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4 Social Marketing Tools You Need
 

4 Social Marketing Tools You Need

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You Need Only Four Social Technology Partners (At Most) ...

You Need Only Four Social Technology Partners (At Most)
Social technology vendors are constantly trying to differentiate themselves based on the features they offer. But they do that for their benefit, not yours -- and focusing on small distinctions between platforms just complicates an already confusing marketplace.

In reality,there are only four social technology vendor categories that matter.Select Social Vendors Based On The Challenges They Address If you’re trying to plan better social programs, hire a social listening platform. To reach new audiences in social media, pick a social reach platform. To put social tools on your website,find a social depth platform. And when you’re ready to engage customers on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, select a social relationship platform.

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    4 Social Marketing Tools You Need 4 Social Marketing Tools You Need Document Transcript

    • For: Marketing Leadership Professionals The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need by Nate Elliott and Zach Hofer-Shall, August 7, 2013 Key Takeaways You Need Only Four Social Technology Partners (At Most) Social technology vendors are constantly trying to differentiate themselves based on the features they offer. But they do that for their benefit, not yours -- and focusing on small distinctions between platforms just complicates an already confusing marketplace. In reality, there are only four social technology vendor categories that matter. Select Social Vendors Based On The Challenges They Address If you’re trying to plan better social programs, hire a social listening platform. To reach new audiences in social media, pick a social reach platform. To put social tools on your website, find a social depth platform. And when you’re ready to engage customers on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, select a social relationship platform. Forrester Research, Inc., 60 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA Tel: +1 617.613.6000 | Fax: +1 617.613.5000 | www.forrester.com
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals August 7, 2013 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need Tools And Technology: The Social Marketing Playbook by Nate Elliott and Zach Hofer-Shall with Melissa Parrish, David Truog, and Sarah Takvorian Why Read This Report Marketers spend billions of dollars on social media every year, and they’re increasingly turning to technology vendors to support their social programs. But for many marketers, the social technology vendor landscape verges on indecipherable. To select the right tools and technology for their social plans, marketers must classify and choose vendors based not on the characteristics of their technologies but instead on the distinct business value those technologies offer. To aid in that process, this report introduces the four categories of social technology that marketers should consider: 1) listening platforms, which help companies plan social marketing programs; 2) reach platforms, which allow marketers to deliver messages to audiences beyond their fans and followers; 3) depth platforms, which help marketers add social tools and experiences to their sites; and 4) relationship platforms, which help companies engage customers on social networks. This report serves as the tools and technology component of our social marketing playbook; it has been updated to add specifics about relevant Forrester Wave™ evaluations. Table Of Contents Notes & Resources 2 Four Types Of Vendors Serve Your Social Marketing Needs Forrester met with more than a dozen social technology vendors in researching this report. Listening Platforms Support Marketers’ Planning And Intelligence Related Research Documents Social Reach Platforms Help Marketers Reach New Audiences The Forrester Wave™: Social Depth Platforms, Q3 2013 July 9, 2013 Social Depth Platforms Put Social Tools Onto Marketers’ Sites Social Relationship Platforms Help Marketers Interact On Social Networks WHAT IT MEANS 8 Consolidation And Competition Will Revolutionize The Landscape The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2013 April 16, 2013 The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Listening Platforms, Q2 2012 April 24, 2012 © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. To purchase reprints of this document, please email clientsupport@forrester.com. For additional information, go to www.forrester.com.
