June 09, 2013 by
90% of the data in the history of the world has been created in the last 2 years (source: IBM).
It’s given rise to an industry, Big Data, and a significant portion of it comes from social media chatter.
Does it make sense for brands to listen to social media data? What kind of insights are revealed? Does it result in better decision making?
Here are 8 case studies that show the predictive power of social media listening.
- CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS: In the 2010 California governor’s race between candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown, a study from Activate Direct social listening proved the ratio of positive to negative social sentiment to be very much in line with the ratio of favorable to unfavorable ratings shown by traditional polling and on-going focus group. But social media listening identified potential crises earlier, faster and for less research money.
- DELL: Uses social media chatter for cross-departmental team collaboration. Over 90,000 employee quickly and easily collaborate and listen in 11 languages in places like the company’s Listening Command Center. What has they found> In the US, Twitter chatter has a positive impact on their reputation and gained positive coverage in Mashable and Fast Company; in Germany, social media chatter among employees helps monitor the success of internal conferences; in China, blogposts have a direct effect on coverage with Sina, RenRen, microblogs and forums.
- HEDGE FUND MANAGERS: “Analyzing social media conversations can provide insights, ‘like X-Ray vision’, about a company’s performance in between their quarterly financial reports.” That’s the point of view of the McAlister Study and how hedge fund managers now listen to social media chatter when their research showed a direct positive correlation between sales and chatter; a 5% rise of positive chatter led to a 5% rise in sales.
- MORTON’S: You may have heard about social media consultant, Peter Shankman, who had the good luck when tweeting a shout out about how a Morton’s steak would be just the right ending to his flight arriving in Newark. The consultant with 150,000+ Twitter followers was greeted at the airport by a man in a tuxedo sent by Morton’s to deliver a complete steak dinner. Social media listening enabled Morton’s to pick out advocate from the crowd and create influence at a low cost. It probably didn’t hurt Shankman’s influencer rating and visibility either.
- NIELSEN: The gold standard for assessing the performance of TV programming, has started collecting social media chatter for TV rating. The Nielsen company said that one in three people using Twitter in June of 2012 sent messages at some point about the content of television shows, an increase of 27% from only five months earlier. Nielsen also estimated that 41% of tablet owners and 38% of smartphone owners used their devices while watching television.
- QUENTIN TARANTINO: His violent Nazi revenge fantasy Inglorious Basterds pulled in more than $37 million domestically in its opening weekend. A good portion is thanks in part to Twitter. After a $14 million opening on Friday, the film picked up steam over the weekend as the positive tweets kept rolling in. Research service, Trendrr, showed the number of tweets about the movie climbed steady through most of Saturday before tapering off early Sunday correlating directly with movie receipts.
- TOYOTA: At the beginning of 2012, the company faced very negative press due to revelation of recalls and announcing them late to the public. Toyota launched a large “transparency” and “apology” campaign using social media outreach. The company had four official Facebook pages, which saw a 10% fan base growth between late January and early March. USA president and chief operating officer, Jim Lentz, also participated in regular Twitter Chats. Toyota experienced a 41% increase in March 2010 sales, compared to March of last year. The company can’t prove a link between social media outreach and the sales boost, especially considering the unprecedented sales incentives and discounted leasing deals and mainstream media appearances by executives on such outlets as NBC, ABC, and NPR. But it certainly didn’t hurt Toyota to be transparent through social media and was a very smart part of a successful integrated campaign.
- UNISYS: A 100+ year old company, Unisys understandably has had some obstacles to overcome when adapting social media to their corporate culture. With several top executives leading by example, departments began to openly share communication using internal social media applications. But success stories within the company show huge innovative payoffs aided tremendously by the open sharing of information available through well-constructed social media platforms and corporate adaptations.
To be transparent, not all brands are benefiting from social media listening. Coca-Cola reports it has yet to see any sales lift from social media buzz, even though the brand has 61,000,000+ fans on Facebook but the company continues to listen.
