Find New Customers But Keep The Old – One Is Silver And The Other Is Gold

Michael Brenner

Sometimes browsing the latest trends in marketing can be like walking through a carnival. There are plenty of half-baked ideas, and digital obsessions beefed up with content marketing lingo like an MMA fighter on steroids.

But not the meaty answers that you seek.

Do you feel like this? Then it may be time to get back to the fundamentals. Time to forget about the shiny objects for a minute. Ditch the latest tricks. At least for today.

It’s time to look to where marketing’s purest truths can be found. . .

Childhood nursery rhymes.

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other gold.

Are you spending enough energy on retaining your existing customer base, your true gold?

Or are you focusing your content marketing strategies on new leads, the less-valuable yet shimmering silver target?

Don’t neglect your gold customers

It is time to make churn rate and customer retention a priority again. Churning is when you lose your existing customers. A low churn rate means you are able to keep most of the customers that your company does business with.

Your job is to get that churn rate down as much as possible. That means customers are not:

  • Closing their accounts
  • Choosing to purchase from a competitor
  • Canceling their subscriptions
  • Not renewing their service agreements

After all, it is well known that it is astronomically more expensive to find new customers than it is to market to past ones. It can cost from 5 to 25 times more to win over that new lead than to keep an old one, which is why customer retention and reducing churn is a central focus for leading marketers.

Old customers will create the most new business

Not only is it more expensive to chase new leads, but your loyal customers are the ones who are probably going to be behind future revenue growth. Many of today’s CEOs are putting more pressure on CMOs to include revenue growth on their already lengthy to-do lists. Need to prove your marketing worth through revenue growth?

No problem. Your customer base can help.

Think of your loyal customers as your Praetorian Guard. They are there for you. They’ll make sure you are victorious each day. According to research agency Gartner Group, a hefty chunk of a company’s future revenue growth, about 80%, will come from a modest and dependable 20% portion of their existing customers.

Just make sure you keep them happy.

Loyal customers deserve the gold treatment

How do you retain your customers? Simple: Treat them like the gold that they are.

1. Create a loyalty program that makes them feel special.

To keep your loyal customers loyal, let them eat cake! Offer a simple, straightforward rewards program that truly adds value. Think Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club classic tier-based program, or Sephora’s exclusive Beauty Insider program, which offers customers more than deals. Beauty aficionados can get their hands on limited-edition sets and free samples – prized swag that those pricey new leads don’t have access to.

2. Listen.

Retaining customers is a lot like working to maintain a healthy relationship. Aside from letting them know how special they are, marketers also need to do something that may take practice: Listen. Read the feedback posted on social media channels, reviews, and in customer emails. What are people saying about the products or services you are trying to sell? What are the subtle messages behind the politeness or frustration?

The more you pay attention to the good and the bad, the more you can learn about your existing customers and create those insightful buyer personas so you can master the next method for getting your churn rate down.

3. Communicate like you know who you are talking to.

This is where you need to find the perfect balance between marketing automation and personalized communication. To make consumers feel like they matter, like they are being directly reached out to by their favorite brands, you’ve got to speak to them.

The best marketers don’t reach out to customer X. They send an email to Marcia LovesYourServices. She is a woman in her mid 40’s who doesn’t have a lot of free time. But she does enjoy treating herself to your service/product once every couple of months.

Or Fred Can’tGetEnoughofYourProduct, who is an avid industry enthusiast and appreciates being kept up-to-date with the latest industry news.

4. Chase your churners.

You’ll get more value from following up with the customers you lose than you will from finding new customers to replace your churners. If someone cancels, switches to a competitor, or closes their account, politely and respectively find out why. You can use this feedback. It can help you prevent your churn rate from growing by showing you how to make sure others don’t follow suit.

Maybe a new competitor popped up and is offering a better deal. Are some customers finding a problem with your product?

These are gems of information that marketers need to be aware of. All of a business’s lost customers may not feel inclined to respond. Some, however, will be happy to give away their two cents.

Old customers can find you new customers

Another advantage of fortifying the interest and loyalty of your existing customers is the referral phenomena.

Repeat customers who derive value from what a business is selling are your best marketers. Through their raving online reviews, social shares, and word-of-mouth, they are capable of much more than their purchases alone.

In fact, word-of-mouth is known to be the driving force behind between 20% and 50% of purchasing choices.

