Stating the Obvious

Page 1 of 212

May 28, 2013  5:23 PM

Brands Don’t Own Their Brands Anymore (an Unanticipated Social Outcome)

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics

By now you’ve heard that Ferrero, the makers of Nutella, gave up all rights and claims to the name “Nutella”, the brand “Nutella”, any future exclusivity of its use in any way, shape or form, and admitted in open court “Ferrero no longer owns the Nutella brand, but that’s okay, no other brand, popular or otherwise, owns their brand anymore either. So we’re in good company. We think. So far, anyway. And we’re relinquishing our claims on all our other brands, too.”

I’M KIDDING!

Okay, not entirely. Ferrero did a very mid-20th century thing; they attempted to stop a Nutella fan from doing their thing.

Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes, The FanOkay, sometimes you want to stop a fan from doing their thing.

But basically, now-a-days, you don’t want to stop a fan from doing their thing unless you have real hard evidence that whatever the fan is going to do will harm people.

People. Not the brand.

Because attempting to stop a fan from doing something about the brand won’t work anymore.

You did want your fans to go social, didn’t you? You wanted them on your social networks doing your things, right?

This is where I do a blatant plug for NextStage’s 1 Minute MarketLift PodCasts, especially those in the Social Category. A couple of minutes and a buck or two and you’ll learn how to prevent all sorts of social network catastrophes. Go for it!

But you hadn’t studied your social history, right? But you didn’t know about such things as social movements and how they get started, right? You didn’t recognize the signs that other folks were ego-identifying with this one particular fan, right, and not ego-identifying with the brand, right?

By the way, “ego-identification” is what branding is all about. It’s what happens when an individual so identifies with the brand that they wear the brand’s colors, tat themselves with the brand’s logo, dress in the brand’s fashions and especially when they tell others to shop the brand’s shop.

Now fans have the opportunity to find heros and champions within a brand’s network while being only mildly interested in the brand. The network is doing what networks historically did; it’s allowing people to commerce (not specifically “communicate” but “commerce”, to exchange with each other, one channel being “communicate”).

And if you thought it’s tough controlling conversations, wait ’till you see the headaches around controlling commerce.

It’s that telling part I mentioned a few paragraphs back that’s the problem. That’s where the danger comes in for brands. If I tell my friends to shop the brand’s shop and if I have a lot of friends and I tell them to shop the brand’s shop in a big way (like declaring a World-Brand-Day and promoting it on my own nickel) and then if you tell me to stop???
John Hinckley, one of history's most famous fans

Say what?

But I acted out of love, Jodie!

Some fans will do crazy things — literally — to impress others.

You think someone going to all that trouble and expense to promote your product is going to sulk away, lick their wounds and figure out how to play nice if you get all nasty on them?

I'm not going to be ignoredHa! They’re not going to be ignored.

And even if they do nothing, all their fans will rally around them and do something because their fans aren’t your fans and you hurt their hero, you big, nasty, mean old brand, you!

And TADA! You’ll have lost your brand.

And I’m making no judgements about the fan behind World Nutella Day.

Personally, I think it’s great.

And I love all my fans, each and every one.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

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March 4, 2013  1:59 PM

Watches Watches Everywhere and Here Is What They Mean

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics

People following me on Twitter sometimes contact me to ask “What’s with the …Watches?”

I first wrote about my twitterings in A Twitter Social Contract and self-screening my twits in They’re Following Me! (More on Twitter). That second article is where I first mentioned my use of “Watches”, my method for letting followers know whether a given tweet will or won’t be interesting to them.

I wrote on this subject a few times. Five Rules Re: Online Visibility Versus Privacy and A Twittering (and Related Social Platforms) Update Part 2 – Watches are other examples. The latter is where I state emphatically that my use of …Watch: is my way of providing guideposts to my followers because I value their time and mine.

As noted above, I use …Watch: to let people know what I’m tweeting about and whether or not it’s worth their time. People are asking about them again so here’s a revised key:

  • …Watch – the prefix varies and can be research specific, such as “Love/LikeWatch
  • ArticleWatch – We published something somewhere. Sometimes goes out as a ColumnWatch, JournalWatch, etc., based on where it’s published and the format
  • BlogWatch – We posted something somewhere.
  • BookWatch – We published another one in some form.
  • ConferenceWatch – One of us is attending, presenting, …
  • DiscussionWatch – We’d appreciate feedback on something.
  • FavoritesWatch – Super secret messages to the MotherShip.
  • FlatteryWatch – Somebody said or wrote something nice about us.
  • FoNWatch – Something’s posted to our Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group (send a LinkedIn message if you’d like to join).
  • HumbledWatch – we learned someone or some group is honoring us somehow.
  • KudosWatch – Somebody impressed us. It takes a lot to impress us.
  • LibraryWatch – I’m in either NextStage’s library or some library somewhere, lost in the stacks, …
  • MascotWatch – We published more pictures of NextStage Mascotology
  • MemberWatch – Something posted to our NextStage Members area.
  • MundaneWatch – Something I consider mundane yet included because some people following me indicated they liked my mundacity.
  • OyWatch – We impressed ourselves negatively.
  • PanelWatch – One of us was or will be on a conference panel somewhere.
  • PaperWatch – We published a paper, possible in The NextStage KnowledgeShop, on a client’s site or at a conference.
  • PatentWatch – We got another one.
  • Politics/…Watch – We published something based on something one of our political tools (NextStage Political Analyzer or NextStage Political Reader) determined, usually on our Politics blog.
  • PresoWatch – We posted a new online free or for-pay presentation to either The NextStage KnowledgeShop or to our NextStage Members area.
  • PrinciplesWatch – Formerly “NextStagePrinciplesWatch” and used because people find our Principles so fascinating (rarely used these days as our Principles are both functional and stable at this point, although we’re discussing adding another Principle. Stay tuned…).
  • QueryWatch – We’re asking a question
  • QuoteWatch – A quote impressed one of us.
  • ReadWatch – Something we read impressed us.
  • ResearchWatch – Something NextStage researched and is making available to others. Note this is a revised definition.
  • ResponseWatch – One of us is responding to someone else’s public twittering.
  • Self-AwareWatch – I noticed something about myself that amused me.
  • SusanWatch – She who runs NextStage has said it thus it is so.
  • ThanksWatch – For some kindness directed our way.
  • ToolWatch – We published a new online tool to
    The NextStage KnowledgeShop, the NextStage Members area and/or to its own site.

