Archive for the ‘B2B’ Category

23rd

Someone asked me recently to develop a job description for “the-buck-stops-here” role over Social Tech. I’ve been reading some great new books on Social Business, doing research on Google, and reaching out to people who have experience. So let’s create a space for the dialog. Please share a thought or two. Even if someone has already had the same thought, add yours as clarification and reinforcement.

First, I think this discussion applies to an enterprise of ANY size, but what do you think?

Second, we have existing title like CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CMO, CSO. Do you think this role should be C-Level? I’ve heard roles characterized like the following, understanding that titles don’t matter so much, but “seats at the table” do, right?

Chief of Social
Chief Social Architect
Chief Social Officer

Third, what’s involved in the role? I know I’m missing a few things, but here’s what I have so far. What’s missing? But most important, how would you rank these functions and why?

  1. ORM
  2. Brand Management
  3. Organizational Voice
  4. Sales Support
  5. Marketing Support
  6. Customer Service
  7. Rating Systems
  8. Rivers of Information
  9. Internal Networks
  10. Internal Media
  11. External Networks
  12. External Media
  13. External Relevance
  14. Partner Communications
  15. Relationship Management
  16. BI/BD
  17. Adaptive Culture
  18. Virtual Teams
  19. Governance
  20. Policies & Guidelines

That’s it for now. What do you think? Please pause and share a thought or two. Thanks in advance.

14th

Is Social Tech going mainstream in insurance in 2013? It feels like it to me.

10 Observations in 2.5 Weeks

  1. At ICMG, a large, international, health insurance company asked me to lead a Social Tech Boot Camp for their Marketing Executives in Abu Dhabi in March [pictures].
  2. Someone else that attended one of my sessions last year asked me to come speak to their team about Social Tech “as soon as possible”so I’m going down to Miami on a Saturday in March.

    WebWisedom Blog Stats, Feb13

  3. Another asked me to come speak on Social Tech at their Fraternals Annual Meeting back in Miami in April.
  4. Several folks asked about Social Tech Boot Camp individual seats. And several others started dialogs about private and sponsored Social Tech Boot Camps. (One even said she wanted to come on her own dime using a vacation day because, “my boss doesn’t get it but I won’t be left behind because of him.”)
  5. Meanwhile, work continues on a Web site re-launch for a savvy insurance broker using the “measure twice, cut once” Constituent Based Design approach I speak about in the Social Tech Boot Camps.
  6. PIMA followed at the Hotel Del in San Diego – including, shock of all shocks, several attendees actually using the #PIMAAssn hashtag. With a record attendance, the buzz was quite incredible compared to meetings of the past [pictures].
  7. Several of the new members are savvy about the importance of technology in insurance marketing.
  8. A bunch of the veterans are starting to migrate to these new methods for sales and marketing.  Case in point: Sam Fleet, President elect, shared that he got a significantly large piece of business within hours of posting a guest blog on an industry site. Sam tweets himself as well, in case you wondered – @SamFleetSays.
  9. Several want to come to Social Tech Boot Camps. A few also asked about private sessions for their teams.
  10. And virtually every single speaker referenced Social Tech in some way, some actually saying it was critically important.

So maybe 2013 really IS the year that Social Tech goes mainstream in insurance.

Finally, I spent 2 full days with my mentor, Scott Klososky, in OKC – in a snow storm! Scott has a series of new courses that I’m adapting to the insurance marketplace.

Scott Klososky, Future Point of View

Scott Klososky, Future Point of View
on Technology and Leadership

The new stuff:

  1. Technology in Leadership
  2. High-beam Leadership
  3. Digital Plumbing
  4. Business Intelligence / Big Data
  5. Adaptive Culture
  6. White Collar Lean
  7. Digital Marketing with Social Tech

This Technology Infused Leader series will begin in July/August and run every other month for about a year. Whoever takes it, and implements the concepts, will have a dominating 2-year lead on their nearest competitors – a gap that will be VERY hard to close.

Oh! I almost forgot about Jive Software in the middle of all this. Now this is REALLY REALLY cool: Internal Social Networks, already in use in several savvy insurance companies. Jive could be THE solution in insurance. By that I mean it could be the ignition switchAl Caravelli, Ken Hittel, Brian Connelly Mike Wise that will educate insurance peeps on Social within the gated community of their enterprise, AND solve systemic problems in a big way – at the same time. I’m excited about Jive. Cool cats, too.