In the music industry, Tom Silverman reports: “My new take is online media is the propagation channel through which attention waves travel. Bieber and Kutcher have huge attention waves so they travel far and fast. Speed of propagation is greater on YouTube than any other social platform due to the sticky video content. Media is not necessarily neutral. Great images and videos drive engagement faster than words for example. But we keep learning from real life stories. His New Music Seminar is this week in NYC.
Do his case studies prove the predictive power of social media listening? Do you need help finding insights in the chatter for your brand?
April 28, 2013 by
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) focuses on purchasing ads that appear on the result pages of search engine above or to the right of the content on the search results
Unlike other media channels, ads are bought on a PPC (Pay Per Click) basis. PPC is an attractive model for advertisers because they only pay for actual traffic generated by their ads. PPC involves a bidding system to get to a top position. Measurements of the actions a consumer takes as a result of SEM are the most surgically precise in all of marketing, especially for e-commerce businesses.
But just because someone clicks on your ads doesn’t mean they take action you want. Understanding the SEM relationship of “clicks” to “conversions” to the desired action is hard work. Doing this well is a very valuable skill. It’s an area where little tweaks make big differences.
How big? Here are 7 case studies where tweaks in SEM delivered big benefits in ROI (Return on Investment).
- BABYEARTH (PLA’s – PRODUCT LISTING ADS): Paid search is an important part of the marketing mix to this baby products retailer with an e-commerce website. A key part of their paid search campaign is PLA’s – Product Listing Ads. BabyEarth increased them from 100 to 10,000. They: 1) Focused on bidding and optimizing product images, 2) expanded product target, 3) performed keyword research and expanded search queries and 4) worked to optimize this process. BabyEarth saw monthly revenue increase +129%.
- BEAMAX (A/B TEST OF LINKS): A Belgium based company, manufactures and distributes projection screens for home cinemas and meeting rooms world-wide. They did an A/B Test to determine the value of a red link to their website versus the traditional blue link in ads and found that red outperformed blue by +53%.
- BRITISH COLUMBIA TOURISM (LANDING PAGE): The official travel planning site for British Columbia, providing detailed visitor information for over 130 communities as well as 3,000 approved accommodations, Tourism BC relied on Google Website Optimizer test and develop the optimum Landing Page for a $1.5 million television ad campaign aimed at the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets to attract more visitors to British Columbia. By designing the landing page to showcase the talent in the commercial and iMac prize, Tourism BC realized a 52% form completion conversion rate. The math is impressive: of 100 customers who request information from Tourism BC, 30 percent of them will ultimately visit British Columbia, spending, on average, $2,200 per visitor party, per trip.
- MOTOROLA (SCORING SYSTEM): Launched a big new model, its new SLVR wireless phone, with a significant search marketing campaign to support the effort. They set up a scoring system to dump under-performing keywords, change focus as the campaign continued and provide learning Motorola could take action on. They lesson learned were: 1) Engagement doesn’t always translate into sales, 2) Brand name search terms don’t always translate into sales, 3) You never can guess what keywords consumers will click on and 4) The social networking aspect of the Web has changed launch campaigns. From their watchfulness and taking action as they learned, Motorola saw an astounding 30% conversion rate for e-commerce sales of the SLVR.
- NATURE BRIDGES (ADD PHONE NUMBER): A leading bridge company that specializes in timber bridges and pedestrian boardwalks for environmentally sensitive areas, merely added a phone number in the paid search ads to give people another way to do business. The company set up phone call tracking in addition to search tracking and a conversion rate and ROI that was 3X higher by phone than the web from the paid search ads.
- SCOOP (EVENTS): The iconic New York City boutique for men and women, set up various tracking goals to measure events other than purchases such as add to carts, email sign ups, add to wish lists, store location findings, and new registrations. The new data immediately influenced our bid models and paid search strategies. While keeping costs consistent, Scoop’s e-commerce paid search revenue increased by 765% in the first 60 days.
