Point 2: Everyone in M&C needs to be able to ‘reach into’ the world of data available via web & social, to gather information from the external environmental that will assist them in making everyday decisions and engaging with prospects and clients. This information should not be ‘controlled’ by a few, only accessible for a few, or stuck within siloes. It needs to be accessible to anyone within M&C (& ultimately IBM), on demand. Point 3: Some example business objectives for listening (social intelligence research): Monitor online comments about a brand / person / keyword Mine social media to find potential sales leads / clients and stay connected with them Identify subject matter experts / influencers and discover what is being said Gather insight into a defined constituency (interest based group): Find out how many people are talking about specific keywords online, understand natural language used in conversation (to inform content development and search marketing), where they are talking (to inform the marketing mix), and what they are saying (to inform product development, message development, response plan etc) Measure activity about a brand / person / keyword over time. For example to determine how an ad campaign, product launch, event, digital campaign or social initiative has impacted the way people talk about a brand, product, or expert online If we don’t do this we may fall behind our competitors: In McKinsey’s Quarterly November 2011 survey “How social technologies are extending the organisation”, 40% respondents stated that they use social networking to complete the process of scanning the external environment. “Many respondents believe that entirely new processes could arise if barriers to use fall.” This external information suggests that if IBM does not build this capability quickly, ground may be lost to competitors who do. IBM is talking about how we do this for clients externally: SportTechie reports on the results of IBM's analysis of millions of public tweets generated throughout the US Open tennis tournament. http://bit.ly/RIuL9e Internet Evolution looks at how IBM is helping the US Tennis Association analyze social sentiment at the US Open. http://bit.ly/NO0Siu InformationWeek examines how sentiment analysis is helping companies with brand analysis. http://bit.ly/NO0KzG
Participant (Discipline, Role): Susanne Janssen/Switzerland/IBM@IBMCH, BSWE, Brand System & Workforce Enablement Leader, IBM Europe Luca Tentarelli1/Italy/IBM, DP, Digital Marketing Focal Point for DP Consolidated Timothy R Keeley/China/IBM, WE, SNR Workforce & Field Enablement PROF (Exec) Pedro Garcia Prieto/Spain/IBM, BS, IBM Forum IT Specialist Ranjini N Rao/India/IBM, SWG, TeleWeb Marketing Manager,SWG Benjamin J Montague/Australia/IBM, GBS, GBS Graduate Consultant Charu Babbar/India/IBM, GMC, Services Digital Program Manager - Global Marketing Center Susie Wong/Singapore/IBM, M&C, ASEAN Digital Leader Anuradha Roychowdhury/India/IBM, WFE, Communications Manager-India Software Lab Alessandra Pollicini/Ireland/IBM, GTS, Communications Partner, Services Integration Hub WEST Tiago Ferreira Bueno/Italy/IBM, MDI, Market Development Advisor - Italy Stephanie Rasmussen/Austin/IBM, STG, Workforce and Field Enablement Communications Alicia Gonzalez Sanabria/Spain/IBM, HR (Business Integration & Strategy), IBM Madrid CoE HR Professional Development & Career Advisor Nuria Flengas Serrano/Spain/Contr/IBM, HR (Business Integration & Strategy), IBM Integrated Supply Chain, Client & Transformation Nicky Parkinson/UK/IBM, BS, WW Brand System Strategy Kieran Cannistra/Atlanta/IBM, BS (Digital Strategy & Development), Senior digital content strategist Technical expert (advisor): Ranjun Chauhan/Costa Mesa/IBM, BS (Digital Strategy & Development), Digital & Social Intelligence Strategy Learning (action research) project facilitator: Rowan Hetherington/Australia/IBM, BS (Digital Strategy & Development), Digital Strategy Enablement, Business Transformation Professional. Consistent with the concept of action research, I played multiple roles. I was the Change strategist and implementer, designing and leading the project, plus recipient / participant in that I participated in the action steps myself. I also played the role of researcher.
