales funnel – awareness, interest, sale – is outdated, to be replaced by what he calls the Customer Hourglass. Too much to explain here but it’s worth reading his presentation to learn more about how companies will need to adjust their marketing strategies to meet changing consumer buying habits.

Developing a Mobile Strategy

View more presentations from Jeremiah Owyang

Reflections on the Role of the Corporate Social Strategist

[tweetmeme]In an earlier post, I wrote about Jeremiah Oywang’s widely publicized study, Career Path of a Corporate Social Strategist. Many bloggers weighed in on the findings with their own analysis of where the social strategist fits into organizations.

Social Media in Organizations asked me to review the reflections of seven thought leaders on the study’s findings and the future of social media leadership in organizations. For their commentaries and my reviews, please visit S.M.A.R.T. News: The Corporate Social Strategist. Included are a post by Oywang himself on the findings and implications for the future, plus my comments on posts by Brian Solis, Jay Deragon, Gia Lyons, David Armano, Steve Raddick and Scott Monty.

Thanks to Courtney Hunt, the founder of Social Media in Organizations for inviting me to write on this important topic.

Career of Path of a Corporate Social Strategist


If you’re interested in how corporations are organizing their social media strategies, then the slide show at the bottom of this post will bring you up to date on current practice.

It highlights the results of recent online study, conducted by the Altimeter Group, a technology management consulting firm. The firm surveyed “140 enterprise-class social strategists across industries,” according to the study.

The study’s catalyst was noted web strategist and Altimeter partner Jeremiah Owyang.  His blog Web Strategy gets 70,000 unique visitors monthly so obviously a lot of people believe his insights and research into corporate social media strategy are on the money.  In this presentation he tracks the career path of a Corporate Social Strategist defined as:

“The Corporate Social Strategist is the business decision maker of social media programs — providing leadership, roadmap definition, innovation; and directly influencing the spending on technology vendors and service agencies.”

Among the key findings:

  • Almost 80 per cent of those surveyed said their programs are not looking long term, and have existed for less than three years.
  • The vast majority of Corporate Social Strategists report to Marketing or Corporate Communications
  • Funding is limited, with more than 75% of companies reporting an annual spend of less than $500,000.
  • There are five principal ways that companies organize the social media function.
  • It’s uncertain whether the Corporate Social Strategist will achieve top management ranks in the next five years.

Do you agree with Altimeter’s definition and where do you think the Corporate Social Strategist will be in his/her organization in five years?  How will they be influencing corporate strategy?