- SLIDE SHOP (A/B TEST SPLIT): An e-commerce site that sells power-point templates for business, did an A/B test where, in one test, SlideShop eliminated the eliminated the calculator in the shopping cart to determine if it was helping people who have made a decision to buy. The company found out the it was not and the cart without the calculator had a +15% higher conversion rate.
Although these are tweaks, they demonstrate the attention to detail and rigorous analysis that goes into small changes that make a big difference. Do these case studies prove how small tweaks in SEM deliver big benefits and ROI to you?
March 30, 2013 by
Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems. Often used in training and human resources, the application of Gamification improves learning, task completion, data quality and Return on Investment.
Although the term, Gamification, was coined in 2002 by Nick Pelling, it didn’t gain widespread usage until 2010, With the rise of social networking, the social and reward aspects of games were incorporated into software. Social sharing increased usage and took interest to a new level and today:
- 50% of companies that seek funding for consumer software applications mention game design in their presentations
- 70% of the top 2,000 global organizations, will use “gamified” applications for marketing, employee performance, training, and health care by 2014
- Still, 80% of current gamified applications fail, primarily because business objectives are not defined at the outset (source: Gartner)
To give you an idea of objectives to shoot for, here are 21 companies who use Gamification and get better business results.
- AETNA: adopted Mindbloom’s Life Game platform to help customers and employees adopt healthy life habits. Members visited 4X per week and average engagement was 14 minutes, 41 seconds per visit. It helped users better manage specific physical conditions and monitor areas correlated to health outcomes (souce: Deloitte Review)
- AUTODESK: raised trial usage by 40% and conversion rates by 15% (source: Huffington Post)
- BADGEVILLE: customers experienced 20% to more than 200% increases in user behavior, with some customers seeing as high as 500% lift in key objectives (source: Tech Republic)
- BELL MEDIA: increased customer retention by 33% by incorporating “social loyalty” rewards on its website (source: Society for Human Resource Management)
- CISCO: used gaming strategies to enhance its virtual global sales meeting and call center company and reduced call time by 15% and improved sales between 8% and 12% (source: Deloitte Review)
- DELOITTE: training programs using Gamification took 50% less time to complete and kept more student involved than ever before (source: Huffington Post)
- DEVHUB: a place for Web developers, added gaming feedback and watched in awe as the percentage of users who finished their sites shot up from 10% to 80% (source: Forbes)
- EMC2 increased the amount of feedback it received by 41% (source: Society for Human Resource Management)
- ENGINE YARD: increased the response rate for its customer service representatives by 40 percent after posting response-time leaders for employees to see (source: Society for Human Resource Management)
- EXTRACO BANK: raised their customer acquisition by 700% (source: Huffington Post)
- JOIZ: a Swiss television network, increased sharing by 100% and social referral traffic by 54% with social infrastructure and gamification technology (source: Gigya)
- LAWLEY INSURANCE: ran a 2-week contest to clean up its sales pipeline and, during that time, generated the same number of activities as had been created in the prior 7.5 months (source: Level Eleven)
- MARKETO: layered Badgeville games on their community and 67% more engagement, 51% more active members and 10% more engagements per member (source: Badgeville)
- NEXTJUMP: used gamification to get 67% of their employees into the gym (source: Huffington Post).
- NIKE: used gamified feedback to drive over 5,000,000 to beat their personal fitness goals every day of the year (source: Huffington Post)
- POPCHIPS: has seen its sales rise 40% this year and its 2012 sales could top $100 million. Popchips are using games as a way to personalize mobile advertising and overcome user resistance to ads on their smartphones and tablet computers (Souce: USA Today)
- PLAYBOY: in its Miss Social game, saw 85% of users play more than once, 50% return the following month and a 60% increase in monthly revenue (source: TNS Brand Equity Center)
- RECYCLE BANK and OPOWERL increased recycling by 20% and reduced carbon emissions, helping to save the planet with gamified designs.