Source data: “ The best thing (about the project) was looking at other people’s progress and challenges, comparing experiences. I learned a lot from that.” (source: anonymous survey response) “ I learned a lot by listening to what other people were sharing and looking at their log-books loaded in Activities.” (source: anonymous survey response) <The project> “Made me very excited, as this was a new experience to me, I found it very interesting and people were helpful and available to share experiences and tips” (anonymous survey response) “ Great value cause it’s a hands-on activity that doesn't simply provide a guide but makes us learn by doing” (source: anonymous survey response) “ I think the whole concept of a listening project is fab - and you have done a wonderful job of making an idea real - I think it has the potential to be a great technique for applying learning we should use more. I'd like to figure out how we help more people to do similar projects - and how we encourage more people to participate in future listening learning projects.” (source: anonymous survey response) Note: this style of participative action research fits if the skill to be learned is complex, uncertain and has contingency factors (e.g. different: a. business objectives, b. environmental factors such as local market factors and c. levels of readiness including practitioner time availability, commitment and skill.)
There seems to be consensus about the value listening can contribute to the business. The business value that was generated by participants during this project came in a variety of forms, based on their different business objectives for listening. Value included: identifying an event IBM should participate in (making a new market in Africa), identifying new language used by the market which could be used in marketing materials, finding potential clients and influencers and finding market and competitive insights. Source data From participant’s logs: “ Talking with a few colleagues about the activity I am doing, I realised that effective listening (and sharing how to do it) would bring value to client teams by equipping them with additional insights about their clients. When you deal with a client, you can run the risk of merely relying on what they tell you – which is not always the full story. Listening would help gather the bigger picture.” (source: Alessandra’s log) “ Listening does appear to have merit as a forward-looking service Marketing & Communications could offer to IBM. Like social focus groups, digital listening teams could be deployed around a question about making a market, using a language within a country, to do targeted listening and produce recommendations. If warranted, host organization could continue the listening or pursue other means to make or develop the market .” (source: Tim’s log) From the project completion survey: “ I don't think listening and its value are fully understood - at least, not in all areas of the MCC function. Listening is the new Marketing Intelligence (or at least a strong part of it) but it should not just be limited to Market Insights teams .” (source: anonymous survey response) “ Social listening should be leveraged to be the headlights to the business – People should be imparted training and motivation, process & tools” (source: anonymous survey response) “ Listening could be very important on my daily work to identify relevant clients for the center I work for – this could be actioned by all the people in my organization that work in the Forum Center” (source: anonymous survey response) “ The real value of a listening activity comes with time, monitoring our target and understanding when variations occur in order to act promptly” (source: anonymous survey response) In contrast, in the project completion survey, only one third of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they had generated business value from listening over the four week project. When I investigated the anomaly between participant’s conclusion and own generation of results, consensus was that a timeframe longer than four weeks, plus access to skilled listening resources with paid tools may be required to fully leverage the opportunities of listening. This consensus is supported by an earlier finding from one NA Intelligent Listening pilot that started in 2009 and generated 6.7M in opportunities identified in 2010, through over 1,000 discussions (next slide)
Bullet 2: This is consistent with the N.A. Intelligent Listening pilot generating 6.7M USD in 2010, its’ second year (2.3M USD the year before in 2009) Source data: “ 15mins a day did not provide enough time to develop comprehensive analysis.” (source: Alessandra’s log) Updates from analysts are often contradictory to what I found during listening - analysts tend to report patterns, whereas what I find when listening tends to be quite extreme “ (source: Ben on a call). “ <Listeners should always ask the question:> " Is this content / sentiment representative?” (source: call) One possibility is that people are motivated to post by strong emotion, either positive or negative. Another factor to consider is how reliable the listening tools are. Different tools use different methods and therefore generate different findings. A participant questioned, “ Is the common assumption that paid tools are more reliable accurate?” (source: call) In the third week of listening, several participants had breakthroughs, however valid patterns were still elusive: “ Really happy cause I started to find interesting profiles in my listening activity today, it’s starting to work!!!! " (source: Tiago on a call) “ This week I started to connect the dots - I started to come across the same content via different searches. I still don't feel I can make sense of the information and derive patterns from it, but I'm starting to accurately define the content and get my arms around it.” (source: Alicia’s update on Activities + call) “ Plenty of titbits swirling around but need an angle to corral them into useful information for IBM.” (source: Tim’s log)
Free tools exist that allow pervasive input from the external market environment (via web and social media) to be scanned by everyday decision makers within M&C globally. HOWEVER, the practice of listening alone would be ineffective if the system of Marketing & Communications (i.e. it’s operations of people, processes, platforms & policies) is not aligned to take advantage of this new capability. Listening will only lead to improved results if we have the people, processes, platforms and policies (or capabilities and systems) in place to respond to what is found. Transformation will need to be driven from the top down as well as from the bottom up (ideally a holistic, integrated, systematic approach) While emergent change in the form of an informal group has been shown to be effective in supporting application of the listening skill (slide 8), a directive management approach will be required to enable and support the development of the listening capability from the top down, including formal resource allocation, information systems and process innovation that can transform the input of listening findings into better M&C system outputs (results).