  • VideoWatch – Somebody published a video or we published a video on YouTube.

We also mix and match some Watches every once in a while, something like Members/ToolWatch or Research/BlogWatch or some such.

Hope this helps.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgSign up for The NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.
You can follow me and my research on Twitter. I don’t twit often but when I do, it’s with gusto!
Have you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It’s a whoppin’ good read.

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September 11, 2012  3:34 PM

A/B, Multivariate and Taguchi Testing

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics

I had to explain this to three clients this past month. Whenever I have to repeat myself that frequently I figure the gods are telling me what I’m sharing isn’t general knowledge, so I’m sharing it here so others can benefit.

Better One or Better Two?

The basic concept of any test is that there be some standard the test has to pass. For A/B, Multivariate and Taguchi testing (and very basically), two items are tested side by side according to some scale. The item that passes the test is the item that scores higher on that scale.

You can already see that selecting the correct scale for the test is critically important. Chose the correct metric for what you’re testing and you have a well defined and understood race with an equally well defined and understood finish line. Whoever crosses the finish line first, A or B, wins.

Hello, don't you look yummy?I think of well done A/B, Multivariate and Taguchi testing in terms of that joke about the two campers being chased by a bear. One camper passes the other and the camper falling behind says, “You can’t run faster than a bear,” to which the faster camper replies, “I don’t have to run faster than the bear, I have to run faster than you!”

Choose the correct metric and you stay ahead of the bear (your visitors). Chose the incorrect metric and either A or B still wins but the winning is unimportant because the bear still eats you, but does so by abandoning your site.

Testing Tests

Most people lump Multivariate and Taguchi in with A/B testing. Please don’t. A/B is like a Ford, Multivariate is like a BMW and Taguchi is like a Ferrari. Most businesses do A/B testing only and that’s fine provided you understand what you’re testing and recognize what the outcomes should be.

For example, you know enough user psychology to understand things like template bias, habituation, inattentional blindness, experiential memory and the like, and how they affect these tests, yes?

New Wine in Old Skins

You can’t really test A against B and be definitively successful when you’re testing, for example, two new versions of a website and part of your audience is your existing visitor population. You need to make sure some visitors see version A and some version B, yes, and you also need to make sure previous visitors see completely new designs while new visitors see updated designs.

Do anything else and you’re just adding to the existing visitor population’s frustration. Previous visitors — especially frequent visitors — suddenly encountering an update or modification to a previous design will demonstrate habituation and template bias. They’re so familiar with the old design that they can’t find what they’re looking for and are easily frustrated (especially when they need to get something done). Not good.

Complete rebuilds/redesigns should be tested with previous visitors. The radically new design will signal that their past experience isn’t valid. I can also let you know that the first thing they’ll do — especially if they really want to get something done rather than explore your beautiful new interface — is look for a way back to what they know. Being able to return to what they know makes visitors feel safe rather than abused and victimized. They’re much more willing to explore what’s new when they know it’s their choice.

Summary

Test modifications of existing interfaces on brand new visitors. They’ll have no template bias, no habituation, no experiential memory, …, to interfere with their using the interface. Good for you and good for them.

Test brand new designs on previous visitors and watch carefully to see if their behavior (“experience”) changes.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.


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February 28, 2012  11:13 AM

We’re Improving Your Experience (Abuse as “Upgrade”)

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics I just started my online chat tool of choice after being away for a bit. There was a new version available and I decided, what the heck, let’s give it a go.

My first warning of impending disaster was the message “We’re improving your experience.”

Evidently the way to improve my experience involves first moving my desktop icon from where I’ve had it for years to where it’s suppose to be…some place I’d never look for it.

Well, Thankee!

Next Skype automatically fired up my webcam and microphone so I was suddenly looking at my pre-coffee morning self.

Captain%20Excellent.jpgBut what about the image I’ve been using for quite some time (that’s it on the right. I’m sparing you my pre-coffee morning self)? The one I chose because it has special meaning to me and everyone who knows me?

Nope, no, that image is gone, lost and forgotten, evidently.

Well Thankee!2

I’ve written about how user interfaces should be upgraded in several places, about how human psychology works when things change and one of the big No-No’s is forcing upgrades and modifications on people who don’t want or are unprepared for them.

You want to improve my experience?

Easy, make it work faster, cleaner, quicker without changing how I need to interact with it because the minute my interaction methodology changes all sorts of psychological inhibitors come into play about using the d?mn thing.

I mean, how many people you know simply love change?

Want me to embrace changes you, the vendor, wants in place?

Easy, let me explore them, prove to me they benefit me and I’ll beg you for them.

Benefit? Make my life easier, simpler, give me more time, greater value, …

But don’t, dear lord, change things on me simply because it benefits you.

Psychology has a term for you changing my life in order to make your life easier when you do so without telling me what’s involved, Abuse.

As in, “We’re going to change everything on you without telling you, without giving you an option in it, without asking your opinion, and we’re going to tell you it’s for your own benefit and that you’ll like it better. Or else.”

Some will respond, “But people can look up the changes before installing” and my response is “Further evidence of abuse”. How come the changes aren’t listed right beside there “Upgrade” button? How come people have to go looking for something that explains how their life will be easier?

For ways in which technology has improved your life, press 3I’m reminded of the quote “For ways in which technology has improved your life, press 3″. Changes aren’t listed because 1) companies know people are inherently lazy and won’t go looking and 2) few consumers would upgrade if the changes were listed (in an easily understandable manner).

For example:
Selecting this upgrade will

  • Improve your sound quality
  • Improve your connection quality
  • Cause you to reload any existing profile images or select a new one because your old one will be lost
  • Move your desktop icon to a completely different part of the screen causing you to move it back to where you originally positioned it if you want to find it there again
  • Automatically fire up your webcam and microphone (even if they were working perfectly before) to take a new picture of yourself to use as your online image (privacy-phobes must love this; firing up camera and microphone without first asking permission? Whoa!)