Marketers who want record-breaking ROI need to balance old and new, with digital marketing ingenuity. It is well worth your time to focus on making sure your existing customers are happy, finding out if and how their expectations are changing, and letting them know that they are valued.

Customer retention is a foundational pillar of successful marketing. It will attract revenue like a magnet.

Make sure your loyal customer base gets its fair share of your marketing efforts, and make this an ongoing process. Then, go ahead and explore the latest trends in digital and content marketing.

For more customer retention strategies, see Customer Retention: The Lost Art (And Science) Of Marketing.

Image: pixabay

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About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of  The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider GroupHe has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and   a top  CMO influencer by Forbes.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

Joseph Msays

About Joseph Msays

Joseph Msays is an experienced IBM global executive, currently serving as Vice President and Global Managing Partner for NextGen Enterprise Cloud Applications Center of Excellence. In this role, he is pioneering new ways of engaging CxOs in their digital reinvention agendas, and building and migrating new cloud-based business applications. Joseph has experience managing many IBM professional services units and large strategic systems, integration and outsourcing relationships, and has lived and worked in virtually every major market across the globe.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

Vaag Durgaryan

About Vaag Durgaryan

Vaag Durgaryan is the commercial finance director for SAP in the Middle East and North Africa, which comprises of over 20 countries. Starting in 2017, he oversees a multinational team that provides finance expertise, knowledge, and strategy outlook for finance sales support in the region. Prior to that, Vaag was chief of staff for the CFO for SAP Global Field Finance and co-drove global transformation initiatives with focus on process simplification and people enablement. He holds an Executive MBA degree from ESSEC Business School and Mannheim Business School. Vaag has a passion in digitalization and learning culture.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

About Richard Howells

Richard Howells is a Vice President at SAP responsible for the positioning, messaging, AR , PR and go-to market activities for the SAP Supply Chain solutions.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

About Stefan Guertzgen

Dr. Stefan Guertzgen is the Global Director of Industry Solution Marketing for Chemicals at SAP. He is responsible for driving Industry Thought Leadership, Positioning & Messaging and strategic Portfolio Decisions for Chemicals.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

Andy Hirst

About Andy Hirst

Andy Hirst is vice president of Banking Solutions, SAP Banking Industry Business Unit, at SAP. He is responsible for driving the success of the SAP go-to-market strategy in Line of Business Cloud Applications and Analytics in Financial Services. Previously, Andy was responsible for Capital Markets solutions for banking. Andy is an expert in Big Data and analytics use cases in financial services and has been involved in many digital banking initiatives for banks.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

Tina Gunn

About Tina Gunn

Tina Gunn is the content marketing manager for the Enterprise Americas team at SAP Concur. Tina earned her degree in Journalism from the University of Washington and brings her experience in content strategy and digital marketing to SAP Concur. When she’s not creating thought leadership and sales enablement content, Tina writes fiction and screenplays of the horror and sci-fi genres.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

Rushenka Perera

About Rushenka Perera

Rushenka is Head of Marketing at SAP ANZ.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

Jennifer Horowitz

About Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is a journalist with over 15 years of experience working in the technology, financial, hospitality, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, not for profit, and retail sectors. She specializes in the field of analytics, offering management consulting serving global clients from midsize to large-scale organizations. Within the field of analytics, she helps higher-level organizations define their metrics strategies, create concepts, define problems, conduct analysis, problem solve, and execute.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

Patrick Crampton-Thomas

About Patrick Crampton-Thomas

Patrick Crampton-Thomas is Vice President of Supply Chain Solution Management at SAP, with global responsibility for the response and supply orchestration portfolio, based in the UK. This includes the strategy and go-to-market for existing and new supply chain solutions including integrated business planning solutions, supply chain control tower, and supply chain collaboration.

Stop Trying To “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

gone viral sign on doorIf you’re anything like me, your head blows off every time you hear the words, “We must create viral content!”

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but you can’t “create” viral anything. Virality doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck of the draw. And it’s bloody hard work.

And if you’ll stick with me here, I’ll explain why.

There’s been a story kicking around for the past few years now, about a car company in small-town America. And not just any old car company. This is a car company that really understands how to build relationships, and by extension, community. Here’s how they do it:

This company monitors Twitter, and whenever they see anyone from their neck of the woods tweeting about a car accident, they reach out. Immediately. And they offer them the use of a car.

With this one small yet significant strategy, they’re absolutely nailing online relationship building. They listen, they react, they care. They’re offering a helping hand, not a hard sell, and their community loves them for it.