Speakers notes for point 1: Listening CoP could be a platform through which learning is accelerated. This will support the sustained application of listening by project participants (all 12 that completed the final survey plan to continue the practice of listening) – as well as support others practicing listening within IBM Tools – create an editable matrix of which tools suit which objective, media type (based on constituency and geo digital usage) and skill level.
Zuber-Skerritt and Perry – point 3: Two reports were produced: Rowan Hetherington produced an academic report which was her final assessment in the Australian Graduate School of Management ‘Graduate Certificate in Change Management’ program. Rowan also produced this report, to be presented within IBM, with input from participants.
I used a modified version of the action learning cycle. The method utilized two types of intervention: Documenting their findings and experiences in a ‘workings and findings log’. Group sharing and feedback on weekly conference calls. Both intervention types enabled reflection and learning. One participant suggested this type of participative project is “ a great technique for applying learning we should use more ”. I agree, so long as the contingencies fit. For example, the learning task to be explored must be complex. Also, contingency factors that affect the commitment of participants should be taken into account, for example, the leader’s credibility, trustworthiness and expertise and their ability to create positive social dynamics. ABOUT THE PROCESS: Taking action: Listening for 10-15 min per day was recommended (over, say listening for 1hr per week) for two reasons: When searching on a keyword that is used frequently, we are likely to find different things each day (different talking points / events / hot topics etc. Data from one day won’t be representative). The practice of listening 10-15 mins per day forms a sustainable habit. Applying the skill requires taking regular action Documenting your findings and experiences in the ‘workings and findings log’ is critical : So participants can look back at what they found in previous weeks, reflect on the questions they had and the answers found – and put themselves in position to report on your week’s listening during the weekly calls (if the call is on Tuesday, they may have forgotten what they found on Wednesday of the previous week). I provided a template to document these things. IMPORTANT: This is about taking a scientist’s perspective! Even trivial experiences should be logged in order to enable patterns to emerge. Questions could be posted in the ‘Activities’ section (as well as in the workings & findings log). This facilitates quick answers from the SME monitoring the Activities section. Each 30 min call is an important check point – an opportunity to get the information for the next week to support achievement of the participants’ selected business objective. Also: to check whether they are on track as well as keep confidence and momentum up The calls are an opportunity for participants learn from each other – to get guidance and ideas from the group The final call was on 7 Aug. During this call, I reported back to participants the first iteration of the combined, aggregated findings from the project. I requested feedback and input on that call to gain additional perspectives and ‘sanity checks’ before sharing the results.
Additional for point 2: “ Time on the calls seemed to fly. Definitely the right size of group in order to build a collaborative atmosphere.” (approx. 6 participants per group) (source: anonymous survey response)
Additional insights about the method: “ <I’d recommend to> Kick off with a longer, more structured ‘teach-like’ education call to get everyone started un the right direction.” (source: anonymous survey response) “ <I’d like more> Formal education on the main social media searching engines and how to maximize their use. Increased coaching on how to capture data from conversations in a meaningful way, i.e. if I follow conversations every day of a set of keywords, how can I categorise them without making my file become a volume of data and text” (source: anonymous survey response) Regarding confidence falling in week 4 (per slide 11), two recommendations: first, make the next project we run five weeks instead of four, to allow participants one more week to tackle finding patterns. Second, test whether the word ‘patterns’ is off-putting for marketers. Would the word ‘trends’ be better?
A hybrid resource model would involve individuals in M&C being up-skilled so they are able to find information specific to their business objectives, plus access being available to funded specialist listening teams where findings require validation (finding patterns and applying skilled analysis) or the listening objective is large scale.
Listening Action Research Project Report
Listening Action Research Project ReportEnabling pervasive social listening sustainably withinIBM’s Marketing and Communications practiceAugust, 2012Rowan HetheringtonDigital Business Transformation ProfessionalIBM Corporate Marketing