All this to say… Social Tech is gaining serious momentum. Really, technology-driven business, Social Business is taking off like wildfire – for those that are paying attention and not continuing to snicker it away. As Scott said in typical mid-western understatement, ”Those who learn technology well will prosper. Those who do not will struggle – regardless of industry.” I’ll go further than that – It’s survival of the fittest.

What do YOU think? Will historians of the future identify 2000-2020 as a unique time of tremendous change on the scale of the Industrial Revolution, the computer age, and the Internet? Why or Why not? Thanks. The more you share, the more you learn.

28th

Marriott Vinoy, St. Pete

So the headline begs the question. I’ve got some ideas, but I really want to hear from you!

First it was e-Commerce. I remember coming to ICMG for the first time in 2004 at Aventura. E-business!!! Web sites with online quoting, e-Applications, Agent Portals, Agent Contracting, Online Policy Maintenance – all that stuff. Everybody SAID they were doing it. But very few people were ACTUALLY doing it. And the ones that were doing it weren’t doing it very well!

Fast forward 10 years. Most people are doing all those things, and doing them pretty well.

But now the same comments apply to Social Tech, don’t they? Everybody SAYS they are doing it. But very few people are ACTUALLY doing it. And the ones that ARE doing it aren’t doing it very well!

So what are we going to be talking about next? What’s beyond Social Tech??? Prognosticate in the comments below.

Btw, my 30-second commercial for this year’s Member Introductions.

“I’m helping insurance companies and large agencies understand how to leverage Social Technologies. So things like Crowdsourcing, Online Reputation Management, Organizational Voice, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, Video’s, Podcasts, Measurements – all that. I help folks develop the strategy that suits their organization. I’m also running public and private Social Tech Boot Camps for Insurance Executives. I’ve got 5 public ones scheduled for the next 10 weeks. Lastly I’m working on a video of this conference. The question? What’s your favorite part of ICMG? And what’s your favorite movie line? Social Tech – there’s a ton of low-hanging fruit if you know what you’re doing.”

So what’s next??? Mobile? Wearable technology? Implantables? Thanks in advance.

8th

I always like the “Before” image of the room before the Boot Camp starts. There’s something peaceful about it – expectant, hopeful, perhaps the calm before the storm.

“Before”

There’s just so much to cover in 8 hours. Crowdsourcing, always a favorite, Rivers of Information, Online Reputation Management, Organizational Voice, Socially Facilitated Selling, Socially Directed Buying, Rating Systems, a Case Study in Affinity Marketing using Social, and then deep dives into Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and a live Blog Post. It’s a fire-hydrant of information. But I think past attendees will agree – it’s worth it. At the end of the day, you’re just a WHOLE lot smarter about Social Tech relative to the insurance business, especially from a marketing and sales POV.

Here’s a question for the Social Tech Boot Camp for Insurance Executives Alumni: What would you like to see in 2013 for the “Advanced” Alumni-only session? (Maybe it doesn’t have to be Alumni only, but then again, it probably does.) Do you want more small group applications exercises – a challenge to solve? Do you want time to focus on marketing strategies, like Contests, Content, and Cause Marketing? More about tools like video editors, podcast creation, infographics and Meme’s – so more on creating Social Media? What does it take to get the holy grail of “Earned Media”? More on Tools, especially enterprise tools like HubSpot, Shoutlet, Socialware, and others?

What are your thoughts? Alumni only, with exceptions given to demonstrated expertise? What would interest you as a next step? Thanks in advance. Excited to hear from you…

25th

The more I watch, study, learn, and interact with others on the Social Web, the more convinced I am that Social Technology is a Game-Changer in business. Now I know that some of you will say, “Well, of course you do, Mike. That’s your business. You’ve got a vested interest in saying that…” Yes, that’s a true statement. I AM driving revenue for my little enterprise. But a statement like that is yet another example of very simplistic and dismissive brush-off’s that executives and business leaders at all levels are making – one that completely misses the point of emphasis. A few more:

  1. “Why would I use Twitter? What do I care what Charlie Sheen had for breakfast?!?!”
  2. “I don’t want my people using Facebook at work – it’s a waste of time.”
  3. “YouTube is nothing but a bandwidth problem on our network. We shut it down.”
  4. “I’m on Linkedin, but I’m just connecting with people. I have no idea what the value is.”

    Pick your Social Network

    Pick your Social Network

  5. “Show me the ROI of Social Media and I’ll be more than happy to use it.”
  6. “I can see using Social Media if you sell consumer products. But we’re B2B.”
  7. “I can’t keep up with email. I can’t imagine keeping up with Social networks, too!”
  8. “I just don’t have time for all that nonsense.”

