Today, I’d like to take a step back and a step forward…. what I really thought we could talkabout is more than simply social media and the Dell journeyI’d like to actually take a step back and look at marketing, its evolution, the power and place of social media and what we have learned at DellI think it is time we talked about the appeal and glamor of “marketing” as we have known it through the ages, to the reality and the business value of marketing today, as well as the opportunities social media offer when re-examined with a view to authentic customer connectivity
If we look back over time, marketing was focused on name recognition, product placement and especiallyplacement and recognition at the point of purchaseIf “marketing” could have strong product recognition at point of purchase, theory was, customers chose that product
Then marketers got sophisticated and media provided even more opportunities…we marketers polished up our reach and business offering beyond just a point of purchaseMarketers could now establish brands, associate and implicate certain values and broadcast those messages out….not simply influencing the point of purchase but delivering recognition and top-of-mind consideration all the time…further impacting customers when they made that purchase decision
And then our profession got even more polished and professional we gave products “appeal” beyond just their everyday purpose…Not only did we deliver appeal we delivered it in glitzy, even enticing ways.All of it also researched and ‘targeted” to segments and imbuing products with appeal
Now we had not just great appeal, imagery and attraction…thanks to mass media, electronics and venues everywhere, Marketers could be present anywhere and everywhereBroadcasting powerfully and loudly and brightAnd we also could compete with each other over being more loud and garnering more attention
I went to wikipedia and ran a tag cloud on their article about marketingAs you can see it is all about research, products, marketing firms, new things…lots of stuffThe customers and consumers coming at the third level of mention in this word cloud.I thought marketing was first and foremost about the customer….seems to me the marketing function plays a critical role in today’s company as the overarching voice of the customer…
So is it time for marketing to be less about campaigns, advertisements, glitz, big new ideas and noise and really about reconnecting with people who are or should be our customers.
In fact, as I think back in history to the general store or the early department stores or the mom and pop shops in our neighborhoods, the smart business person was a true marketerThat business person knew his customers by name, had a connections with themIndeed therein lies the early beginning of successful business – not the advertisement of brand names but the intimate customer connectionsIn some cases, the general store was actually the community center. People shopped, chatted, shared news, played a game of cards…..So, as we talk today about social media, I think this context is important….
The Web has morphed from a place where we, in isolation, pointed, clicked and surfedThe Web is now interactive and social….it is a living, sharing, connecting community of peoplePeople are sharing information and their perceptions at an amazing rate….whether it be through 600 new videos, 6600 photos on flickr or 1500 blog posts in 60 secondsThis tidal wave of information and opinion by our customers matters…..because they are at the center of all of our businesses if we are to have successful businesses.and that sheer volume overwhelms anything you or I can ever deliver for a businesses
Authority has changed…from what I watched on the CBS evening news to what my friends or people I trust said and shared on Twitter
And the time we all spend on the interactive web changes where our attention goes or how our attention is made when we make decisions
The other sometimes difficultaspect of this tidal wave of customer connectivity and commentary is that people are having conversations…they are not necessarily talking business or business lingo, even though it may be about your business.These conversations are like a cocktail party. People chat at the cocktail party about the weather in one group, in another corner they could discussing personal vacations and hotels where they had a great time, or in another corner about very personal experiences, recommendations to a friend, or simply sharing what they thought was interesting today, or their plans for a future moveThe same is true about the conversations and commentary about our businesses on the Web. The social media discussions about your company or your business sector are not neatly parceled and aligned with business functions, necessarily.A chat about using my 7 year old Dell to tweet on could be someone raving about being a loyal Dell customer, they could be bragging about the quality of their Dell in comparison to a friends 2 year old machine ...or it could simply be a fact like its hot outside today. Content and context of conversations have a value….but what how and fitting that into any business process can be a little messy
And that brings me to the value of the web today….and where marketing must continue to re-orient itself for the future…online and offlineIt is all about customer centricity and connections….not necessarily about campaigns.Of course, marketing campaigns will, and do, have an important place….Imjust saying social media brings a rich opportunity to build, scale and integrate new and rich customer connectivity into business