- SPOTIFY and LIVING SOCIAL: replaced annual reviews with a mobile, gamified solution — over 90% of employees participated voluntarily (source: Huffington Post)
- USA NETWORK: saw a 130% jump in page views and a 40% increase in return visits with the Club Psych game (source: Entrepreneur)
- VERIZON: users spend over 30% more time on-site with social login games versus a regular site login, The site experienced more than 15% more page views (source: Entrepreneur)
Gamification is not a project…it’s a business channel that gets invested for the long-term. Companies that understand are the ones likely to see the results they are looking for.
Do these case studies prove Gamification can get better business results for your company?
March 02, 2013 by
What makes some of us want to create something new and build a business instead of joining one that is already established?
Conclusions are no one is born an entrepreneur and no formal study turns you into one. Instead, an entrepreneur is made through a journey; one beset with obstacles before opportunities where a spirit raises to the occasion. Maybe that’s why many say the most distinguishing asset of entrepreneurs is their entrepreneurial spirit.
To guide, get through the hard times and help you get there, here are 44 obstacles entrepreneurs overcome.
- Know how to take advantage of an unfair advantage – Forbes
- Vision and dissatisfaction with the present – Forbes
- Ability to get people on board and add to that vision – Forbes
- Flexibility to adapt, openness to feedback and the ability to learn – Forbes
- Persistence and execution – Forbes
- Start small with the means that are closest at hand – Harvard Business Review
- Find ways to reach the market with a minimum of resources such as time, effort and money – HBR
- Take a product to the nearest potential customer even before it’s built – HBR
- Plans that are made and unmade and revised and recast through interaction with others – HBR
- Landmarks that point to a discernible path – HBR
- Know that surprises are not deviations from that path – HBR
- Believe the future is out there to be discovered – HBR
- Obtain pre-commitments from key stakeholders – HBR
- Because the market in unpredictable, it has the opportunity to be shaped by their actions and decisions in conjunction with stakeholder and customer-partners – HBR
- Are not waiting for jobs and incentives and come to them – HBR
- Don’t wait for the right people to come along – HBR
- Have a process – Inc.
- Trust their gut – Inc.
- Have got something to prove – Inc.
- Have had someone in their lives who paid attention to their skills and it made a difference – Wall Street Journal
- Spend time asking provocative questions – WSJ
- Observe the world like anthropologists – WSJ
- Network with people who don’t think, act or talk like them – WSJ
- Have a burning desire to build a great company – pandodaily
- Focus on things like user experience ahead of monetization – pandodaily
- Create a culture where it’s fun to come to work – pandodaily
- Know there is a better solution to a problem than how everyone is solving it right now – Vijay Anand
- Seek out, acquire, practice the skills they need to succeed and do what they have to get to where they want to be.- George Torok
- Have a much higher level of trust toward their society, their peers, colleagues, subordinates, and employees – Cipe
- Have a low fear of failure - OpenLearn
- Begin with who they are, what they know and whom they know, and immediately start taking action and interacting with other people – Darden Business Publishing
- Focus on what they can do and do it, without worrying much about what they ought to do – Darden
- Creating something new with existing means – Darden
- Committing in advance to what one is willing to lose rather than investing in calculations about expected returns to the project – Darden
- Are willing to make actual commitments to the project, without worrying about opportunity costs, or carrying out elaborate competitive analyses – Darden
- Acknowledge and appropriate contingency by leveraging surprises rather than trying to avoid them, overcome them, or adapt to them – Darden
- Relying on and work with human agency as the prime driver of opportunity rather than limiting entrepreneurial efforts to exploiting exogenous factors such as technological trajectories and socio-economic trends – Darden
- Do not wait to “discover” the perfect opportunity – Darden
- Act on things they can do without worrying too much about what they ought to do – Darden
- Reflect an emphasis on future events they can control rather then those they can predict – Darden
- Are propelled by sufficient conditions for the creation of new ventures and new markets, not through necessary conditions – Darden
- Make a variety of contributions that, on average, begin to look very much like progress over time – Darden
- Create something out of nothing – Krauthammer
- Help other would be entrepreneurs – Inc.
