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Social media has an ethos for organisations to consider.

Social media has an ethos for organisations to consider.

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  • Hello @peter @marco, well done, a nicely balanced paper. Do you have additional details on your planning & delivery methodology? I am a bit of a framework geek as I've found over the years they can be useful for mitigating risk. Here's one I developed: http://bit.ly/snrpilot
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Atk social media_whitepaper Atk social media_whitepaper Document Transcript

  • “Are you part of this conversation?” Adopting the ethos of social media2 A.T. Kearney | “Are you part of this conversation?” – Adopting the ethos of social media
  • A.T. Kearney | “Are you part of this conversation?” – Adopting the ethos of social media
  • “Are you part of this conversation?” Adopting the ethos of social mediaExecutive summary (UV/mo). In Australia alone, Facebook enjoys 9.8Social media on the web has found mass adoption in million UV/mo, 6.7 million for YouTube, 2.2 million forAustralia; so much so that the phenomenon seems to BlogSpot, and 1 million for Twitter. Nielsen data showshave reached an inflection point, where the majority of that Australia and Brazil are the top users of social mediaconsumer segments, in each demographic, are active users. (as measured by hours spent on these sites per month), and the phenomenon has been adopted by all ages andIts success lies in the value proposition of social media to demographics, in Australia and globally.consumers; what we call its “ethos”. These trends have not gone unnoticed. However,It also holds a strong attraction for companies, who companies have struggled with how to link social mediarecognise the marketing opportunity it represents: the initiatives to the strategic agenda of the organisation, theability to build relationships with current and prospective existing customer contact strategy, sales and marketingcustomers in a direct and intimate manner. In the process plans, appropriate investments in capabilities, and howconverting these customers to be advocates for the brand to organise themselves appropriately.and the experience with the firm. What is less apparent,however, is how companies can actually do this andincorporate it into their agenda on a more strategic level.Australians are among the world’s most prolific users ofsocial media, with nearly 7.4 hours spent on sites suchas Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace and LinkedInevery month. This is significantly ahead of the UnitedStates, where users typically spend 6.4 hours per monthon the same sites. As of April 2011, LinkedIn had over2 million registered Australian users.For many users, social media is now an integral part oftheir day-to-day life. Yet users and companies interact inthis world differently, compared to traditional channels. We have found that companies typically struggle withThe values and historical openness of web interactions one of social media’s defining principles: its openness.create challenges for organisations using these media – The traditional ‘commercial in confidence’ culture, wherechallenges that exist right across the traditional silos information is shared only when absolutely necessary,of marketing, sales, strategy and operations, and right and only among key people, doesn’t align with a cultureacross the value chain. of giving away knowledge for free and making customerA.T. Kearney’s work with clients has helped us develop a interactions transparent to all. Moreover, it can be highlyset of insights into how organisations can respond to this disruptive if content and interactions that were onceopportunity; not just as an element of marketing, but as confidential are made public. The majority of fortunea core component of any customer engagement strategy. 500 companies tend to relegate social media to theBased on our client work, and the growing use of social marketing department together with tight policy controlsmedia, we believe the time has now come for Australian on its use. The functional nature of this departmental viewbusinesses to adapt to these changes in customer of responsibility does not lend itself well to the ethos ofinteraction. A strategy should be flexible in nature, social media. Consumers don’t “see” departments.based on the ethos of social media, and harness strategic One of the most effective ways to manage this tensioninsights into online consumer segments – what we call may be not to fight it at all. Like a man caught in“Customer Energy”. quicksand, organisations that struggle too hard against the social media mindset often fail. For example, companiesThe case for social media and politicians that monitor and amend their ownIt’s safe to say that social media is now thoroughly Wikipedia entries often face ridicule when it becomesmainstream in Australia. Arguably the most important public knowledge that they have done so. The best andparameter to consider is Unique Visitors per month fastest way to generate credibility for a company participating 1