Let me get right to the point of how I’m seeing Social Tech accomplish business goals. The following is a VERY brief list of 12 undeniable ways smart companies are leveraging Social Tech. Remember that, as I say in Boot Camps and Keynotes, Social Tech boils down to this statement: “The goal is to 1. build your Social Networks through which you can 2. share Social Media and thereby 3. amplify your Social Relevance and influence.” In other words, build your connections, develop and share helpful stuff, and drive your business objectives, whatever they may be. Just like you can’t mail people stuff without mailing addresses, you can’t call people without phone numbers, you can’t email without email addresses, you can’t reach people via the Social web until you make the connections. And with ALL of them you have to have a solid , meaningful, and compelling message. And the holy grail is word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations that amplify your efforts. Pretty basic stuff. Social Tech is just making it a whole lot easier – and trackable.

1. Recruiting – Linkedin is so incredibly powerful, even the novice is finding utility with it. If you know how to get up to 4th and 5th gear in the system, holy cow! And that’s just one tool, not to mention others like Twitter and hashtags, Online Reputation Management, Viral Video’s, e-Word of Mouth, and more.

Laptop or Smartphone?

Laptop or Smartphone?

2. Information Gathering and Education – Who hasn’t used Google to feed their brain on some topic? Well, the same concepts apply to Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, RSS, and a host of other tools that can be positioned to feed your brain on any topic you want – on an automated basis. In my humble opinion, this is one of the best kept secrets of Social Tech savants – and will be the key differentiating skill for employees in the years ahead.

3. Customer Service – Many, many smart companies are using Twitter and Facebook as customer service channels. Why? The vast majority of Americans are using Social Tech at some level. And they often use it to solve routine problems – as efficiently as possible. That’s a big reason why they are following their brands and business partners across the Social web. FAQ’s?? OK. But at the same time as your customer service rep sees the tweet, the crowd also sees it, and maybe has had the same question and already has the answer. And this concept will only grow.

4. Relationship Management and Nurturing – Man, once you get someone on board, don’t you want to keep them there? Of course. So how do you do that while at the same time getting more people on board – all as efficiently as possible while keeping overhead low? Create reusable, sharable content and make it easy for your fans to share it with their networks. Create useful content – stuff that answers questions, expands the utility of your gear or services – blog posts like this, video tutorials and aids, in-depth e-Books, real-time and archived Webinars, Tweet-ups, infographics that educate, inspire, and otherwise communicate. People want to business with people that help them, not just sell them.

5. Sales – The Social Web was practically MADE for sales people. Man, if you’re in sales and you don’t know how to leverage Linkedin yet for warm referrals, just like you might at an industry conference or networking event, get on Google and start feeding your brain. Social Tech can feed the pipeline, shrink sales cycles, improve close ratios and competitive advantage, and of course generate referrals to feed the pipeline. If you do it right, it’s Revenue on Demand, no matter what business you’re in.

6. Marketing – Inbound marketing to drive leads is where it’s at. I’ve got one word on that – HubSpot. Beyond that, Social Tech helps enterprise marketers with Reputation Management, Organizational Voice, Advertising, Public Relations. How many times have you Google’d an unfamiliar person, brand, or product that you needed to know more about? Every day is a common answer? So what makes you think that people aren’t doing it WITH YOU??? Don’t you think it’s thus kind of important to have a powerful presence across the various Social Channels?

A Socially-enabled Conference

A Socially-enabled Conference

7. Getting things done – Crowdsourcing is simply a huge, largely unknown and untapped opportunity in American business, especially in the insurance space. Sites like LogoTournament, PopTent, TopCoder, and Chaordix are huge opportunities to help companies increase their velocity. One insurance company I’ve mentioned before leveraged PopTent for video content – and accomplished something in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost, and with a terrific end result. You know the dreaded IT Project Priority List? Use TopCoder for the bottom third that will likely never get done, or be too late, off-target, and hastily made. How about product innovation, creative writing, adjudication, the list goes on and on. Yet sadly, most executives are at 0 or 1 on a scale of 10 relative to Crowdsourcing. Yikes. Huge opportunity for the competition, eh?

Well, that’s all the time I have for right now. I’ll get back to this list later.

The Next Five:

8. Reputation Management

9. Environmental Influence

10. Work Spaces

11. Efficiencies

12. Cost of Doing Business

How is Social impacting your day-in-day-out activities?

What’s the next big thing?

What are your comments and questions, barriers and obstacle?

Perhaps I, or another reader, can help answer them.

What d’ya say?

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