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals 2 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need four TYPES of vendors serve your social marketing needs Marketers can use social media in many ways, and many vendors stand ready to help. But decoding and navigating the crowded social technology vendor landscape isn’t easy. Most vendors offer a unique range of social technologies, but no single vendor covers the entire value chain. Meanwhile, buzzword-packed marketing materials make it difficult to differentiate the players and find the right fit. The result? Marketers remain baffled about which tools to choose and are often caught in a large and tangled web of social vendor partnerships. Rather than categorize social technologies based on the type of tools they offer — as most vendors and marketers do — Forrester groups social platforms based on the marketing challenges they address (see Figure 1). Today, we see four distinct types of social marketing technologies. The first helps marketers plan social programs, and the others help marketers execute social reach tactics, social depth tactics, and social relationship tactics (each part of what Forrester calls the marketing RaDaR).1 Together, these four technology categories should serve any marketer’s social needs: ■ Social listening platforms help marketers plan their programs. These tools aggregate social content and analyze social data to uncover insights and drive intelligent marketing planning. ■ Social reach platforms help marketers use social media to find new audiences. These tools help create and spread content that lets new customers discover a marketer’s products and services. ■ Social depth platforms help marketers add social tools to their own sites. These tools build social content and experiences into marketing sites, offering the depth that customers seek when exploring products and services. ■ Social relationship platforms help marketers leverage third-party social sites. These tools engage a company’s existing customers by publishing marketing content on sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as by allowing marketers to monitor and respond to user posts on those sites. © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited August 7, 2013
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals 3 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need Figure 1 The Social Marketing Technology Value Chain Social listening platforms Social reach platforms Social depth platforms Social relationship platforms Add social to your site. Measure Engage on social networks. Measure Reach new audiences through social. Plan Measurement has yet to emerge as a point on the value chain. Measure 90461 Source: Forrester Research, Inc. Listening Platforms Support Marketers’ Planning And Intelligence Most marketers subscribe to the social adage “start by listening.” By tapping into the social groundswell, marketers can learn from customers’ conversations and better plan their social marketing strategies. Identifying consumer opinions, getting product and campaign feedback, and tracking the buzz around their brands and their competitors gives marketers rich planning insights. But it’s not easy to find actionable marketing insight from within hundreds of millions of daily conversations spread across thousands of fragmented social channels. To solve this problem, marketers turn to listening platforms. Social listening platforms are technologies that mine and process social data to derive marketing and business insights. By using listening platforms, marketers can:2 ■ Aggregate social content. Social media is simply too big and moves too fast to manage without vendor assistance. Listening platforms connect to the breadth of the social Web by working with data providers such as DataSift and Gnip as well as through direct connections to social © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited August 7, 2013
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals 4 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need networks’ feeds and through their own proprietary crawling and scraping technologies. Many of today’s leading listening platforms started as social media monitoring vendors — public relations technologies that scour social media for brand mentions. ■ Analyze social data. Once they’ve aggregated social content, marketers use listening technologies to identify actionable insight. These tools leverage text-mining technologies — such as sentiment analysis, trend detection, or influencer identification — to analyze the aggregated data.3 Listening platforms help weed out spam, identify relevant content, gauge relevance, and turn online conversations into qualitative and quantitative data points ready for marketers to analyze. As one European packaged goods firm told us: “Consumers mention our products over 100,000 times every week on social media. We’d never be able to keep up without our listening platform analyzing the posts and picking out the important ones.” ■ Drive social intelligence. Listening platforms’ greatest value comes from the insights they uncover and the actions they inform. Marketers adopting social intelligence — the analysis of social data used to activate marketing and business programs — rely on listening platforms to help them proactively inform business decisions. Today’s leading listening platforms plug social data into other critical marketing technologies, including social relationship platforms, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, campaign management tools, and customer and business analytics systems.4 Samsung, for example, uses a listening platform to optimize its media planning and buying.5 The listening platform market is vast and diverse, including dozens of viable tools from small startups as well as some of the largest technology vendors in the world. Within this range of offerings, listening platforms also vary in their focus: Some offer dashboards targeted toward market insights teams; others are designed to support campaign planning; while still others focus on brand protection and providing