Why virality hinges on community

I bet you if that company released a funny video, or published their latest blog content, it would go viral. Why? Because they have built a strong, loyal community based on trust, and that community would be happy to share that content with all of their social communities, and so on.

But here’s where it really get’s interesting: Will that video or blog content end up on CNN, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? No. Will it garner millions of views or clicks? Probably not. Will it generate a number of qualified leads and end up in a few cars sold? You betcha!

And that’s what real viral content does. It leads to conversions. It’s not actually traffic you should be seeking – it’s prospects and leads and sales.

Daniel Newman wrote recently about the futility of this “virality Golden Goose.” As he says, you might be thrilled with high vanity metrics, but really, what do those numbers really mean to your bottom line? Usually very little.

Viewed on purpose instead of viral by chance

The inspiration for Daniel’s post mentioned above was the latest incarnation of CMOTalk, which he hosts with V3’s Shelly Kramer. Titled “Viral Content and Community Building”, the two of them discussed this mad rush to create so-called viral content.

You can create all the content you want — viral or otherwise — but, much like the tree falling in the forest analogy, if you haven’t been strategic about building online relationships across multiple channels online, it will never be found and consumed.

CMOTalk

As Shelly and Daniel laid out in their podcast, you get what you give when it comes to community-building. Strong communities don’t happen by accident; you need to be strategic. You need to do your research, and engage in online monitoring and social listening, much like our car dealer friends above did.

Here are some important things to think about when building community:

  • What does my company/client do?
  • What words or phrases do people in this industry use and care about?
  • What are they currently talking about?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What kind of content are they sharing? Can you tease out any trends?
  • Who are the influencers you should begin reaching out to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What are they sharing with their communities?

I’ll leave you with a few more things to think about the next time someone asks you to “create viral content:”

Accept that you aren’t a magician. Make friends with Google Analytics to track what types of content have been super-successful in the past. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the world around you, both on the pop culture front and in the news. And engage and use your community. Stay realistic in your approach. Understand your audience. And figure out what you can do that might surprise and delight them.

While you might not end up with 500,000 shares, you might end up with five new customers. And let’s face it: That’s where the real money is.

I strongly recommend you head on over to CMOTalk and have a listen to the entire podcast. I have barely scratched the surface here. And be sure and sign up so you don’t miss an episode!

Are you a person who “wants something to go viral?” Do you agree that community is an integral part of the equation? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want more smart marketing strategies? See How to Make a Smarter Entry into Emerging Markets.

Additional resources:

The DNA of Viral Content
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
Why BuzzFeed Has Been Quietly Deleting Thousands of Its Own Stories 

This article was originally seen on V3 Broadsuite Blog.

The post Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast) appeared first on Millennial CEO.

Photo Credit: beckirk via Compfight cc

Comments

Timo Elliott

About Timo Elliott

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist for SAP and a passionate advocate of innovation, digital business, analytics, and artificial intelligence. He was the eighth employee of BusinessObjects and for the last 25 years he has worked closely with SAP customers around the world on new technology directions and their impact on real-world organizations. His articles have appeared in publications such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, ZDNet, The Guardian, and Digitalist Magazine. He has worked in the UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Silicon Valley, and currently lives in Paris, France. He has a degree in Econometrics and a patent in mobile analytics. 

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

Joseph Msays

About Joseph Msays

Joseph Msays is an experienced IBM global executive, currently serving as Vice President and Global Managing Partner for NextGen Enterprise Cloud Applications Center of Excellence. In this role, he is pioneering new ways of engaging CxOs in their digital reinvention agendas, and building and migrating new cloud-based business applications. Joseph has experience managing many IBM professional services units and large strategic systems, integration and outsourcing relationships, and has lived and worked in virtually every major market across the globe.

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

Vaag Durgaryan

About Vaag Durgaryan

Vaag Durgaryan is the commercial finance director for SAP in the Middle East and North Africa, which comprises of over 20 countries. Starting in 2017, he oversees a multinational team that provides finance expertise, knowledge, and strategy outlook for finance sales support in the region. Prior to that, Vaag was chief of staff for the CFO for SAP Global Field Finance and co-drove global transformation initiatives with focus on process simplification and people enablement. He holds an Executive MBA degree from ESSEC Business School and Mannheim Business School. Vaag has a passion in digitalization and learning culture.