Now, care to upgrade?

I think not.

NextStage OnSite Visitor Analysis ToolNextStage recently received kudos from several clients regarding some of our NextStage OnSite Visitor Analysis Tool (NSOS) reports. We figured out how to generate the reports faster, we provided more information in the reports and clearer definitions of what was being reported.

But we didn’t change how clients log in, how they select reports, the look&feel of the reports, …, only what happens in the background.

Eventually all that other stuff may change…

…but not with first asking permission…

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.


Upcoming Trainings:


Upcoming Conferences:

  • NextStage Evolution, Critical Mass and Adobe’s SXSW Core Conversation ‘F**k Privacy: Neuromarketing is the Web’s Future’ at SXSW 2012

Come on by and say hello.

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and
probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It’s a whoppin’ good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don’t twit often but when I do, it’s with gusto!

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January 10, 2012  12:32 PM

Cloud Bursting (Cloud Technology Adoption in 2012)

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral MetricsThere’s a scene in The Men Who Stare at Goats where George Clooney’s Lyn Cassady character focuses his gaze on the clouds. Asked why, he claims he’s practicing cloud bursting. I figure that’s a good starting point for this post because I’ll be sharing some NextStage research on what assorted businesses, companies, groups, et cetera are planning to do cloud-wise in 2012.

George Clooney as Lyn Cassady cloud burstingThe Cloud has been the subject of some really interesting (amusing?) discussions and I wonder how many of those leading and instigating the discussions are selling cloud technologies, services, something like that.

Yes, I know…I’m a party pooper.

Anyway, this post is a follow up to It Might Be Time to Get Your Head Out of the Clouds, so here goes…

Research Basics

NextStage contacted some 500 groups of all sizes across a broad industry spectrum from Jul – Dec 2011. The study was conducted in the US and Canada with Director and higher level participation.

Findings Summary To Date

  • Cloud security is the dominant concern
  • The contracting vendor outsourcing the cloud to a third party is unacceptable
  • Overseas solutions are unacceptable in most situations
  • Lack of accessibility controls, hence lack of information security, is a major concern
  • Lack of farm control is a repeated issue
  • Data transfer fees from cloud to local computers are too high
  • Privacy issues are a concern
  • Untrusted technology for anything but the most trivial (security, not size) storage requirements
  • Untrusted technology for anything but the most trivial installations, not enterprise-wide

Medical Concerns

Medical institutions are required to store medical images and records for more than ten years. The storage requirements can be staggering as all x-rays, CAT scans, et cetera must be dynamically accessible for longitudinal time periods regardless if they’ll ever be accessed. Changes to HIPPA, Medical Billing and Electronic Health Record regulations result in increasing IT storage costs that are unsolvable due to budget restrictions. The result is that clouds are, well, in the clouds.

Educational Concerns

Some universities and colleges are discovering that linking the IT resources of their various campuses creates a workable cloud that’s immediately manageable and serviceable. Smaller and satellite campuses either tie into the main campus cloud or are forgoing cloud services by simply purchasing additional local.

Governmental Concerns

Ever heard Billy Connely's 'We want this, and that, and more of that, ...'?Some federal agencies are caught in an information black hole. Example: Agency A does work for Agency B. Agency B wants Agency A to go to the cloud but Agency B will only tell Agency A if they have chosen wisely and has acceptable security after Agency A had made a technology decision and installed it. Thus, after Agency A has invested money, time and effort, Agency B has the right to come in and say to Agency A both “Not good enough” and “We’re not telling you how to make it better.” This is equivalent to Billy Connelly’s We Want This, And That riff and is crazy making at best.

Miscellaneous Concerns as Noted by NextStageologists

Smaller business groups of larger companies (even those run independently of the parent organization) are waiting to see what the parent is doing before taking any steps of their own. Smaller business groups will be required to tie into the corporately defined system whether they wish to or not, hence acting independently isn’t an option.

Other agencies have medical, personnel, et cetera information that must be kept and are very concerned about cloud security.

Further, agencies with security mandates and charters are required to know exactly who has access to their stored data (in some cases finger printed and related biomarkers are required). Clouds outsourced to overseas, third-party vendors are not an option for such agencies.

California agencies are in a holding in a “wait and see” pattern. Decisions are made at headquarters and headquarters is politically, not business, based hence commitments are long in coming. Meanwhile on the other coast, New York’s IT Consolidation Mandate has also placed many agencies in a “wait and see” mode. Until NY decides how to consolidate their IT (data centers, personnel, needs, et cetera) based on this mandate going to the clouds is also in the clouds. The heartland’s concerns also deal with state and business finances, specifically budget cuts. Many of them don’t want to invest in something that they refer to as a fancy way of saying “Oh you mean outsourcing your storage” when referring to “Going to the cloud”.


Hope this is helpful, folks. Our results are impartial, vendor/tool/agency/product/offering agnostic. NextStage is hired to do such research because our methodologies are precise, exacting in detail and specific in outcomes.

How This Research Was Performed

Kevin Spacey in The NegotiatorImagine yourself sitting across from a top FBI profiler or being on the phone with a top hostage negotiator, someone who can tell what you’re thinking or how you’re thinking it by the way you breathe, the pace of your speech, when you switch from speakerphone to handset or headset or the way you stare at your tablet. That’s the level of training NextStage researchers have (and for those with an interest, it all starts with Know How Someone Is Thinking in 10 Seconds or Less Weekend Training).

Now imagine someone with that level of training asking you questions about…anything.

Let us know if there’s something we can do for you.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.


Upcoming Trainings:



Upcoming Conferences:

  • NextStage Evolution, Critical Mass and Adobe’s SXSW Core Conversation ‘F**k Privacy: Neuromarketing is the Web’s Future’ at SXSW 2012

Come on by and say hello.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgSign up for The NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.
You can follow me and my research on Twitter. I don’t twit often but when I do, it’s with gusto!
Have you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It’s a whoppin’ good read.

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.


Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group


December 29, 2011  2:23 PM

Determining Social ROI (and Some Proven Techniques for Getting It)

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral MetricsThe subject of Social ROI has been bouncing around for a while now and I admit I’m still perplexed that people find determining social-based ROI difficult to calculate. Perhaps we’re using the same term to define different things.

I mean, it is a marketing metric, right?

Social ROI has been an active discussion on LinkedIn (in more than one group), on Focus and I’ve been at conferences where it was a panel if not main-hall presentation topic. People are coming up with truly incredible ways of determining Social ROI and I find myself quoting Anna O’Brien’s “Random metric names and symbols is not an equation” when I look at most of them.

The challenge to the equations behind marketing metrics is that they often fail to include the Ego, Accuracy and Accountability variables. I learned during the Engagement Equation Wars that any marketing metric not including these three variables either covertly or overtly is doomed to fail. Ego seems to have the greatest influence. Accuracy is a distant second and accountability is relegated to red-headed stepchild status. As one digital (ne web) analyst said to me, “I’d rather have an inaccurate equation that I can explain to a client than an accurate equation they’ll never understand.”

Whoa! Shades of Einstein’s “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

Allow me to quote a colleague in the health&wellness industry, “Simple solutions to complex problems are often wrong.” Sum these two quotes and you get “Solutions may be complex but their explanation has to be simple.”

“…x money here turns into y money there.”

NextStage was approached mid-2011 to help a company accurately metricize their social efforts (ROI). Our first question was “How are you defining accurately?” About a week later we got a wonderfully simple response from a C level executive, “We want to know that x money here turns into y money there.”

That’s a great response in many ways. It demonstrates a clarity of thought, a recognition of responsibility and hints at a willingness to act. Considering the source, ego, accuracy and accountability are taken care of right at the start. I love it!

And perhaps the best part is that it’s imminently metricable, something elementary algebra turns into

Y = aX

The above is an extremely simple equation and if you’re already going weak in the knees from just looking at it, quit reading now. The above is the most difficult equation in this post but we’re going to really hammer on it for a bit.

Simple Equations Produce Profound Results

Let me explain the above simple equation in equally simple terms;

The closer the result is to the action, the more the result is a function of the action.

A real world example of this involves nothing more than a baseball, a bullseye and a wall.

Put the bullseye on a wall. Pick up a baseball. Stand less than an arm’s length away from the bullseye. Keep your eyes open and on the center of the bullseye. Now place the ball in the center of the bullseye.

You should be able to put that ball in the center of that bullseye every time. You are close to the bullseye to begin with so hitting it is easy. You’re so close you don’t even have to throw the ball, you can place it right where you want it.

The number of bullseyes goes down rapidly as distance from the target increasesNow stand a hundred or so feet away and place the ball in the center of that bullseye. You’ll have to throw it at this distance and your success rate will go down rapidly with distance. In fact, you can estimate the failure rate at any distance only knowing how well you do at arm’s length away!

How Y = aX Works

Watch what I do here:

  • The bullseye is “y”
  • The baseball is “x”
  • “Now place the ball in the bullseye” is the a part in the above equation

Hopefully you can see that the bullseye and baseball are simple enough, placing the ball in the bullseye is where things get messy.

It gets messy because the further you are from the bullseye the more that a part dominates the equation. It’s also much more difficult to determine accountability and accuracy goes out the window completely, and you can bet that when accountability and accuracy decrease ego increases so that things will stay in balance.

A typical Rube Goldberg machineIn the case of the client company mentioned above, their a had no immediately actionable items. There were lots of people involved, though, and the decision tree was wondrous to behold. I think the lunchcart lady and night janitor had a say in things, and the path from initial social interaction to determined ROI was a Rube Goldberg machine made manifest.

It’s a Question of Distance

Remember “The closer the result is to the action, the more the result is a function of the action”? The more people involved in anything, the more disparate elements are tacked on to any act, the less that act will demonstrate a single, determinable, calculable outcome because increasing distance between action and result causes the action to have a decreasingly direct effect on the result (this “distance between action and result” concept was the centerpiece of my Measuring Emotional Response – Attaching Dollars to Sentiment Analysis CMA June 2011 presentation (free, with commentary, about 16m long)).

ROI hits a ceiling the further the spend is from the resultLet me show you another trick. Flip the above chart over. Seem familiar? That’s because the two are related and the relating factor is distance.


We explained “distance between action and result” to the client and demonstrated results from previously successful and amazingly simple Y=aX style solutions.

All of which were initially rejected because…well, because…

“There are things you just don’t do in Social…”

Really? Care to name a few?

A wonderful thing about simple solutions is that the results tend to be immediate or close to, hence you know rapidly if things are going south or not. Another wonderful thing is that simple solutions tend to be considerably less expensive than intentionally complex, distant from the target style solutions.


And inexpensive solutions with rapid results do not satisfy the ego element mentioned above. They definitely satisfy the accuracy and accountability elements, but ego? No.

Again, there’s balance.

Simple Social Solutions that Work

The above mentioned client and several others instituted at least one of the following incredibly simple social ROI solutions with obvious and excellent results. We’ve implemented them in online banking, wellness, automotive and retail. Feel free to use them and get measurable, demonstrable results.

  • Social coupons – Before there was Groupon there were Social Coupons, a variation of the tried and true “Print out this coupon”. The variation is that the coupon’s value goes up the more people who use it within a specific time period. It’s great for getting people to move from online to brick&mortar. Use this coupon yourself and you get 25% off your purchase. Use this coupon with a friend and you both get 30% off when you purchase together. Discounts go up to 50% when the whole village comes in as a group.
  • Social (collateral) Discounts – Ever see something like “Click for an immediate 25% Discount”? Same theory as above and the twist is that it’s all online. Click here for an immediate 25% Discount and discount code for your friends! The online gets to gather friends’ email addresses and sends them a “Joseph just got a 25% discount on his … purchase. He thought you’d like a 30% discount on your next purchase. Use this code … and Joseph’s discount goes to 30%, too!”
  • Password Discounts – This method is great to discover who’s an influencer, gatekeeper or hub in your social efforts. Periodically offer a password when someone makes an online purchase. The password is good online and brick&mortar. The trick here is that the password is “secret”, has a limited lifespan and carries a recognizably hefty discount. It’s a “good thing”, people love to share “good things” and share they will. Recognize that this method requires coordination between online and brick&mortar backends and some store personnel training. Every time the password is used the source (person who originally received the password) receives “points” towards their next purchase. A variation of this that was very successful with larger ticket items was the requirement that the password could only be used if a specific dollar volume was achieved or dollar value purchased.
  • Social Gifts – Some percentage of your online purchase will become a donation to some charity in your friend(s)’ name. And of course, the online gets the friend(s)’ email addresses so they can be notified.