crisis alerts. In our most recent analysis of social listening platforms, Forrester evaluated nine vendors, including Attensity, Converseon, Lithium Technologies, Networked Insights, NM Incite, Radian6, SDL, Synthesio, and Visible Technologies. For further detail and insight, read “The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Listening Platforms, Q2 2012.”6 Social Reach Platforms Help Marketers Reach New Audiences People can’t buy products they’ve never heard of — so to help target audiences discover new products, services or offerings, marketers turn to reach tools such as traditional advertising. Marketers can also leverage social media to create new discovery; generating word of mouth remains one of marketers’ top social objectives, though it’s not the only way that social can help marketers reach new audiences. To drive discovery through social channels, marketers should leverage social reach vendors. © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited August 7, 2013
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals 5 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need Social reach platforms are technologies that help marketers deliver messages to social audiences beyond their existing fans. Social reach vendors help marketers create discovery through two distinct approaches: ■ Driving word of mouth. Agencies have long offered viral marketing services — but influencer marketing is finally being seen as a science rather than an art. Vendors are now using data to help marketers identify key influencers from either the general online population or a marketer’s existing customer base and then to recruit those influencers into technology-driven and highly trackable viral sharing programs. ■ Paying for social advertising and promotion. Paid promotion is the only way that marketers can guarantee they reach new audiences on social sites, whether buying standardized social ad units (such as Facebook marketplace ads or YouTube paid search listings) or paying to promote their social posts (such as Facebook promoted posts or Twitter promoted tweets). These two approaches are so different that combining these vendors into a single category invites controversy. Certainly, most social advertising vendors (such as Kenshoo Social, Optim.al, and salesforce.com) and most word-of-mouth platforms (such as Extole, Klout, and Zuberance) would argue that they’re not competing for the same customers. But despite the large differences in methodology, these two types of vendors offer exactly the same value to marketers: reaching new customers through social channels. In late 2013, Forrester will publish its first Wave evaluation focused on social advertising vendors. Social Depth Platforms Put Social Tools Onto Marketers’ Sites Once they’ve used listening platforms to help plan their social strategies, marketers must use different social strategies and tools to support customers at different stages of the customer life cycle.7 For instance, reach tactics and technologies are most effective in helping customers discover a marketer’s products or services, while relationship strategies and tools work best when used to foster post-purchase engagement from existing customers. And when customers have already discovered a product but haven’t yet bought it, they’re likely to explore that product in more detail on a marketer’s website. To support this exploration with social tools, marketers turn to social depth platforms. Social depth platforms are technologies that add social content and experiences to marketing sites. The specific features and tools offered by social depth platforms include: © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited August 7, 2013
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals 6 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need ■ Ratings, reviews, and comments. Highlighting direct customer feedback on products and services on your own site ensures that your prospects make the right purchase decisions. Social depth vendors allow marketers to collect and display simple numerical ratings, or longer comments and product reviews, from their customers. For example, clothing retailer Chico’s added ratings and reviews to its eCommerce sites, resulting in a 200% increase in online conversions.8 ■ Blogs. Corporate blogs give customers and prospects insight into the company itself — and into how to get the best value from the products or services they’re considering. They also give marketers an opportunity to aggregate social content about a brand or product from around the Web into a single “socialized blog.”9 For instance, Whole Foods Market uses a blog to showcase organic recipes and help customers make better, healthier eating decisions.10 Patagonia’s company blog promotes its corporate values and inspires customers through employee-written stories of travel and adventure.11 ■ On-site communities. Hosting a full-fledged brand community on your own site creates an interactive destination where customers and prospects can connect with each other and learn more about your products and services.12 For example, Vistaprint’s on-site forum lets consumers discuss business cards, letterhead, and other printed products and allows them to explore the company’s offerings in more detail.13 ■ Emerging on-site social interactions. Vendors are also helping companies offer social sign- on — letting users log into marketers’ sites using Facebook and Twitter credentials rather than creating a new account on every site — as well as helping marketers “gamify” their websites. Marketers turn to social depth platforms to host these communities on their own websites. Social depth vendors come from a wide range of subcategories, including those who specialize in each of the features listed above. In our most recent analysis of social depth platforms, Forrester evaluated nine vendors, including Acquia, Bazaarvoice, Get Satisfaction, Jive Software, Lithium Technologies, Livefyre, Mzinga, Pluck, and Telligent Systems. For further detail and insight, read “The Forrester Wave™: Social Depth Platforms, Q3 2013.”14 Social Relationship Platforms Help Marketers Interact On Social Networks Most marketers have high hopes for their Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups, Twitter accounts, and YouTube channels; they believe that these profiles will reach broad new audiences and close innumerable new sales. But the reality is that these tools play a specific role at a particular stage of the customer life cycle. Consumers report that they primarily engage with brands on social networks after they’ve made a purchase — when they know a company and want to engage that company further. To manage their public social interactions with those customers, marketers turn to social relationship vendors. © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited August 7, 2013