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

About Richard Howells

Richard Howells is a Vice President at SAP responsible for the positioning, messaging, AR , PR and go-to market activities for the SAP Supply Chain solutions.

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

About Stefan Guertzgen

Dr. Stefan Guertzgen is the Global Director of Industry Solution Marketing for Chemicals at SAP. He is responsible for driving Industry Thought Leadership, Positioning & Messaging and strategic Portfolio Decisions for Chemicals.

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

Andy Hirst

About Andy Hirst

Andy Hirst is vice president of Banking Solutions, SAP Banking Industry Business Unit, at SAP. He is responsible for driving the success of the SAP go-to-market strategy in Line of Business Cloud Applications and Analytics in Financial Services. Previously, Andy was responsible for Capital Markets solutions for banking. Andy is an expert in Big Data and analytics use cases in financial services and has been involved in many digital banking initiatives for banks.

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

Tina Gunn

About Tina Gunn

Tina Gunn is the content marketing manager for the Enterprise Americas team at SAP Concur. Tina earned her degree in Journalism from the University of Washington and brings her experience in content strategy and digital marketing to SAP Concur. When she’s not creating thought leadership and sales enablement content, Tina writes fiction and screenplays of the horror and sci-fi genres.

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

Rushenka Perera

About Rushenka Perera

Rushenka is Head of Marketing at SAP ANZ.

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

Jennifer Horowitz

About Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is a journalist with over 15 years of experience working in the technology, financial, hospitality, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, not for profit, and retail sectors. She specializes in the field of analytics, offering management consulting serving global clients from midsize to large-scale organizations. Within the field of analytics, she helps higher-level organizations define their metrics strategies, create concepts, define problems, conduct analysis, problem solve, and execute.

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

Patrick Crampton-Thomas

About Patrick Crampton-Thomas

Patrick Crampton-Thomas is Vice President of Supply Chain Solution Management at SAP, with global responsibility for the response and supply orchestration portfolio, based in the UK. This includes the strategy and go-to-market for existing and new supply chain solutions including integrated business planning solutions, supply chain control tower, and supply chain collaboration.

Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.

Challenges

One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.

Benefits

In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.

Comments

Timo Elliott

About Timo Elliott

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist for SAP and a passionate advocate of innovation, digital business, analytics, and artificial intelligence. He was the eighth employee of BusinessObjects and for the last 25 years he has worked closely with SAP customers around the world on new technology directions and their impact on real-world organizations. His articles have appeared in publications such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, ZDNet, The Guardian, and Digitalist Magazine. He has worked in the UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Silicon Valley, and currently lives in Paris, France. He has a degree in Econometrics and a patent in mobile analytics. 

Hack the CIO

By Thomas Saueressig, Timo Elliott, Sam Yen, and Bennett Voyles

For nerds, the weeks right before finals are a Cinderella moment. Suddenly they’re stars. Pocket protectors are fashionable; people find their jokes a whole lot funnier; Dungeons & Dragons sounds cool.

Many CIOs are enjoying this kind of moment now, as companies everywhere face the business equivalent of a final exam for a vital class they have managed to mostly avoid so far: digital transformation.

But as always, there is a limit to nerdy magic. No matter how helpful CIOs try to be, their classmates still won’t pass if they don’t learn the material. With IT increasingly central to every business—from the customer experience to the offering to the business model itself—we all need to start thinking like CIOs.

Pass the digital transformation exam, and you probably have a bright future ahead. A recent SAP-Oxford Economics study of 3,100 organizations in a variety of industries across 17 countries found that the companies that have taken the lead in digital transformation earn higher profits and revenues and have more competitive differentiation than their peers. They also expect 23% more revenue growth from their digital initiatives over the next two years—an estimate 2.5 to 4 times larger than the average company’s.

But the market is grading on a steep curve: this same SAP-Oxford study found that only 3% have completed some degree of digital transformation across their organization. Other surveys also suggest that most companies won’t be graduating anytime soon: in one recent survey of 450 heads of digital transformation for enterprises in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany by technology company Couchbase, 90% agreed that most digital projects fail to meet expectations and deliver only incremental improvements. Worse: over half (54%) believe that organizations that don’t succeed with their transformation project will fail or be absorbed by a savvier competitor within four years.

Companies that are making the grade understand that unlike earlier technical advances, digital transformation doesn’t just support the business, it’s the future of the business. That’s why 60% of digital leading companies have entrusted the leadership of their transformation to their CIO, and that’s why experts say businesspeople must do more than have a vague understanding of the technology. They must also master a way of thinking and looking at business challenges that is unfamiliar to most people outside the IT department.