There are lots of other techniques we’ve employed over the years (see social shopping carts from 2007. We’ve been doing “social” for a while). The trick to all is that they were simple to put in place and simple to measure.

Me, I like direct cause&effect style metrics. There much easier to understand and work with, don’t you think?


NextStage Social Research to Date

Yes, the titles may be thick but each brief contains an overview and actionable take-aways. After all, we are NextStage. We always provide actionable take-aways. The one caveat is that you have to be a NextStage Member to access these briefs

  • Social Message Radiation Maximized When Secondary Knowledge Sources Validate Original Message
  • Promoting Influencers in Social Networks
  • Healthy Social Networks Require Specific Contributor-Population Ratios and Vital Information Gradients
  • The Relationship Between Product Release/Announcement/Introduction and Social Network Response – Control Issues
  • Rare Events as Harbingers of Social Network Shifts
  • The Basics for Forming Strong, Lasting Social Networks

NextStage Members can also access Whispering to Be Heard: The Art and Science of Buzz Marketing a presentation from 2008 (also with actionable take-aways that presaged much of today’s best practices)

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.


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October 27, 2011  10:24 AM

It Might Be Time to Get Your Head Out of the Clouds

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics

When I first heard of “The Cloud” I remembered the Classic StarTrek® episode, The Cloud Minders, about a society wherein the privileged lived in Stratos, a city high in the clouds, and were supported by a labor class, Troglytes, who mined precious ore deep in the ground.

Yes, well, that was my first thought. My second thought, once I listened to the pitch, was “Oh, you mean a server farm? You thought a marketing, jingoish name would make it more attractive?” This is one of the problems with having gray in your hair, you’ve been around long enough to know there’s nothing new under the sun, just new wrapping for a new generation.

So anyway, we at NextStage talked about The Cloud a bit. Okay, more than a bit. Charles, our CTO, did some research and The Cloud took up a few days conversations. It would definitely make many things easier.

We didn't control the switchBut there was one real downside. We (NextStage) didn’t control the switch.

Okay, we’re a persnickety bunch, and everybody who knows me knows I’m a professional Luddite. I’m so far behind the curve I still have to press buttons on my cellphone to make a call.

But NextStage talks with lots of companies, lots of businesses, lots of agencies, and we discovered that lots of companies, businesses and agencies that originally embraced The Cloud are pulling back, becoming Troglytes as it were, and exactly for the same reason NextStage didn’t head to Stratos in the first place.

They, too, couldn’t control the switch and in a world where personal information is next to godliness being able to shut down the system that’s spilling consumers’ guts is perhaps the crucial consideration. We’ve talked to a few hundred organizations at present and the term heard most often when we ask about The Cloud is “Oh, you mean outsourcing your storage?”

Well…uh…yeah…

The cloud city of StratosFinancials are pulling back from cloud computing in a big way. Financials are traditionally slow to embrace anything iffy and new, but The Cloud promised so much they made the trip then decided the…umm…overhead…wasn’t worth it. Cloud Anxiety — okay, I just made that term up but it’s catchy, don’t you think? — was the backroom conversation at the Sibos global treasury conference recently held in Toronto.

But not just financials. Cloud Anxiety is growing in educational institutions as well. Private and public colleges and universities are looking very hard at The Cloud because transfer costs are quite high. Researchers upload lots of data then need to transfer it back down to consult it. The cost of all that data continuously upping and downing is prohibitive in the extreme.

And if you’re an organization, business or company that has to deal with HIPPA in any way, shape or form? Especially the new medical billing regulations that go into affect in 2012?

Fuhget about it!Fuhget about it!

The security of the cloud comes into question with all of these institutions. They’re thinking twice about going to cloud for anything other than email. And if you’ve been paying attention to what’s showing up in courts regarding emails…

Organizations where security, secured storage and secured processing are paramount are taking their storage back underground onto their own servers, behind their own firewalls, where their own security systems alert them far faster than any outsourced system could and where they have their own people with known names and known positions within their own organizations placing all of their attention on their own switches.

Asleep at the switch? I hope not!Ain’t nobody sleeping here.

Sure, organizations could sue The Cloud Minders if rain started to fall but that takes a long time. Customers would be exiting such foolhardy business faster than they bailed from Netflix.

And existing customers affect the infamous Bottom Line.

Yes, The Bottom Line. Bottom. Underneath. Below. That which you stand on. Given the choice of being able to walk on sure, solid ground versus wondering if you’ll ever get wet…

That’s the lesson here, me thinks; if you have to make a decision between what might fall out of the sky versus what you know you have to stand on, go with the latter. Watch the skies, definitely, because it’s good to know shifts in the weather and plan for them. That’s called “experience” — that thing you tend to get right after you really need it — and comes with gray in the hair.

But when in doubt, remember, Earth Abides.

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September 22, 2011  11:40 AM

Netflix’s Arrogance: Mea Culpa or Youa Stupa

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics

One of NextStage’s Principles states

Take responsibility for your actions.
When you make a mistake and before anybody else knows the mistake has been made, raise your hand and say loud enough for others to hear you, “That one’s mine. I did that. …”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings apology doesn’t quite hit the “…before anybody else knows the mistake has been made, …” part. It does hit the “…loud enough for others to hear you, …” part, though.

But we must ask, is he genuinely sorry for the gaff or are consumers simply being duped again?

Is Reed Hastings Genuinely Sorry? You Betcha He Is!

Netflix’s value has fallen 40% with a 6B$US loss to shareholders so far. His personal stake is less than half what it was, not to mention the personal pain of someone at that level having to publicly admit they screwed up.