These learnings and experiences have been a guide in my journey. I hope, if you’re on that journey, they help you too.
Do these 44 obstacles describe what makes an entrepreneur to you?
December 17, 2012 by
Big Data is is going to be big deal. Follow this trend line from Google Trends. It shows how often the keywords, Big Data, have been searched in recently.
Big Data gets its name because that’s what it is – data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional databases. It comes from web-browsing data trails, social network communications, sensor and surveillance data for enhanced insight and better decision making. It’s often stored in the cloud reducing server storage.
But it’s not the data, it’s what you do with it. Last week, we reported on 38 big facts on Big Data every business leader should know.
Are companies doing something with the data? Here are 6 case studies that prove return on investment (ROI) of Big Data.
- HERTZ: With over 8300 locations worldwide in 146 countries, Hertz keeps its finger on the pulse of its customers with customer satisfaction. The problem? How to collate the information and understand what customers were trying to tell them through these surveys? By applying advanced analytics solutions, the company was able to process the information much more quickly–in half the time it previously took, while at the same time providing a level of insight previously unavailable to the company. An example? While evaluating the solution, Hertz was able to identify a potential area for improvement in Philadelphia: surveys and measurements indicated that delays are occurring for returns during specific times of the day. By investigating this anomaly, Hertz was able to quickly adjust their staffing levels at the Philadelphia office during those peak times, ensuring a manager was present to resolve any issues. This enhanced Hertz’s performance, and increased customer satisfaction…all by parsing the volumes of data being generated from multiple sources.
- HOLLYWOOD BOX OFFICE RETURNS: It’s one of the great mysteries that movie studios face: how well will their next release do in the box office? To date, the answer to that question has been a lot of guesswork, and “gut checks”. But with the advent of social media sites, as well as big data analytics, for the first time, studios have a way to measure sentiment by accessing multiple big data sources. The solution: Examine how social media data feeds could be analyzed in order to better understand public sentiment. Initially the idea was to track social movements using social media tools. The ability to understand how the public perceives a specific movie could go a long way towards informing the studio as to the efficacy of its marketing efforts, as well as the ability to better encourage interest. It, of course, could also give studios additional insights to help inform go/no-go decisions on everything from the breadth of distribution to whether it made sense to invest additional marketing muscle to push a movie over the public’s awareness tipping point.
- T-MOBILE: Has integrated Big Data across multiple IT systems to combine customer transaction and interactions data in order to better predict customer defections. By leveraging social media data along with transaction data from CRM and Billing systems, T-Mobile USA has been able to cut customer defections in half in a single quarter.
- SETON HEALTHCARE: Sought to address a need to reduce the occurrence of high cost Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) readmissions. How would Seton do this? By proactively identifying patients likely to be readmitted on an emergent basis, they applied predictive models and examined analytics through which providers can intuitively navigate, interpret and take action. The benefit? For Seton, a reduction in costs and risks associated with complying with Federal readmission targets. For Seton’s patients, fewer visits to the hospital and overall improved patient care. Seton is able to identify patients likely for re-admission and introduce early interventions to reduce cost, mortality rates, and improved patient quality of life.
- US XPRESS: A provider of a wide variety of transportation solutions, collected about a thousand data elements ranging from fuel usage to tire condition to truck engine operations to GPS information, and uses this data for optimal fleet management and to drive productivity. As a result, they save millions of dollars in operating costs each year than before they applied data, measurement and analytics were used for this purpose.
- H&R BLOCK: Has learned in the weeks prior to April 15th, every question that is not answered immediately is a lost sale. Tax preparation is a highly seasonal business. H&R Block had a heavy paid media scheduled but they also used Facebook and Twitter to provide immediate access to a tax professional for Q&A in the “Get It Right” social media campaign. The effort secured 1,500,000 unique visitors and answered 1,000,000 questions for a 15% lift in business versus the prior year when there was no social media in the marketing mix.
Do these case studies prove ROI of Big Data to you? Do you believe Big Data results in better decision making?