I wont run you through this whole chart, but with five years of experience under our belt, thought a couple highlights and failures are worth mentioningIt all begins in early 2006 with a special tech support swat team working to respond to tech support matters being raised by bloggers…followed by our early launch of one of the first corporate blogs to expanding our outreach beyond tech support as we recognized the conversations across the web could also include commentary about our latest news release, our corporate reputation or business processes.Interesting to note that Michael Dell noted very early on that our social web activity was not just about marketing or tech support…but connecting with customers to constantly improve and build a better businessAlong the path we launched a ‘viral video site ‘ sort of a take off on the television show “The Office” only focused for IT folks. It didn’t garner IT folks attention nor did it go viral. You don’t plan viral videos…..and IT directors have tough jobs, not to be laughed at, I supposeWe had a microsite focused on mobility, but with few resources, strong content and lacking focus it died a quiet deathIn June 2007 we joined Twitter andhave had great success in connecting with customers on everything from tech support, to IT for small business, to our corporate social responsibility and green IT efforts, as well as folks looking for special offersWe have both a business and consumer Facebook page. In 2009 we launched Dell Tech Center, a community for IT pros, and it grew rapidly that first year….in the area of 400%
Lesson 2: If you go into the social web with only your agenda and messages you failListening to 25,000 conversations everyday about Dell is crucial to putting the customer centricity at the forefront of these effortsWe have over 180 different search profiles that help us parcel up those 25000 conversations and make sense of the volume of discussions related to Dell.For those interested in a little more detail, yes… those 180 search criteria include things like geography, reach, sentiment, subject matter of the discussions, where they are taking place on the web… and more
Lesson 3 and I have touched on this…but over 5 years we have found the conversations touch every part of Dell’s business……well, I'm not sure accounting has many customer conversations about them To realize business value from the customer, it is important that web interactions and conversations are heard by those who are most impacted, the relevant Dell team members and various parts of the business.
Lesson 4 builds on Lesson 2 and 3. Listening is one thing. Recognizing that customer conversations are not just about products or tech support but can impact building a better business across all business and customer segments as well as business functions…well that requires action to follow up on what we learn, and raises the question of how to scale.First: Listen, then engage and connect and finally act to build a better business. Input from customers can mean questions about the status quo, and action by business on what we learn from that input. Social media does not always mean saying Yes, but it does mean we have a responsibility to listen learn engage and act where it makes sense and leads us to being a better more customer centered business.That’s where the medium becomes two way and all about customer connectivity -- not just messaging By thinking of social media more like a tool, like email or the telephone, the possibilities to scale can also be realized.
Lesson 5 relates to giving employees the tools to do their job…that means training.At Dell, We have put in place a robust social media and community curriculum that covers everything from our policies about transparency and protecting company and customer information to how to best use tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogging
We continue to evolve the training program offerings. Our training is also global, and includes innovative unconferences (held in the US, the UK, China and India last year and more planned this year). Today, we have more than 15 courses offered in person and using Live Meeting….and there are more in the worksAnd, we see an amazing thirst for this as more than 5,000 Dell employees have taken at least one course; more than 2000 Dell certified professionals have completed 4 courses/8+ hoursThat’s commitment and interest from employees
Perhaps one of our most important lessons is there is no single ROI….or using a revenue number that is attributable to social interactions fails to accurately account for the significant business value to be realized in using social media. Our experience to date shows signs of real business value in social media. That value is found and realized where something is of value to our business and the customer. Those intersections do not just happen at a point of purchase or with a transaction. In fact, these happen around the full or complete life cycle of the customer relationshipsBy delighting and connecting to customers, they are coming back for more and we are able to focus more on exactly what it is that enables them to do moreour work in measuring what matters, we now know that social media is a decision factor in both the consumer and b2b space; social media is about more than awareness or brand sentiment…it is that;but it is also about every aspect of the customer lifecycle and impacts the complete customer lifecycle….Social media can impact loyalty, and the amount returning customers purchase from Dell. This work is not done, but we are well on our way to really understanding both the metrics and business value and we know where we are going Improves Dell’s reach and share of voice; we know there is causality between social media activity and purchase, it provides high business value and contributes to demand generation, Social media based support improves sentiment and correlates with higher revenue Engaged social media customers improve loyalty