  • A Case Study – UBank UBank is a stand-out In October 2008, National Australia technology-centered topic to a Bank launched UBank – a standalone strategic business opportunity, success in adapting brand, and a branchless bank that as the business builds momentum. operates only online and over the As a result, the importance of social to the ethos of social phone. With a limited product set media to the CEO or Board level media – on a strategic aimed at a targeted customer segment, also rises.” UBank has since grown to become Mr Schenkel shares some key insights as well as marketing the twelfth largest deposit bank in for companies considering social level, demonstrating the Australia. media: At UBank, the adoption of social 1. Don’t be concerned with getting possibilities for social media principles was a natural hits on the company website. media in Australia. outcome of its culture and customer Rather, go where the customers focus. Central to its model was its are. customer-centric website design, 2. Engagement must be authentic featuring a prominent competitor and consistent – just as it would rate comparison, clear visual be amongst friends. Otherwise it communications such as a savings will be perceived as little more goal tracker and links to direct than advertising or public communication with personnel. relations. UBank also created a strong presence on social media websites, including a 3. Be cautious with outsourcing, Facebook page, YouTube channel especially with regard to Twitter and Twitter account. accounts and direct correspondence such as the CEO blog. According to the bank’s founder, Gerd Schenkel it is vital to understand 4. Do not expect to control the the purpose of each social media message – apologise when you get platform, to follow the rules and it wrong – customers will largely etiquette of each, and to understand rally to support you. that these services were not established 5. Have realistic expectations. for corporations to market themselves. Effective use of social media “YouTube is for entertainment; will not make up for an inferior Facebook is purely for the consumption product or poor service. Similarly, of content generated or endorsed by do not be disappointed if the first friends; Twitter is an ‘opt-in’ attempt does not ‘go viral’. conversation with select people or 6. There are no experts and each groups; and blogs are platforms for company’s ‘right’ process will insights or opinions”, he says. differ heavily from the next. “Over time, you see a significant 7. Just do it…but be ready to change in the perceptions and learn and adapt. function of ‘digital businesses’”, he continues. “It graduates from a2 A.T. Kearney | “Are you part of this conversation?” – Adopting the ethos of social media
  • in social media, it to adopt its ethos of openness and also and products in the virtual arena: the question is whetherrecognising and working with its base of “super users” or the brand wants to be present and contribute to thatthose with high “Customer Energy”. By doing so, a conversation. Traditional customer interaction processescompany can demonstrate active and valuable engagement are not suited to supporting the social media discourse.in the social network and drive acceptance of its presence The functional nature of department structures does notand value in these networks. lend themselves well to the ethos of transparency, genuineness, relevance and proximity to consumers.The ethos of social media What is needed is a fundamental change in approach, toA.T. Kearney suggests a more radical adaptive approach, allow two-way conversations and a more decentralisedgiven that the fluid, open nature of social media means engagement with the customer, less control of messagingit cuts across traditional silos of an organisation. and greater forward-planning.The ethos of social media has four major elements ofvalue to consumers: transparency, genuineness, relevance What’s the solution?and proximity. Engaging customers in social media in alignmentTruly embracing social media requires an organisation with the ethos of these users allows a more intimateto accept all the elements of this ethos. This sometimes relationship to develop and convert enthusiasm intorequires a total mindset shift towards a collaborative “Customer Energy”. How can this be achieved?environment, honest engagement and cross department The solution lies in new processes and practices that areengagement – not just a one way product or marketing better suited to the ethos of social media. This requires acampaign. total rethink of the customer engagement process – from brand positioning and prospect engagement through toOur work with clients has demonstrated how successful customer service. This can be approached slowly at first,strategies can be crafted by taking this approach, and with a methodical approach to how it can be scaled upthat this adoption can help enhance, and bring to life over time to permeate all aspects of customer interaction.many elements of existing corporate and business unitplans, especially those relating to customer interactions. Recognising how social media can benefit the organisation, and then developing a process of methodical implementationFor example, P&G makes use of social networks such as path, is not straightforward. It