What Is More Important To Your Business? [Infographic]

IBM conducted more than 1,700 in-depth, face-to-face interviews with CEOs, general managers and senior public sector leaders from around the globe.

Their newest CEO Study, the largest of its type ever undertaken, is the latest in the IBM C-suite Study Series. It explores how CEOs are responding to the complexity of increasingly interconnected organizations, markets, societies and governments – what we call the connected economy.

Three themes emerged. Today’s CEOs must:

  • Empower employees through values
  • Engage customers as individuals
  • Amplify innovation with partnerships

Register now to access the insights that can help you lead more effectively through impactful connections with your employees, customers and partners.

Get the full Study HERE

Category: CEO, IBM

The Cost of Social Media

The Real cost of Social Media

With social media at the height of its popularity, advertisers and companies find it an easy and trendy means of expand their marketing horizons. While many companies may be fooled by the free cost to open a social media account, many fail to consider the expense that goes into running a social media campaign. Do the benefits really outweigh the costs?

How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shift of out generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” – Seth Godin

Cost

The true cost of a social media campaign depends on the size and reach of the campaign itself. These are some factors to consider:

  • Staff costs – Once cost often overlooked is the cost of your marketer’s salary. Without a dedicated social media campaign manager you will need to work out the amount of time your other employees will spend maintaining the social media site. Community managers are also need to answer customer inquiries and to maintain a spam-free zone for your clients and customers.
  • Advertising – The biggest myth about social media is : “if you build it they will come.” Merely setting up a Facebook page or a twitter account will not guarantee any ROI. It is necessary to add your own advertising to the mix. This can include targeted adds on the platform, adding follow buttons, share buttons on your companies website or email advertisements.
  • External Fees – If your campaign is not in-house, do you out source all parts of your social media campaign? If thats is the case then you will need to figure out the breakdown in billing and how you will be charged. Since different agencies have different rates for different strategies, you’ll need to work out if this is a continuous cost and whether it affects you return value.
  • Other – While many basic tools for social media are free, more in depth tools, such as tracking, require some escalated cost. Any other technical and creative costs may also be assumed. What happens if you are highly successful? Do you have the backing and budget to expand?

Estimated Cost
Below is a breakdown of what a fallout social media campaign may cost in a year. The amounts are estimates released by Danny Brown, CEO of Bonsai Interactive.

Benefits

Considering the potential cost if a target social media campaign, are the benefits really worth the effort and money?

In a recent survey, marketing executives where asked what they felt were the main benefits of marketing through social media. Not surprisingly, only half the respondents felt that ‘low cost’ was a benefit.

So what is the economic potential of fans on Facebook. Syncapse took a look at twenty brands – here are the results:


On average, fans spent an additional $71 on products for which they are fans of, compared to those that are not fans on Facebook.

Twitter has also provided some great case studies.  Take DellOutlet, they sought to expand their brand awareness heavily through twitter. Soon after their  pages where launched thay had generated over $3m worth of business from followers who clicked on links for purchases.

Sometimes the ability of social media is the ability to create a central forum fopr new consumers. Take the case of the Old Spice brand, a new commercial was launched which generated alot of media attention. The Twitter and Facebook pages became a rallying point for these new adopters.

2700% Increase of Twitter followers – 800% Increase in Facebook followers – 300% Increase in traffice to their website

So do the benefits out weight the costs? Tell me how you get on or if you like give me call and lets chat.

Social Gaming – a Growing Trend

I found this Infographic very interesting. Whilst I consider myself an Xbox addict I tend to play shoot ’em ups. The Infographic below suggests that the fastest growing social games are word games with friends creaing friendly competition. Since 2010, social gaming has been expanding the gaming market and broadening the impact of gamification on business. And with sites like Zynga attracting 148 million unique gamers monthly, the trend is only growing.

 

Created by Flowtown

Microsoft previews Windows 8

Microsoft has launched the most complete preview yet of its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.

The company said that tens of thousands of improvements have been made to what it calls the most important redesign of its interface since Windows 95.

Consumers can now download the release preview of Windows 8, a system which Microsoft says is its most tested operating system ever.

It is expected to go on sale in the autumn, three years after Windows 7.

The new operating system is designed to bring Windows into the touchscreen, smartphone era.

It adopts the Metro interface of the company’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7.

Windows, which still dominates the desktop PC software market, has been much slower to make an impact on mobile phones and tablet computers.

The release preview has features not available in the last version, the consumer preview, launched in February.

Windows 8 screenshot The update abandons the Start menu button found on the bottom of previous versions’ screens

There will be new apps for the Bing search engine, news and sports, and improvements to the mail and photo applications unveiled previously.

Microsoft said manufacturers and developers were at work on new devices and apps designed to make the most of Windows 8’s features.

Do not track

The latest version of Microsoft’s browser Internet Explorer 10, optimised for touchscreen, is also included for the first time. Users are promised greater personalisation of the start screen, and more control over privacy.

IE 10 will be the first version of the browser with “do not track” turned on by default, meaning users can easily decide not to accept cookies.

Microsoft’s Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch announced the move on his blog.

