strategy+businessissue 68 AUTUMN 2012Scaling Up Social MediaA survey of senior marketers reveals three capabilities for buildingbetter online consumer relationships.by christopher vollmerand karen premoreprint 00130
leading ideas Scaling Up its shows to its fans on Facebook strengthening social media is on the (12.8 million as of May 2012) and CEO’s agenda at 40 percent of re- Social its audience on YouTube (13.3 mil- sponding companies and is a top lion unique video views and about marketing priority for about 60 per- Media 35,000 subscribers to its channel as cent. Seventy-eight percent believe of May 2012). Partnering with Twit- that social media efforts enhance ter, the company created the “Tweet- their marketing effectiveness; 95 A survey of senior walk,” a real-time feed that show- percent expect to invest more in so- cases new designs just before they cial media. marketers reveals three hit the runway. This gave Burberry’s Today, two-thirds of respond- capabilities for building Twitter followers (978,000 as of ing companies dedicate 5 percent or better online consumer May 2012) unique “see it ﬁrst” ac- less of their digital marketing spend- relationships. cess. By leveraging these platforms, ing to social media. Within three 1 Burberry has turned its fashion years, however, 56 percent of re- by Christopher Vollmer and shows into content-rich social expe- sponding companies expect to spend Karen Premo riences that engage millions of fans 10 percent or more of their digital B and interested consumers, rather marketing budgets on social media, urberry Group PLC has a than just a few industry insiders. and 28 percent expect the ﬁgure to rich heritage that would With these moves, Burberry has exceed 20 percent. (See Exhibit.) make many other compa- positioned itself on the leading edge Companies aiming to take full nies envious. For more than 150 of digital and social media. And advantage of this expanding social years, this luxury apparel company many other companies are investing media spending need to scale three could credit its success to its instant- similarly in strengthening their so- important capabilities: community ly recognizable brand and timeless cial media presence and related ca- management, content development, yet contemporary designs. But today pabilities. In the summer and fall of and real-time analytics. For innova- a new deﬁning element has come to 2011, Booz & Company and Buddy tors like Burberry, these capabilities the fore: branded digital and social Media, a social enterprise software are most often combined as a mutu- media experiences. Just look at how provider, conducted a quantitative ally reinforcing system operating dramatically Burberry has reimag- survey of 117 leading companies and under the leadership of the market- ined its fashion shows, once effec- a series of in-depth interviews with ing function. (In Burberry’s case, tively off-limits to the brand’s many senior marketing and media execu- the company’s creative and design admirers. Today Burberry streams tives. The results revealed that leadership are involved as well.) Illustration by Felix Sockwell
leading ideasInvesting in Engagement YouTube channels, Google+ circles, tage by someone in social media.”Social media spending as a percentage of the digitalmarketing budget is on the rise. and, most recently, Pinterest boards, Many companies are therefore % of Respondents they realize quickly that establishing on the hunt to recruit talent that a social media presence is just the can support high-impact commu- 7% beginning. Community manage- nity management. The community 28% 5% ment — the art and science of con- management professional, part% Budget vening and hosting fans in social brand champion, part chief listener, 22% Over 20% media across multiple platforms — part superfan, and always “mission 10%–20% quickly emerges as a vitally impor- control,” brings a variety of skills to 27% tant skill. bear on the job. It is a dynamic, 5%–10% Less than 5% Unlike traditional advertising content, social 67% 32% media focuses on sharable, participation-focused 2 content that stimulates conversations and gets 13% consumers involved in brand storytelling. 2011 2014 This discipline is critical in es- complex, and people-intensive func-Note: Sums may not total 100 due to rounding. tablishing a social media communi- tion that requires a fusion of analyticSource: Booz & Company/Buddy Media survey ty that is healthy, active, and grow- and creative expertise. ing. Further, once visitors become 2. Content development. ToBurberry’s deliberate investment in fans, companies have the responsi- build a robust content developmentthese digitally focused capabilities bility to listen to them and reward capability, companies must oftenhas enabled the company to develop their behavior with an “always on” completely reboot their approachespowerful, direct, and multiplatform experience. Managing real-time to communications and campaigns.relationships with its fans and con- communities requires expertise that According to one major beveragesumers, creating unprecedented op- includes listening to what fans are marketer, “Old-time brand manag-portunities for brand building, saying; curating the editorial experi- ers only did TV. Now brand manag-product marketing, and consumer ence; ensuring that the brand’s voice ers have to think about social [me-engagement. This strategic focus on and presence are coherent; measur- dia] in everything they do. Do theydigitizing and socializing its brand ing the effectiveness of the brand have sufficient content they canand the consumer’s experience of it campaigns against business and share with their community?”has profoundly changed the compa- brand objectives; and innovating to Unlike traditional advertisingny. Says creative director Christo- anticipate what is next for the content, the goal of which is oftenpher Bailey, “Burberry is now as brand’s fan base in terms of content, awareness or brand recall, social me-much a media-content company as tools, or digital media platforms. dia