requires cross-functionalNineSigma and InnoCentive, to engage consumers, and expertise and the backing of a data and analysis-drivensocial suggestions for technical and scientific problems. approach.As a consequence, R&D investments have been reducedand innovation success rate significantly increased.An Australian example is Billabong – a surfing lifestyleclothing line. By engaging their customers on the topicsof surfing, sea pollution and other issues important tothese stakeholders, Billabong uses Twitter primarily tostrengthen relationships. New product ranges and offersare also subtly promoted.Are you part of this conversation?There are, understandably, many factors preventingcompanies from actively incorporating social media intotheir strategic agenda. Companies are often concernedabout losing control of their messaging through suchopen engagement.What they often fail to see, however, is that they alreadyhave. Consumers are already talking about their companies 3
  • Methodology – developing a plan How can the organisation benefit from and making it stick Customer Energy? A.T. Kearney has developed a three-phased approach • Which users matter most to creators and viewers? to incorporating social media as a central component • What is best for the company? of any customer strategy, set-up, targeting, and • Which social media tools work best? opportunity development and planning. Which risks need to be managed to avoid negative Phase One: Set-up Customer Energy or backlash? The first phase defines overall objectives of the social • How can we monitor negative feedback? media strategy including, service improvement, loyalty • How do we respond in a timely way? and cross-sell increase, cost reduction, and increased sales • What processes are in place to achieve this? prospects. This phase requires a clear internal message to the Phase Three: Opportunities, Planning and Improvement organisation and its stakeholders, regarding the role and In this phase, the organisation develops a set of potential impact of social media. This is also the point at opportunities and a roadmap for fulfilling them – but which organisations should assign specific accountability only as a guide. The fluid nature of the environment to the social media component – existing roles and requires organisations to remain nimble and flexible in supplier relationships may be unsuited to the task and a response to changing customer needs. Hence a regular dedicated social media manager or social media service review cycle is overlaid on this phase to ensure ongoing team may be required. alignment to the ethos of social media; transparency, genuineness, relevance and proximity to consumers. Phase Two: Targeting Customer Energy In the second phase, a thorough analysis of the target Summary customer is conducted. A.T. Kearney utilises a Social media has always been with us, because word-of- “Customer Energy” framework at this phase. The term mouth has always been a powerful force. As technology describes the phenomenon of the educated, digitally has advanced and the mass adoption of social media has empowered consumer, and observes that consumers are progressed, these conversations have increasingly moved no longer accepting a position in the value chain, but online. The challenge is that companies need to play rather intervening at various points of interest or even catch up. The opportunities are vast. User-generated substituting components of the value chain and assembling content and collaboration are creating a new medium their own solutions. At all times, the approach to for business to connect and interact with customers targeting is in line with the ethos of social marketing. in a far more dynamic, fluid and conversational UBank, for example, noticed that clients with high manner than was possible in the past. Customer Energy would often share advice or observations Now that social media has graduated from a discussion on the UBank service with peers, providing about technology, to a strategic business opportunity, recommendations and suggestions on product it is gaining resonance at CEO and Board levels. improvements through various social media, thereby It represents an enormous opportunity for companies to creating a low-cost, high-credibility advertising channel. connect with their customers and harness the power of Some key questions need to be raised during this phase: Customer Energy – the challenge for business leaders is Who are the energetic customers? to use it, understand it and embed it into the business. • What kind of profile do they have? • How to identify and approach them? • What motivates them?4 A.T. Kearney | “Are you part of this conversation?” – Adopting the ethos of social media
  • Contact the authorsMarco A. CioboPrincipal, Head of Strategic IT Practice (SITP)marco.ciobo@atkearney.com or + 61 3 9648 3766Peter MunroVice-President & Managing Director, ANZpeter.munro@atkearney.com or +61 2 9259 1999
  • SydneyA.T. Kearney Australia Pty. Ltd.Level 21Governor Phillip Tower1 Farrer PlaceSydney, NSW 2000Australiawww.atkearney.com.au61 2 9259 1999MelbourneA.T. Kearney Australia Pty. Ltd.Level 33101 Collins StreetMelbourne, VIC 3000Australiawww.atkearney.com.au61 3 9648 3700