A small company, a less than 1M$US company, admitting a mistake or taking special pains? Sure, happens all the time.

Netflix made a pooBut the company that dang near put Blockbuster out of business — when we heard, way back when, that Blockbuster had a chance to buy Netflix and said “No” we looked at each other and said, “Whoops!” — pretty much created the online rental DVD and downloadable video market, has withstood all competition thus far, … then sends fans scurrying back to Blockbuster in a matter of hours?

One must ask if it was…

Arrogance or Stoopidity?

I’ve mentioned several times that someday I will write a book about my experiences with CEOs and the like. As in all things, there are good and not so good. And I do recognize that 99% of CEOs give that other 1% a bad name.

But seriously, anybody who believes they can pilot a multibillion dollar company has got to have a strong ego, and that’s a good thing. Whether that ego comes from experience or ignorance, people at that level don’t exist at that level without a strong sense of self, an ability to trust themselves, their gut and experience more than others, et cetera et cetera.

But also seriously, lots of people who get to that level sometimes think that they are the cause of their success, that the light shines only on them and nobody else, and that no external events, no intersections of time and space had anything to do with it.

Ah...The Ego of It AllIt must be great to have that kind of ego, to believe oneself a …

Or perhaps to confuse yourself for one. I mean, crap, Reed doesn’t even look like Thor, does he?

And Reed Hastings claimed it was an act of arrogance based on past success. I have to tell you, that’s the worst kind of arrogance. As noted above, it completely dismisses all the mistakes that occurred and assumes that there was nothing but success.

Any of you have a history like that, only successes and never a failure from which to learn? Again I default to NextStage’s Principles, this time

Be wary of those who only tell you of their successes.
They do not have a full view of life.

Tallying

At this point, let’s start a count.

  1. He admits he screwed up. +1
  2. He didn’t admit it until Netflix’s stock and his personal networth greatly tanked. -1
  3. He used his apology to announce Qwikster, something that will cause existing Netflix customers to do double the work to achieve the same result, and not an “I’m going to make this right by going back to what we know worked and what customers told us they loved.” -1
  4. So far the market hasn’t responded favorably to his announcement. People started leaving Netflix within hours of the price hike announcement. So far no customer influx. -1

So Reed Hastings and Netflix are at -2 and counting.

My Curiosity Piqued…

This section is where tallying and public opinion merge, it is not about selling you, dear readers, a tool (although we won’t stop you from using it).

I wondered what the actual metrics of Reed Hastings’ comment were. Well, NextStage has a tool, the NextStage BlueSky Meter, that determines…sincerity.

Well, not really. What it determines is the amount of…imagination…in something. This tool was created by request, has been around for about a year or so, is fairly widely used, and we call it “BlueSky” because it’s function is to measure how much BS — Blue Sky — is in some content.

How much BlueSky is in Reed Hastings' Post?Reed Hastings apology scores a whopping 50.1%. We don’t see numbers that high except with politicians, usually (I’m serious). The tool’s take on the apology is “The author(s) probably don’t take themselves OR their subject matter seriously.”

So, you gotta ask yourself, was the apology sincere or was it just another marketing ploy, just more spin, a mea culpa or yet once more marketing telling the public Youa Stupa!

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August 26, 2011  12:45 PM

Of Strauss-Kahn, Whitey Bulger, Menominee Chiefs, Goat Prognosticators and Social Networks

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics

First, sit back and relax. We’re going on a ride. It’s going to be one of those typical “Joseph’s going to tie together things no sane person would put in the same room together and when we’re done, they’ll be ice cream!” things.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, internationally known financial guruWhen I first conceived of this post, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was no longer under house arrest for alleged sexual assault. Monsieur Strauss-Kahn is French and the French, upon hearing of his alleged sexual assault, collectively cried, Non! But what did they know? He had only been active in their government, international politics, international finance and head of the IMF. The French, understanding US law, wanted proof over allegation. The US, working under Napoleonic law, put him under house arrest until it could be proven he was innocent. Probably because he was a flight risk and, being one of the most recognized and important financial figures on the planet, could easily go underground never to be seen again.

I mean, heck, Whitey Bulger did it, right?

Earlier this week I learned that all charges against him — Dominique Strauss-Kahn, not Whitey Bulger — are being dropped. The NY DA has decided there’s not enough evidence against him to move forward.

Does this mean he’s innocent? Certainly not. It means that finally he’s innocent until proven guilty and the powers that be have decided there’s not enough evidence to prove him guilty, so they’re going to save NYC some money and not go to trail, essentially declaring him innocent.

Whitey Bulger, Internationally known old person who was good at hiding a lotThe French believe NYC has come to its senses.

NYC has threatened to drink less Champagne, Bordeaux and eat less Comte and Roquefort. Harrumph!

Whitey Bulger, who has spent the last twenty or so years drinking Champagne and Bordeaux and eating Comte and Roquefort in plain sight from a balcony in sunny southern California (tv folks want to make a comedy about his balcony-based exploits), agreed with NYC and added, “Going underground and staying hidden is easy. It all depends on who you know. My problem is that everybody I knew is gone and none of the new guys know me. I should’a done that Facebook thing. There, you got Friends.”

Menominee Chiefs

Dan Waupoose, a Menomini chief; Algiers, La. U.S. Navy photograph, August 24, 1943.Long ago I and several others studied under a Menominee (Native American) chief. Towards the end of the training he had to go back to Wisconsin for family reasons (the students were in NH). When he came back he was so intoxicated he could hardly stand (I was Told this, nobody actually told me this). The other students left, incensed. I stayed and eventually learned of the massive trauma that elicited that drunken response.

Let me explain…

What I’m writing about here is the difference between social networks and Social Networks, the people who make decisions based on many interactions over long periods of time versus those who make decisions based on the collective consciousness of Facebook and whatever else is de rigueur for the day.

Strauss-Kahn may be a rapist, Whitey Bulger may be the Robin Hood of Boston’s Southie and the Menominee chief may be a habitual drunk. In all cases the claim is made by their Social Network and is unreliable whether true or not because it’s based on indirect experience. It’s hearsay. It makes for great gossip and headlines and not much more. If true, it allows those with more time than effort to stand tall and proud and proclaim, “Harrumph! I told you so!” If false, ditto and in either case, it makes for great inflammatory, provocative headlines and soundbytes and you know what else?