In other words, if you don’t think like a CIO yet, now is a very good time to learn.

However, given that you probably don’t have a spare 15 years to learn what your CIO knows, we asked the experts what makes CIO thinking distinctive. Here are the top eight mind hacks.

1. Think in Systems

A lot of businesspeople are used to seeing their organization as a series of loosely joined silos. But in the world of digital business, everything is part of a larger system.

CIOs have known for a long time that smart processes win. Whether they were installing enterprise resource planning systems or working with the business to imagine the customer’s journey, they always had to think in holistic ways that crossed traditional departmental, functional, and operational boundaries.

Unlike other business leaders, CIOs spend their careers looking across systems. Why did our supply chain go down? How can we support this new business initiative beyond a single department or function? Now supported by end-to-end process methodologies such as design thinking, good CIOs have developed a way of looking at the company that can lead to radical simplifications that can reduce cost and improve performance at the same time.

They are also used to thinking beyond temporal boundaries. “This idea that the power of technology doubles every two years means that as you’re planning ahead you can’t think in terms of a linear process, you have to think in terms of huge jumps,” says Jay Ferro, CIO of TransPerfect, a New York–based global translation firm.

No wonder the SAP-Oxford transformation study found that one of the values transformational leaders shared was a tendency to look beyond silos and view the digital transformation as a company-wide initiative.

This will come in handy because in digital transformation, not only do business processes evolve but the company’s entire value proposition changes, says Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist at the Center for Information Systems Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “It either already has or it’s going to, because digital technologies make things possible that weren’t possible before,” she explains.

2. Work in Diverse Teams

When it comes to large projects, CIOs have always needed input from a diverse collection of businesspeople to be successful. The best have developed ways to convince and cajole reluctant participants to come to the table. They seek out technology enthusiasts in the business and those who are respected by their peers to help build passion and commitment among the halfhearted.

Digital transformation amps up the urgency for building diverse teams even further. “A small, focused group simply won’t have the same breadth of perspective as a team that includes a salesperson and a service person and a development person, as well as an IT person,” says Ross.

At Lenovo, the global technology giant, many of these cross-functional teams become so used to working together that it’s hard to tell where each member originally belonged: “You can’t tell who is business or IT; you can’t tell who is product, IT, or design,” says the company’s CIO, Arthur Hu.

One interesting corollary of this trend toward broader teamwork is that talent is a priority among digital leaders: they spend more on training their employees and partners than ordinary companies, as well as on hiring the people they need, according to the SAP-Oxford Economics survey. They’re also already being rewarded for their faith in their teams: 71% of leaders say that their successful digital transformation has made it easier for them to attract and retain talent, and 64% say that their employees are now more engaged than they were before the transformation.

3. Become a Consultant

Good CIOs have long needed to be internal consultants to the business. Ever since technology moved out of the glasshouse and onto employees’ desks, CIOs have not only needed a deep understanding of the goals of a given project but also to make sure that the project didn’t stray from those goals, even after the businesspeople who had ordered the project went back to their day jobs. “Businesspeople didn’t really need to get into the details of what IT was really doing,” recalls Ferro. “They just had a set of demands and said, ‘Hey, IT, go do that.’”

Now software has become so integral to the business that nobody can afford to walk away. Businesspeople must join the ranks of the IT consultants.

But that was then. Now software has become so integral to the business that nobody can afford to walk away. Businesspeople must join the ranks of the IT consultants. “If you’re building a house, you don’t just disappear for six months and come back and go, ‘Oh, it looks pretty good,’” says Ferro. “You’re on that work site constantly and all of a sudden you’re looking at something, going, ‘Well, that looked really good on the blueprint, not sure it makes sense in reality. Let’s move that over six feet.’ Or, ‘I don’t know if I like that anymore.’ It’s really not much different in application development or for IT or technical projects, where on paper it looked really good and three weeks in, in that second sprint, you’re going, ‘Oh, now that I look at it, that’s really stupid.’”

4. Learn Horizontal Leadership

CIOs have always needed the ability to educate and influence other leaders that they don’t directly control. For major IT projects to be successful, they need other leaders to contribute budget, time, and resources from multiple areas of the business.

It’s a kind of horizontal leadership that will become critical for businesspeople to acquire in digital transformation. “The leadership role becomes one much more of coaching others across the organization—encouraging people to be creative, making sure everybody knows how to use data well,” Ross says.

