Social Technology Buyers Matrix by Jeremiah Owyang web-strategist.com/blog
design Roderick Chow fogday com
LOW COST INNOVATION CONFUSES BUYERS WITH WEB STRATEGISTS MUST PLAN FOR THE LONG TERM Analyze Their Partnership and Alliance Relationships. Se-
EXCESS CHOICES As a Web Strategist, you seek to balance Regardless of which path you choose from Broad, Specialized lecting a company that has a healthy set of partnerships and
the three spheres of business, technology and community or diy, there are a few baseline considerations the web strate- alliances will ensure that they your company will fit within
(http://bit.ly/threespheres). Perhaps a challenging one is the gist must factor into their long term planning, they include: the heterogenous ecosystem of the social web. Yet, probe
‘technology’ sphere as you’re faced with the decision of build deeper, during initial sales calls, vendors will flash “Nascar
vs. buy, specialized vs. broad, cheap vs. expensive. The Deploy Systems That Are Designed to Scale. Buyers must slides” with dozens of logos of partnerships, find out how
choices are staggering—there are over 100 community demand access to the product roadmap and understand where many relationships are truly deep integration and aligned
platform vendors, thousands of Facebook developers, iPhone the company is headed at least in their two year plan. The product roadmaps—not just former one-off projects.
apps, and Twitter apps being created each year. Despite the benefits of a SaaS technology vendor is that you can quickly Although this post is buyer focused, technology vendors
proliferation of innovation, one thing remains constant: scale your deployment on a turn key basis, while on prem- with a broad focus should start kindling relationships with
the economics and strategy of buying doesn’t change. As a ise has it’s upsides for conservative industries—scaling can channel partners that can resell and focus in on specific
result, the web strategist must first understand their strategy, quickly become an issue and out-the-door fast deployment. marketers. For example, Radian 6 is known for offering its
develop the right parameters for buying and recognize the service to PR and digital agencies who can then focus in on
strengths—and weakness of each type of partner. Deploy Systems That Can Integrate. Only buy systems that specific markets.
have protocols that can allow data to be accessed by other
First, Buyers Must Understand Their Level of Sophistica- parties, and put into terms of service your data can be Note: No vendor is perfect, and if they can do it all, you won’t need all
tion. Companies that purchase technology and services must accessed at any given time, no questions asked. their offerings, and their price point will be high, as a result, understand the
first recognize where they are in the sophistication curve. strengths and weaknesses of all.
Those who are new to social technologies should seek out
strategy and education first, and rely on external experience Social Technology Buyers Matrix
and expertise to deter risk. Those that are in mid level should
Broad vs. Specialized vs. Do It Yourself (DIY)
focus in on specific needs—forgoing unneeded services and
features. Expert level companies are thinking of a holistic ex-
Technology or service vendors that serve Technology or service vendors that offer Rather than rely on vendors, many
What is It
perience for customers and are focused on scalability, interop-
a variety of industries without a specific vertical (or industry) specific skills, honed companies prefer to build their own social
erability, and integration. In many cases, these expert level
focus. in on a unique market need. media tools and processes and integrate
companies may be focused on building their own tools and with legacy CMS and WMS systems.
resources—rather than relying completely on third parties.
Buzzmetrics, Radian 6, Visible In the brand monitoring space, Revinate A variety of brands have bolted on social
For Growth, Focused Vendors Go Broad. Interestingly Technologies, Cymfony offer a range of offers specific brand monitoring for the features to their corporate website
enough, some companies with rich histories in a particular services that can be use with any variety hospitality industry, and Kickapps*, Pluck, using BBS systems, Wordpress, or Drupal
vertical are also expanding to larger markets by rebranding of industries. On the community platform and Cisco EOS*, offer solutions for the like platforms with extensive
efforts. Take for example 10 year old Neighborhood America, side, Jive, Telligent, Mzinga, Awareness, media vertical and recently rebranded customization. Or, developers that build
a community platform with strong background in govern- Liveworld* can meet the needs of many INgage Networks has long history of custom installations on .NET, JSP, PHP, and
ment, local, and federal agencies as a vertical as recently enterprises. serving Government—although they are other software languages and frameworks.
rebranded as INgage Networks—giving them a broader reach moving to the broad category.
to the enterprise space and international space—read their
faq and watch their video to learn more. Wide deployment ensures that the scope Faster deployment and features and Reduced up-front cost and custom-tailored
can spread to a large set of sites to crawl. deployments are pre-customized for integration with existing systems. A
In most cases, these companies can scale, deployment. Experienced teams that controlled environment not dependent on
As Market Matures, Vendors Become Specialized. Radian
and have a broad base of clients to learn truly get the nuances of your particular the product roadmaps of other SaaS
6, Visible Technologies, Nielsen Buzzmetrics, and TNS from. industry. companies and increased security measures.
Cymfony have all broad reach across multiple industries by
being fairly agnostic to any particular vertical. Of course, Configuration and specialization for your Vendors may not be able to go broader, Constant rejiggering of features as the
they each have experiences in particular verticals and likely particular market may require setup costs feature set may become limited when it outside technology space innovates quickly.
have a majority of clients in one industry over another, but and configuration efforts. While features comes to scaling. Sometimes, Often the soft costs and internal mainte-
that’s a contrary position to Revinate, a company I recently may go wide –not all will be needed specialization increases costs of goods nance isn’t always accounted for up front,
met with that focuses in on deep integration with the hospi- for your specific customer socialgraphic and services. and innovating new features are often not
tality industry. Their listening platform, while it doesn’t go behaviors and industry usage. native to corporations.
as wide to cover the “brand scope” comes pre-rigged with
connections to travel rating sites like Tripadvisor, Yelp, and * The Altimeter Group takes pride in transparency and openness in research and analysis, as a result, the starred
other consumer rating sites. companies are currently clients, read our disclosure page: http://www.altimetergroup.com/disclosure.