The “what else” is that such won’t last much longer because the audience for such things stopped growing (socially, anyway) a few years back. Such headlines and soundbytes have energy because they allow “us” to point the finger at “them”, those who are different in shape, color, features, gender, belief, take your pick, and tell ourselves we’re different, we’re better, so you better pay attention to us because we’re a’happenin’, dudes and so it goes.

And now, Goat Prognosticators

A friend's goat, no where near Mount NeboEvery once in a while someone remembers the Mount Nebo Weather Goats. These were goats that predicted the weather with 90% accuracy, 25% better than the National Weather Service that came in at (go for it…I’ll wait…90-25…) 65%. These goats became so popular that they made national news and purely because they did what millenia of evolution had designed them to do; go into lowlands when storms were coming, go into highlands when weather was fair.

During the 1970s some college friends and I would drive through farmlands and talk about “The Cow Index”, an old farmer slight of hand that also determined the weather. Cows lying on the ground meant storm, cows standing up meant fair weather. The same evolutionary systems were at work. If A displays a higher profile than B during a storm — especially during an electrical storm — than A has a greater chance of becoming a lightning rod.

Evolutionary pressure 101: Animals that displayed higher profiles than their peers didn’t live long enough to breed, hence The Cow Index and the Mount Nebo Weather Goats were designed to understand and respond to local meteorological conditions.

Ah, but here’s the kicker that most people don’t get; local meteorological conditions are part of bovine and hircine “social networks”.

Really, I’m not kidding. It goes like this: Anybody I directly interact with, anybody whose direct or indirect action or inaction causes a direct or indirect response from me is in my “First Circle” (some call it “First Tier” or “First Level”) social network. These are friends we openly recognize as friends, the ones whose sides we automatically take in an argument when someone outside that First Circle is involved.

An example of direct interaction and response would be my beloved bride makes a special dinner for me (she did last night) and I directly respond with an outpouring of love (I did before, during and after the meal).

You're thinking you're all that with your social networks and what you don't know is that all the good stuff is happening way down there in that little dot in the bottom left corner...Indirect interaction and response is very different. For example, my sister talks about me to a friend of hers. That’s indirect action to me because I’m not “on the line” of the act, that line (ever see a network interaction diagram? Those lines linking the nodes are “action” or “communication” or “connection” lines and symbolize direct contact between two individuals, nodes, groups, etc. The shorter the line the shorter the action-response cycle, the more any given action will get a response, etc) is between my sister and her friend. I don’t know about their conversation until one of them directly interacts with me. What’s important about this indirect action is that I don’t have a direct response to it when it happens however I might have an indirect response to either my sister, her friend or both based on lots of past direct interactions with them.

My sister is part of my first circle network and much of my interactions with her are direct. Her friend is part of my second tier social network and most of my knowledge of that friend is based on my direct interactions with my sister.

So my knowledge of her friend isn’t really my knowledge, it’s her knowledge of her friend. My sister’s in my social network, her friend’s in my Social Network. Ever have someone reach out to you via LinkedIn, FaceBook, ReferralKey, etc., and you know the person from personal experience so you link, befriend, refer, whatever without thinking? Well, you actually did a lot of thinking about it. It was all done in your non-conscious, specifically that part of your brain that deals with social interactions and knowledge, and you just didn’t know about it.

Ever have someone reach out to you to link, etc., and you had no clue who they were? They’re maybe from some group you belong to or a friend of a friend or some such? You check them out before you link, right? At least I hope you do. In these cases your thinking about accepting their request is happening consciously. Example: I just had someone reach out to me via LinkedIn to join a competitor to LinkedIn (“Works very similar to LinkedIn except …”). But I didn’t recognize the name. So I checked. It was somebody I knew over ten years ago and hadn’t heard from since. The name was changed due to marriage. And the competitor was the company this person worked for.

That’s the difference between a “Friend” and a friend, a Social Network and your social network.

Social Accuracy

Now, ever notice that your connections based on your first circle social network tend to be more accurate that your second or third or lower tier social connections? I mean, heaven forbid you’re linked to an idiot and someone wants to link to you because you both know that idiot, but you’re not terribly surprised when you learn that this new person is also an idiot, right?

Hieronymus Bosch's Heaven Panel from The Garden of Earthly DelightsHieronymus Bosch's Hell Panel from The Garden of Earthly DelightsSee, you and the goats, when you rely on your first circle social networks, those things and people and events that directly interact with you, those things that affect your life everyday, you tend to be pretty accurate in who to trust, how to act, so on and so forth and things move along heavenly (left). However, when you rely on your Social Networks, all hell can break loose (right).

Back to Goats, Menominee Chiefs, et al

The National Weather Service is part of the goats’ Social Network, meaning their second circle contacts (human herders) pay attention to it and pass along 65% accuracy to animals already at 90% accuracy, then the goats wonder why the stupid two-leggers (that’s us, the humans) are acting so stupidly when it’s perfectly obvious what the weather is going to be.

I’ve known herders who paid more attention to their flocks and herds than to national weather services. They were the ones shaking their heads in bewilderment when Strauss-Kahn was under house arrest, Menominee chiefs were accused of having lives, Whitey Bulger was found hiding in plain sight, …

However, they weren’t shocked to learn that people are starting to ignore their Social Networks.

Say it ain’t so, Joe!

No, sorry, it is so. People are leaving their Social Networks. NextStage first documented this among highschool students a few years back and more recently among boomers and older folks. Originally the given reason was “I don’t have enough time” and it changed to “There’s nothing important/interesting going on anymore” and most recently “It’s all just becoming [marketing] so why bother?”

Yes, “Social Networks”, that next big thing of not too long ago, is already giving way to the next next big thing.

Tablet computers were the next big thing for about an hour, weren't they?And we all already know the next next big thing won’t be tablets, right? Just ask HP or RIM or anybody else who thought that was the happenin’ place to be. Tablets were the next big thing a few weeks ago. I know, you weren’t watching. What’d’you do, blink?