In this team-based environment, having all the answers becomes less important. “It used to be that the best business executives and leaders had the best answers. Today that is no longer the case,” observes Gary Cokins, a technology consultant who focuses on analytics-based performance management. “Increasingly, it’s the executives and leaders who ask the best questions. There is too much volatility and uncertainty for them to rely on their intuition or past experiences.”

Many experts expect this trend to continue as the confluence of automation and data keeps chipping away at the organizational pyramid. “Hierarchical, command-and-control leadership will become obsolete,” says Edward Hess, professor of business administration and Batten executive-in-residence at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. “Flatter, distributive leadership via teams will become the dominant structure.”

5. Understand Process Design

When business processes were simpler, IT could analyze the process and improve it without input from the business. But today many processes are triggered on the fly by the customer, making a seamless customer experience more difficult to build without the benefit of a larger, multifunctional team. In a highly digitalized organization like Amazon, which releases thousands of new software programs each year, IT can no longer do it all.

While businesspeople aren’t expected to start coding, their involvement in process design is crucial. One of the techniques that many organizations have adopted to help IT and businesspeople visualize business processes together is design thinking (for more on design thinking techniques, see “A Cult of Creation“).

Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from better processes. Among the 100 companies the SAP-Oxford Economics researchers have identified as digital leaders, two-thirds say that they are making their employees’ lives easier by eliminating process roadblocks that interfere with their ability to do their jobs. Ninety percent of leaders surveyed expect to see value from these projects in the next two years alone.

6. Learn to Keep Learning

The ability to learn and keep learning has been a part of IT from the start. Since the first mainframes in the 1950s, technologists have understood that they need to keep reinventing themselves and their skills to adapt to the changes around them.

Now that’s starting to become part of other job descriptions too. Many companies are investing in teaching their employees new digital skills. One South American auto products company, for example, has created a custom-education institute that trained 20,000 employees and partner-employees in 2016. In addition to training current staff, many leading digital companies are also hiring new employees and creating new roles, such as a chief robotics officer, to support their digital transformation efforts.

Nicolas van Zeebroeck, professor of information systems and digital business innovation at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Brussels, says that he expects the ability to learn quickly will remain crucial. “If I had to think of one critical skill,” he explains, “I would have to say it’s the ability to learn and keep learning—the ability to challenge the status quo and question what you take for granted.”

7. Fail Smarter

Traditionally, CIOs tended to be good at thinking through tests that would allow the company to experiment with new technology without risking the entire network.

This is another unfamiliar skill that smart managers are trying to pick up. “There’s a lot of trial and error in the best companies right now,” notes MIT’s Ross. But there’s a catch, she adds. “Most companies aren’t designed for trial and error—they’re trying to avoid an error,” she says.

To learn how to do it better, take your lead from IT, where many people have already learned to work in small, innovative teams that use agile development principles, advises Ross.

For example, business managers must learn how to think in terms of a minimum viable product: build a simple version of what you have in mind, test it, and if it works start building. You don’t build the whole thing at once anymore.… It’s really important to build things incrementally,” Ross says.

Flexibility and the ability to capitalize on accidental discoveries during experimentation are more important than having a concrete project plan, says Ross. At Spotify, the music service, and CarMax, the used-car retailer, change is driven not from the center but from small teams that have developed something new. “The thing you have to get comfortable with is not having the formalized plan that we would have traditionally relied on, because as soon as you insist on that, you limit your ability to keep learning,” Ross warns.

8. Understand the True Cost—and Speed—of Data

Gut instincts have never had much to do with being a CIO; now they should have less to do with being an ordinary manager as well, as data becomes more important.

As part of that calculation, businesspeople must have the ability to analyze the value of the data that they seek. “You’ll need to apply a pinch of knowledge salt to your data,” advises Solvay’s van Zeebroeck. “What really matters is the ability not just to tap into data but to see what is behind the data. Is it a fair representation? Is it impartial?”

Increasingly, businesspeople will need to do their analysis in real time, just as CIOs have always had to manage live systems and processes. Moving toward real-time reports and away from paper-based decisions increases accuracy and effectiveness—and leaves less time for long meetings and PowerPoint presentations (let us all rejoice).

Not Every CIO Is Ready

Of course, not all CIOs are ready for these changes. Just as high school has a lot of false positives—genius nerds who turn out to be merely nearsighted—so there are many CIOs who aren’t good role models for transformation.