focuses on sharable, participa-we are a design company.” Not surprisingly, these new re- tion-focused content that stimulates quirements also raise concerns. conversations and gets the consumerCreating a Social Experience About 50 percent of respondents say involved in and connected to brandFor companies in all sectors, com- their lack of sufficient community storytelling. A powerful example ismunity management, content devel- management resources represents a Nike’s “The Chance,” a global Face-opment, and real-time analytics rep- major barrier to social media suc- book and YouTube-centric competi-resent a new way to build direct cess, and 55 percent worry that they tion developed by Nike agencyrelationships with consumers — and are losing control of their brand AKQA. Over an eight-month peri-thus a major opportunity to generate messages. “You have to be ‘on’ 24/7,” od, 75,000 young, undiscoveredbusiness value. notes a senior executive with a major soccer players from 40 countries 1. Community management. apparel brand. “You have to respond competed for a life-changing con-As companies begin building brands to customers all the time. Issues es- tract with the Nike Academy. Theon Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, calate so fast, you can be held hos- aspiring athletes were encouraged to
leading ideas enter the competition by promoting tured analytics and metrics are criti- erated, conversion rates, or actual themselves with videos and photos cal to this understanding. sales. A few corporate trailblazers are to build a fan following. Nike and A real-time capability in social demonstrating already that social AKQA zeroed in on the consumer media analytics typically matures media can drive measurable business insight that is true for every com- through four levels, gaining sophis- impact — in other words, they are petitive sport: Athletes want the op- tication with each one. Level One is turning “likes” and “fans” into real portunity to compete at the most measuring reach. At this stage, mar- value. For example, Wendy Clark, elite levels. Social media allowed keters understand the social scale of senior vice president for integrated Nike to take that insight global, their brands and know how many marketing communications and ca- transforming it into a compelling fans, followers, subscribers, visitors, pabilities at Coca-Cola, has shared digital media experience for millions and views they have. Level Two publicly that the beverage giant’s so- of athletes. As Ajaz Ahmed, chair- is tracking engagement. Marketers cial media analytic capability is ad- man and founder of AKQA, ex- move beyond counting to analyze vanced enough to show that Coke 3 plains, “There was no better way to the drivers of participation and am- social media fans are twice as likely tell the ‘Just Do It’ story than by plification in online communities to consume and 10 times as likely to empowering people to become bet- and what kinds of sharable content purchase Coke as nonfans are. ter footballers and rewarding the perform best. For example, they Social media represents an enor- very best.” study patterns in comments, shares, mous opportunity for unfiltered, di- Leading social media teams are video plays, registrations, and other rect consumer insights into brand- taking steps to build publisher-like user actions. Level Three is analyz- ing, customer service, and product capabilities, competing aggressively ing advocacy. Here, marketers iden- development. Because 56 percent of for consumers’ attention, engage- tify fan behaviors that are associated companies surveyed are investing ment, and loyalty with high-value with brand commitment, relevance, actively to improve the quality and quantity of these insights from so- A few trailblazers are demonstrating that social cial media, this analytic capability should only grow stronger. media can drive measurable impact — they As more companies refine their are turning “likes” and “fans” into real value. use of social media, this more dy- namic approach to marketing will content just as media companies do. authority, and social capital, such as dramatically transform how they Many marketers say they plan to ag- writing reviews providing recom- connect their brands with consum- gressively expand their content de- mendations. The goal here is to ers. By developing these distinctive velopment staff. The survey found know which users drive brand con- capabilities, companies can not only that among companies with dedi- versations as well as brand percep- create rich new social media experi- cated social media staff, 49 percent tion, and which users are the brand ences for their customers but, like have in-house creative talent. An- “multipliers” who get other fans and Burberry, transform their organiza- other 35 percent are actively build- users to participate in brand conver- tions and unlock market-leading ing their content teams. Among sations and who influence brand be- performance. + those planning to hire social media havior positively. Reprint No. 00130 talent within a year, 72 percent are Finally, Level Four is calculat- prioritizing creative resources — ing the return on investment. The Christopher Vollmer producers and editors — above all firstname.lastname@example.org most advanced companies set out to is a partner with Booz & Company and other needs. achieve strategic business objectives leads the firm’s global media and 3. Real-time analytics. Mar- with their social media analytics. entertainment practice, and is based in strategy+business issue 68 New York. keters increasingly need real-time According to the survey, only about insight into their audiences and the 40 percent of companies have met- Karen Premo impact of their content to know rics in place today to measure ROI- email@example.com is a principal with Booz & Company’s whether their social media efforts focused key performance indicators, global media and entertainment practice, are on target. Robust, well-struc- such as purchase intent, leads gen- and is based in New York.