“In a world where consumers live a large part of their lives online, it is critical that we build trust that their personal information will be treated with respect, and that they will be given a choice to have their information used for unexpected purposes,” he wrote.

But the advertising industry has raised concerns.

Microsoft’s decision risked “limiting the availability and diversity of internet content and services for consumers,” said the Digital Advertising Alliance.

Category: Technology

Why Do Users Become Disengaged With Your Email [Infographic]

After visiting your website, making a purchase, or stumbling across your company’s blog, a customer has signed up to receive email from you. For a marketer, this is the most fragile, difficult relationship to maintain: email engagement. One wrong step can end in tragedy with your electronic correspondence in the spam folder. Look at this infographic below to find out how to avoid this tragic fate when sending your emails to the masses.

 

Created by Litmus

How are you using email?

Category: Email, Marketing

Ability for Employees to Work With Greater Mobility is No.1 Reason for Cloud

Small to medium business’s are now looking beyound the cost and resource efficiencies that can be delivered from a cloud enviroment, they are now focused on how a cloud deployment can improve business outcomes and bring strategic value. In a recent study by IBM two thirds of snior managers surveyed had either implemented or intend to implement a cloud service, with over 45% of UK business looking to do so over the next two years.

The most popular reasons identified for doing this are:

  • Increased ability for employees to work with greater mobility was number one
  • Cost efficiences was named as the number two reason

As cloud continues to be a key priority businesses are looking to technology providers, known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The emergence of such MSPs is in response to a significant market shift as SMBs move their business applications to the cloud in order to increase their ability to work in a more mobile and flexible fashion.  With limited IT resources, many are looking to a new kind of partner, to help them do this as they seek to off load the management of their IT infrastructure.

“Midsize firms are under increasing pressure to become more efficient and continue to identify new opportunities to grow their business,” explains Lubomir Cheytanov, director of midmarket sales at IBM in the UK and Ireland. “They are looking to local technology providers or MSPs with deep expertise and innovative cloud portfolio to move their business applications to the cloud.”

About the Cloud Research Study:

For the independent study, conducted by YouGov, the opinions of 530 senior managers at small and medium-sized companies in the United Kingdom were surveyed. It was conducted in the second quarter of 2012 to capture current and upcoming business and IT priorities for cloud computing.

If you are looking to transform your business with cloud capabilities why not get in touch or click here for more information

How Retailers Are Adapting to the Mobile Shopping Craze

Like it or not, the time for retailers to adopt a mobile strategy is over. Shoppers are using smart phones and mobile devices for all manner of shopping activities, including price comparison, product information, local inventory lookup, reviews, and more. Retailers are striving to improve their mobile shopping experience to meet the demands of today’s connected consumer.

 

Created by Milo

Social Brand Ranking – Insights

Getting Personal

One of the biggest insights from this year’s findings is that it is those brands that have the skill, and the will, to engage with individuals on a one-to-one basis that stand out. By creating this personal engagement, these brands benefit from a ripple effect into the rest of the community, which is strengthened and invigorated as a result.
The brands that are doing this most actively typically scored highly against our Facebook observable markers of ‘Fan post:Brand post ratio’ and ‘Fan posts interacted with by brand’. On Twitter, ‘Mentions of third party @accounts by @brand’ and ‘Timeliness of response’ were key.
An analysis of patterns around these markers also indicated some interesting differences between approaches to community management in different sectors. While Entertainment brands can create significant reaction to content that they post on social platforms, and have high percentages of fan generated content, the markers showed that they are less likely to respond to fans on Facebook, and on average are slow to respond on Twitter.
Conversely, FMCG and Travel & Leisure brands are the most prolific at acknowledging fans on Facebook, while Media, Travel & Leisure and Services brands are amongst the fastest responders on Twitter.
This poses the question: are Entertainment brands relying too heavily on the value of their naturally shareable content, while missing opportunities to provide value to their communities through one-to-one interaction? The effect of doing both at the same time would seem certain to enhance their social performance even further

Twitter Room for Improvement

While the report card for Facebook makes for encouraging reading, the data shows that brands could be making more of Twitter.
Looking at the brands in the 100 as a whole, the fact that Twitter demands timeliness appears to have been absorbed (see diagram page 20). The top 50 brands for the ‘Timeliness of response’ marker on Twitter scored over 75% of available points, and even the lower quartile were at nearly 50% of available marks. Brands that have set up Twitter with a specific customer service purpose were well represented amongst the fastest responding brands. Media and Travel & Leisure brands featured heavily in the list of those brands doing this well.
However, on the measure of ‘Mentions of third party
@accounts by @brand’ even the highest scoring brands are failing to reach 50% of the total potential scores, and the average score for the 100 was 6 out of 20. This marker, what you might call the ‘conversation marker’,
is the best indicator of a brand’s willingness to employ effective active listening on Twitter, and to use the platform for conversation over broadcasting. On this evidence there is greater potential to be realised here. Technology and Travel & Leisure brands are doing this best at present.

Here are the top 24 – for the full list go HERE

For the full report by Social Brands 100 click HERE