Success as a CIO these days requires more than delivering near-perfect uptime, says Lenovo’s Hu. You need to be able to understand the business as well. Some CIOs simply don’t have all the business skills that are needed to succeed in the transformation. Others lack the internal clout: a 2016 KPMG study found that only 34% of CIOs report directly to the CEO.

This lack of a strategic perspective is holding back digital transformation at many organizations. They approach digital transformation as a cool, one-off project: we’re going to put this new mobile app in place and we’re done. But that’s not a systematic approach; it’s an island of innovation that doesn’t join up with the other islands of innovation. In the longer term, this kind of development creates more problems than it fixes.

Such organizations are not building in the capacity for change; they’re trying to get away with just doing it once rather than thinking about how they’re going to use digitalization as a means to constantly experiment and become a better company over the long term.

As a result, in some companies, the most interesting tech developments are happening despite IT, not because of it. “There’s an alarming digital divide within many companies. Marketers are developing nimble software to give customers an engaging, personalized experience, while IT departments remain focused on the legacy infrastructure. The front and back ends aren’t working together, resulting in appealing web sites and apps that don’t quite deliver,” writes George Colony, founder, chairman, and CEO of Forrester Research, in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

Thanks to cloud computing and easier development tools, many departments are developing on their own, without IT’s support. These days, anybody with a credit card can do it.

Traditionally, IT departments looked askance at these kinds of do-it-yourself shadow IT programs, but that’s changing. Ferro, for one, says that it’s better to look at those teams not as rogue groups but as people who are trying to help. “It’s less about ‘Hey, something’s escaped,’ and more about ‘No, we just actually grew our capacity and grew our ability to innovate,’” he explains.

“I don’t like the term ‘shadow IT,’” agrees Lenovo’s Hu. “I think it’s an artifact of a very traditional CIO team. If you think of it as shadow IT, you’re out of step with reality,” he says.

The reality today is that a company needs both a strong IT department and strong digital capacities outside its IT department. If the relationship is good, the CIO and IT become valuable allies in helping businesspeople add digital capabilities without disrupting or duplicating existing IT infrastructure.

If a company already has strong digital capacities, it should be able to move forward quickly, according to Ross. But many companies are still playing catch-up and aren’t even ready to begin transforming, as the SAP-Oxford Economics survey shows.

For enterprises where business and IT are unable to get their collective act together, Ross predicts that the next few years will be rough. “I think these companies ought to panic,” she says. D!


About the Authors

Thomas Saueressig is Chief Information Officer at SAP.

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist at SAP.

Sam Yen is Chief Design Officer at SAP and Managing Director of SAP Labs.

Bennett Voyles is a Berlin-based business writer.

Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.
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Cloud Computing: Separating Myth From Reality

Misa Rawlins and Krishnakant Dave

Across industries, many enterprise leaders believe and understand that cloud computing is here to stay. Globally, public cloud services market revenue is projected to reach US$411 billion by 2020, compared with $260 billion in 2017, according to research firm Gartner, Inc. Cloud technology in all its forms—software, platform, or infrastructure as a service—is rapidly becoming essential to the needs of business today. With cloud computing, organizations can simplify IT, save costs, scale rapidly, drive standardization and user adoption, and start getting ahead of tomorrow’s needs when it comes to customer engagement, the supply chain, the workforce, a simplified finance function, and more.

Despite the short- and long-term advantages, some executives remain uncertain about the next steps or have lingering questions about the benefits of moving to the cloud. For many leaders, separating the cloud myths from the facts can prove daunting. Start here, with these insights that can help you bust big myths about the cloud and start moving confidently toward a cloud-enabled transformation of your organization.

Myth No. 1: Moving to the cloud is too costly. “Costly” is a relative term. The cloud can be costly – but costs should be weighed against benefit and return once requirements and migration plans are in place. Rapidly evolving business demands, for example, can dramatically alter cloud-related requirements. Meanwhile, new technologies are dramatically redefining the art of the possible with the cloud. Because migrating to the cloud is not a true “plug-and-play” proposition, and many enterprise leaders underestimate what a migration or implementation involves, some organizations can be surprised by the costs of a cloud transformation. Without a clear understanding of the potential benefits—without a clear business case for moving to the cloud—the focus on costs can overshadow the return on investment. Knowing the value that cloud solutions can bring—not just the costs—can help manage expectations.