Want to know what the next big thing’s going to be?

I’ll give you a hint.

Think 1980′s.

And mix in Social becoming more social.

Spoiler Alert!

Now go forward…

And wasn’t that fun? I told you there’d be ice cream.

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July 19, 2011  9:18 AM

“As Budgets Get Tighter, Probably the First Thing Cut Will Be Web Analytics Because There’s No ROI”

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis

Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics

NextStage, at a vendor’s request, recently completed a six month study of F5000s’ IT and Marketing departments use and understanding of web analytics. This post’s title, “As budgets get tighter, probably the first thing cut will be web analytics because there’s no ROI”, is a direct quote from one of three hundred F5000s surveyed in this study. All companies involved were either North American based or had substantial North American presences. The survey was conducted both online and via phone calls to CMO, CFOs, IT Directors and above.

NextStage was solicited for this project due to previous research as documented in the three part The Unfulfilled Promise of Online Analytics series (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). The results of this six month study were not surprising based on that previous research.

Common threads in responses indicated that Marketing and IT (which usually governs web analytics specifically and online analytics in general) are still at odds (as documented in 2006′s Matching Marketing and IT Mythologies). IT departments manage web analytics, a marketing measurement, because “we were told to run it.”

However, IT, given the responsibility of monitoring the company’s online presence, generates and delivers the reports while having no authority to act upon the information contained therein. “We pass it on to Marketing and they have no idea what to do with all the data.”

Marketing Enters the Discussion

IT and Marketing personnel talk to each other and only at specific levels.

“Grunt” level personnel congregate because they’re usually of a similar age with similar social likes and dislikes. The other level where IT and Marketing congregate and talk is director levels and above, where the congregation factor is usually business rather than social.

However it’s the middle level, the individuals and groups who take orders and give orders and who bear ultimate, daily, project level responsibility for getting things done, that either don’t have time or inclination to congregate. Talk to people in the middle level and IT’s lament is echoed practically verbatim by marketing, “IT gives us these reports and there’s nothing we can do with them, there’s no action plan, there’s no way forward much of the time.”

A common sentiment said by both groups is that the reports are misunderstood, hence strategies and tactics based on them would be unreliable at best and disastrous at worst. There’s lots of training on how to setup analytics and run the reports, very little to none on what to do with them. What training does exist (according to both IT and Marketing respondents) fails to provide real world…anything. “All the data in the world is useless unless it moves the business forward.”

“It use to be that some senior analyst or HIPPO would have enough experience to interpret the data but now with mobile, social, txt, integrated marketing and what else, nobody can keep up. Nobody has enough experience anymore. You almost need separate departments for each channel.”

Decision Makers Enter the Discussion

According to the Marketing Director of a major brand in the food production and delivery business, “We get the reports and are too busy so we just set them aside. I use to look at them and try to figure things out, but then I realized next month I’d get another set of reports and they’d be pretty much the same. There were always going to be more reports so if I didn’t get to them this month I’d get to them next month. Then it got to the point that I never got to them at all.”

The above was also a common thread in higher management circles. Even when reports included actionable information it was often ignored. “It takes two to three months minimum for things to gel so nobody has real information for at least a quarter, and by then we’ve become immune and don’t care. IT or Marketing can come to me with a cure but by then I’m already comfortable with the pain. I told IT at my past two companies ‘Don’t come to me until you can tell me what it means’ and they don’t listen.”

It was at this point that C-level people were stating that as budgets get tighter, web analytics will be cut because there’s no obvious ROI.

Exploratory discussions and active listening engagements with C-level people did bring out a hope although a slight one. Nobody presently is ready to completely abandon web analytics specifically or online analytics in general; F5000s have too much already invested to simply cut such things loose. It’s much more likely these companies will phase analytics out over time, or shift these dollars to something with a more obvious ROI — analytics based or not — and shift some but not all personnel there.

The Coming Shift

One COO educated at both in the US and London, and who’s worked in Japan, the EU and US, gave an excellent historical overview with some predictions for the future.

“There’s two problems that no one has looked at.

“One, most of the major brands doing online analytics are using the modern factory model. This isn’t surprising because two, most of these brands’ management went to school when the only case studies were modern factory case studies.

“The modern factory model relies on very expensive, very large machinery and requires lots of manpower all the way from supply through delivery.

“That model fails with online analytics. I could write a decision flowchart for a piece of machinery and know exactly when and how much my investment and my return would be. Nobody can do that with online analytics.

“Budgets aren’t shifting from online analytics elsewhere yet but discretionary and research dollars are being spent hunting for tools that work this time, every time. We’re seeing more and more black magic presentations but they sit in your conference room, use their data and in thirty seconds come up with the same results your team took six months to deliver. You shake your head but you call them back.

“Management schools are just now teaching good, representative online case studies that are well documented and not one-offs. One candidate’s thesis was on deciding what to analyze in the 24×7 enterprise and it was good. Her point was that laborers and the means of production, which were separated in the past 200 years, are coming together again in online analytics. The worker is becoming known by his tools again and the artisan model is coming back in lots of places. Analysts who know the factory machines and nothing else are going to lose to analysts who know the factory and the magic.”

The Next Battleground — Marketing, IT and Social

Something else that showed up in this research — and a demonstration that companies aren’t learning from their pasts — is the hint of a brewing Marketing-IT battle over social media monitoring and reporting. Most companies surveyed have jumped on the social media wagon without any ideas about where the wagon is heading or how many people will follow the wagon’s trail or for how long, but it’s the latest and greatest wagon leaving town so they all jump aboard.

One above company’s Marketing Director told of a Facebook presentation to the CMO, CFO and others. The presentation was done by (and I quote) “…I swear to god the guy was twelve years old and he kept wiping his nose on the back of his hand during the presentation I don’t know, more than eleven times. I don’t know how our CFO held it together. There was no credibility in the room.”

Credibility or not, companies will climb on board rather than risk losing out and where dollars go, monitoring is sure to follow. But “how to monitor social campaigns” is being taught to IT when it should be taught to Marketing if for no other reason than to minimize the delay between numbers-in and action-out.

I mean, shouldn’t the person who drives the car be the one paying attention to the road?

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