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals 7 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need Social relationship platforms are technologies that help marketers publish content to third-party social networks as well as monitor, moderate, and respond to customer posts on social sites. In particular, social relationship vendors help marketers: ■ Publish marketing content. Many marketers rely on social relationship tools simply to schedule and post text-based content. But most vendors in this category can also create or post rich social content such as Facebook tabs and Twitter cards as well as rich experiences such as contests, games, polls, and social applications. Social relationship platforms also typically manage content posting across multiple sites and accounts and leverage the content targeting options offered by some social sites. ■ Monitor and respond to customer posts. Tracking users’ social posts was once purely the domain of listening platforms, but no longer. Companies can’t successfully engage customers in public social sites without monitoring what’s happening on those sites — both on their own social media profiles and elsewhere on the social Web — and most leading social relationship vendors have added basic monitoring functionality to their platforms. And once they’ve tracked customer questions and comments, social relationship tools help marketers analyze which require attention and then allow them to respond to those posts. ■ Manage their workflow and tasks. Publishing, monitoring, and responding across a wide range of social sites often requires a concerted, multidepartmental effort — so social relationship platforms help marketers manage all of a company’s social accounts and all the employees who can post content to those accounts. Most vendors allow companies to manage different permission levels for different groups of employees as well as offer both inbound workflows (which rout each post to the right team) and outbound workflows (so content can be reviewed and approved before it’s published). In the past, the social relationship space was served by two distinct types of vendors — one set of tools focused on posting and rich experiences and another set focused on monitor-and-respond functionality. But today, leading vendors have expanded across both subcategories, creating a class of category-leading vendors that provide most of these services through a single platform. In our most recent analysis of social relationship platforms, Forrester evaluated eight platforms, including Adobe, Hearsay Social, salesforce.com’s Buddy Media, Shoutlet, Socialware, Spredfast, Sprinklr, and Syncapse. For further detail and insight, read “The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2013.”15 © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited August 7, 2013
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals 8 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need W h at I t M e a n s consolidation and competition WILL revolutionize the landscape The social technology value chain described above should help marketers understand what types of partners they need in the near future. But the landscape will be radically different within two years. Leading social vendors will continue to partner and merge with each other — a trend that has already seen vendors such as Adobe, Lithium Technologies, and salesforce.com make acquisitions that help them cover several pieces of the value chain — and stragglers will be swallowed or trampled by larger players from outside the social space. In the next 18 to 24 months: ■ The social listening category will die. For too long, listening vendors focused on tracking and reporting what happened in social channels, an approach that offered marketers limited insights and a flawed, incomplete view into social measurement. Today, many listening vendors keep social data in a silo, intent on building their own database and marketing technologies. But listening platforms will be unable to replicate the functionality of established marketing technology categories, such as marketing automation, email marketing, and big CRM companies, and so are likely to fail. The future for listening platforms is grim, unless they can improve their ability to turn data into insights and those insights into action through integration with broader marketing technologies. ■ Social vendors will face increasing competition from outside the social space. Social technology vendors have spent the past few years targeting each other’s markets: For example, relationship tools have added reach capabilities, and depth tools have added listening functionality. But these vendors may as well be guppies fighting over each other’s food while failing to notice the sharks that have started to circle. The social reach space is already filled with paid search vendors such as Kenshoo and Marin Software as well as realtime bidding platforms such as DataXu and MediaMath. We expect social depth vendors to see increasing competition from traditional web content management players such as Adobe, Autonomy, and SDL, and we think that listening platforms will face challenges from business intelligence players such as IBM and SAS. ■ Measurement will emerge as its own category of social technology. Social depth, relationship, and reach vendors all say they offer measurement. But the truth is that they track only user interactions with their tools rather than the business value those tools have created. Likewise, social listening platforms have worked hard to position themselves as measurement tools, but their own data undermines this claim.16 In the next two years, savvy marketers will demand social measurement tools that demonstrate how their social programs are creating marketing and business success. Those tools are likely to come from vendors with expertise in tying marketing spend directly to business outcomes — including cross-channel attribution players such as ClearSaleing and Visual IQ or mix modeling vendors such as MarketShare and ThinkVine.17 © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited August 7, 2013