Myth No. 2: The benefits of the cloud aren’t substantial enough. As vendors adopt a “cloud-first” stance for many solutions and product updates, organizations that move to the cloud may have a competitive advantage—no matter the size of the enterprise. Cloud solutions continue to offer abundant and increasing functionality. And with the help of an end-to-end solution provider, you can configure cloud solutions to the specific needs of your industry and your business. For larger organizations, rapidly deployable cloud solutions can help support growth or the unique needs of certain business units, such as new acquisitions or foreign subsidiaries, for example. For smaller organizations, the cloud can help you position your organization to tap new opportunities and tame growth challenges.

Myth No. 3: Cloud is too risky. All digital technologies and all business models come with inherent risk. In a hyperconnected world, no system is immune from cyber attacks, insider threats, data leakage, or related risks. No transformation project is a guaranteed success. Market changes, new competition, regulatory issues, and other factors can require you to change your cloud strategy overnight.

Because the risks are real, take advantage of resources and capabilities that can help reduce risk and ensure that your technology investments align tightly with clear business objectives. The maturity of the software goes a long way toward mitigating risk with cloud projects. You can add an extra layer of capabilities such as managed cloud services to provide active, hands-on oversight of cloud applications and infrastructure—helping you to avoid service interruptions and address issues proactively.

Myth No. 4: Cloud computing is still an immature technology. Like other evolving technologies, cloud is advancing every day. Those who wait for the next generation of cloud offerings may find themselves missing out on tangible benefits as competitors leverage cloud technology to sharpen their edge. Across industries, leading organizations are not waiting. Many view cloud technology as evolving but necessary, and they are leveraging it effectively today. Some, for example, are tightly integrating cloud software solutions to streamline supply chain processes, boost information transparency, and improve decision-making across the board—all the while tapping the cloud benefits of cost savings and scalability. Others are confidently turning to infrastructure solutions delivered and running solutions in a private or hybrid cloud. Still others are turning to cloud platform solutions to extend the power of existing applications, build modern analytics platforms, or support new Internet of Things business models. Turning the cloud to your advantage may depend less on the maturity of the technology and more on the power of your imagination.

Myth No. 5: Moving to the cloud will be easy. Cloud technology can help organizations streamline and simplify their IT landscapes and their business processes, reducing needs around capital expenses and infrastructure while helping to save costs. But migrating to the cloud requires more than simply plugging in technology. It requires an ability to address a host of considerations—data migration, the business-specific capabilities of solutions, change management, governance, systems integration, security, and more.

A cloud transformation is more than a plug-and-play project or a traditional system implementation. It requires progressive thinking and an ability to align technology with your business needs and processes— for today and for the future. Migrating to the cloud is a journey. Moving forward with the cloud will require a vision of your “to be” state—your destination—as well as a strategy for getting you there.

To learn more, and to find out what IDC thinks about the future of the cloud, please read this study that presents a strategic blueprint for enterprises on their digital transformation journey.

For more information on how to simplify innovation with cloud technology, learn more about SAP Cloud Platform.

Ready to reimagine the potential of the cloud? Contact us to get the conversation started.

Contact Krishnakant Dave at kdave@deloitte.com and follow him on Twitter: @kkdave

Contact Misa Rawlins at mrawlins@deloitte.com and follow her on Twitter: @misa_rawlins

www.deloitte.com/SAP

SAP@deloitte.com

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This article originally appeared on Deloitte.com and is republished by permission.

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Misa Rawlins

About Misa Rawlins

As a senior manager and consultant in Deloitte’s SAP practice, Misa Rawlins enjoys helping her clients not only to figure out how to solve their current business problems, but also to envision how a modern cloud platform can transform their organizations moving ahead. Within the practice, she has specifically chosen to take a leadership role around the sales and delivery of SAP S/4HANA Cloud because she considers it the wave of the future. She has made it her mission to deeply understand this technology to better advise clients on what moving to a cloud infrastructure really means.

Krishnakant Dave

About Krishnakant Dave

As a principal in Deloitte’s global SAP practice, KK Dave is a consulting leader for Deloitte’s largest clients; part of the U.S. SAP leadership team where he spearheads Deloitte's cloud offerings; and leader of global go-to-market efforts in the wholesale distribution and manufacturing sector. In these roles, he assists clients in their business transformation journeys using the absolute latest SAP toolset, which presently comprises SAP S/4HANA, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, among other technologies.