Lesson 7: Finally let me say, the interactive web is still growing and morphing. The use, business value and application of the social web to every day business activities continues to morph and “emerge”There was no Google Plus several months ago; Facebook changes features and rules regularly , automated sentiment analysis and natural language processing are evolving fields; the “social stack” and the ability to plug it into traditional and legacy CRM systems is like using bubble gum and bailing wire to hold things together….But to really use social media as a tool to be a better business, we learn and evolve, rather than simply think of social media as yet another medium in which to broadcast messages
No business is perfect…we can always learn grow and do better by being more connected with our customers. Dell is a young business, at just over twenty years old….as a business using social media we are just a seedling like anyone else in this new and important tool to make us all better businesses and marketers
I have great dreams for integration of social media to be a tool that helps us all be better marketers and in which we marketers all use in order to help make significant contributions to building strong and better businesses
Customer Centered Marketing: The Social Media Journey
Customer Centered Marketing: The Social Media Journey<br />Allison Dew, Executive Director, Social Media, Community & Insights<br />Austin American Marketing Association, August 2011<br />
13<br />Conversations are conversationsnot Business segments<br />Love your product/service<br />Need help using it<br />Helping someone else<br />with your product<br />Share an idea with you<br />Where to find you<br />Share with others how & why <br />you have great products/services <br />Graphic thanks to @Gapingvoid<br />
Customer CentricityOnline, Offline and all that marketing touches<br />14<br />
Five years of experiments and experience<br />December 2006Ratings and reviews on Dell.com<br />February 2006Michael Dell Asks<br />Why don’t we reach out and help bloggers with tech support issues?<br />October 2007Michael Dell quote in Business Week<br />Jeff Jarvis story quote, “These conversations are going to occur whether you like it or not. Do you want to be part of that or not? My argument is you absolutely do. You can learn from them. You can improve your reaction time. And you can be a better company by listening and being involved in that conversation.”<br />May 2008Dell Outlet achieves $0.5M in sales via TwitterCommunity team active on TwitterSmall Business blog launched<br />June 2009Global Twitter revenues of $6.5 M<br />Dell named #1 most social brand in ranking of 100 top brands <br />August 2006Blog outreach expands beyond tech support<br />March 2008Accepted Solutions launched on Community Dell France begins Online Community Outreach<br />March 2010China Micro-Blogging<br />February 2007IdeaStorm Launched<br />A voting based site allowing customers and others to submit ideas for Dell.<br />January 2009Dell Organizes in to4 customer focused business units<br />June 2009$2M+ Salesvia Twitter<br />Social Media Listening<br /> Command Center <br />2006<br />2007<br />2008<br />2009<br />2010<br />2011<br />Dell Social Media and Community University launched/5,000 teammembers trained byend of year(Aug.)<br />July 2006Direct2Dell launchedToday Direct2Dell exists in English, Spanish, Norwegian, Japanese and Chinese. <br />June 2007Dell joins Twitter<br />Dell launchesEmployeeStormInternal Blogs Launched for Employees.<br />April 2008Inside IT launchedBlog focused on business customers, and Cloud Computing.<br />2009Dell TechCenter<br />January 2008Dell aligns organization for success<br />Altimeter recognizes Dell with “Open Leadership Award for Innovation and Execution”(Oct.)<br />Spring 2009Some Members of Community and Conversations deployed within each of the new Dell Business units<br />December 2009Huffington Post Blog<br />DelllaunchesB2B pagesFacebook(Jun.)<br />August 2006Blog outreach expands beyond tech Support<br />January 2007StudioDell launched<br />Dell’s video and podcast site, with helpful tips and tricks. Eventually expanding this into the YouTube channel making sharing easier.<br />February 2008Twitter expanded<br />November 2007DellShares launched<br />The first investor relations blog by a public company.<br />June 2008Channel blog launched<br />15<br />
Lesson 1: Opportunity of a powerful ecosystem<br />Dell.com<br />Our Communities<br />External Communities<br />Team Members<br />16<br />
17<br />Confidential<br />Lesson 2: starts with listening<br /> to Be A Better Business, across the Business<br />3/21/2011<br />
Lesson #3: Integrate where Customer & Business Value are realized across all business functions<br />Product Development<br /><ul><li>Feedback Loop