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals 9 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need Endnotes This report of our social marketing playbook lays out Forrester’s vision for how social tactics can supply reach and depth and relationships to your marketing plan. See the August 7, 2013, “Integrate Social Into Your Marketing RaDaR” report. 1 2 Listening platforms come in all shapes and sizes and even appear under many titles, such as social analytics, social media monitoring, and social intelligence tools. The landscape consists of hundreds of players, with a few dozen supporting the largest clients today. See the April 24, 2012, “The Enterprise Listening Platform Landscape” report. Listening platforms employ text analytics technology to turn unstructured social dialogue into analyzable data points. See the September 28, 2011, “Executive Q&A: Text Analytics For Customer Intelligence” report. 3 Integration is now a key component of successful listening platforms. Instead of trying to hold onto social insights, the best platforms help active those insights within other technology systems. See the May 17, 2012, “The Social Intelligence Market Is Immature” report. 4 Samsung combines marketing metrics from social and traditional media channels to optimize its media spend. See the November 30, 2012, “Ten Steps To Successful Social Intelligence Measurement” report. 5 For more information on the leading enterprise listening platforms, see the April 24, 2012, “The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Listening Platforms, Q2 2012” report. 6 Customers tell us that when they’re open to discovering new products and services, reach channels — such as word of mouth, online search, and TV ads — are most effective. When they want to explore a product offering in more detail — or make a purchase — they turn to depth channels like marketers’ websites and retail stores. And to stay engaged with a brand after they’ve made a purchase, they turn to relationship channels like mailing lists, loyalty programs, and companies’ social profiles. See the July 22, 2013, “Mix Art And Science For Marketing Success” report. 7 Chico’s used ratings and reviews to drive consumer engagement and discussion around popular products. In the first year, Chico’s found a 200% increase in conversion from customers engaging with the ratings and reviews. Source: “Chico’s achieves over 200% increase in conversion with Bazaarvoice Conversations,” Bazaarvoice (http://www.bazaarvoice.com/industries/chicos-case-study.html). 8 This “socialized blog” strategy has been successfully followed by leading marketers, including Disney, General Motors, and Pepsi. See the April 1, 2011, “The New Blogging Strategy For Consumer Brands” report. 9 One post in February 2013 highlighted recipes for making healthy Valentine’s Day treats. Source: Mary Olivar, “Healthier Valentine’s Day Treats,” Whole Foods Market, February 6, 2013 (http://wholefoodsmarket. com/blog/healthier-valentines-day-treats). 10 And, of course, the blog features Patagonia’s trademark photos of its gear being put to use in extreme conditions. Source: Colin Haley, “Climbing Season in Patagonia — La Via Funhogs,” The Cleanest Line, February 4, 2013 (http://www.thecleanestline.com/2013/02/climbing-season-in-patagonia-la-via-funhogs.html). 11 Not only that, but owned communities help you bring your best customers’ social activities onto your own 12 © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited August 7, 2013
    • For Marketing Leadership Professionals 10 The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need site. See the June 21, 2012, “Build A Push And Pull Social Marketing Process” report. Vistaprint listens to its community for product ideas and to gain customer feedback and encourages customers to connect with each other to share their thoughts about Vistaprint’s products and services. Source: Lithium Technologies, “Vistaprint Case Study: Measuring Positive ROI from Social Engagement,” SlideShare (http://www.slideshare.net/LithiumTech/lithium-vistaprint-case-study-measuring-positive-roifrom-social-media-marketing). 13 For more information on the leading social depth platforms, see the July 9, 2013, “The Forrester Wave™: Social Depth Platforms, Q3 2013” report. 14 For more information on the leading social relationship platforms, see the April 16, 2013, “The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2013” report. 15 One leading listening platform, Converseon, asked academic statisticians to compare its sentiment data for one client with that same client’s brand survey data — and found there was no correlation whatsoever between the two. Source: David A. Schweidel, Wendy Moe, and Chris Boudreaux, “Social Media Intelligence: Measuring Brand Sentiment from Online Conversations,” Robert H. Smith School of Business, June 2011 (http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/faculty/wmoe/SMI%20(ART).pdf). 16 Of course, you should be using attribution tools or mix models for your entire marketing spend — not just for social media. See the April 30, 2012, “The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Attribution Providers, Q2 2012” report and see the September 21, 2011, “The Forrester Wave™: Marketing Mix Modeling, Q3 2011” report. 17 © 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited August 7, 2013