I Know What You Did in the Last 60 Seconds

Our actions can come back to haunt us – as movie makers, novelists and storytellers the world over remind us. But what happens when the time between action and reaction reduces. What happens if we don’t have a whole summer to forget about what we did, why we did it and how it happened?

Welcome to the world of social media.

Following up on this infographic on the volume of data and activity that takes place across the web each and every minute, I thought it might scare/intimidate/excite you to know that happens to that data. The folks at Baynote have pulled together this infographic that goes some way towards explaining how your data, information and behaviour is mapped against a series of business outcomes:

  • Target advertising
  • Location based services
  • Notifications
  • Lead generation
  • Account authentication

But the big question for brands and for marketers is not even “what did you do”. It is “are you ready to be held to account for your actions”. It seems that despite our personal use of social media technology, precious few companies are ready for the social web at an organisational level. How about you?

social-data-infographic

Every Minute on the Web: Statistics to Amaze You

Remember when we used to think about how many “messages” people were exposed to during the day? Some would say hundreds, some thousands. Some of these messages would be subliminal – some would be “in your face”. Many of these would be difficult to recall – others would stand out, be unforgettable. Fewer still were remarkable.

But then along came the web with its banners, text ads, affiliate links, sponsored tweets, branded content, apps and dedicated websites.

The big difference between the pre-web and post-web world is not just measurement. Sure we can capture the number of actual impressions and clicks from online advertising – but we can capture so much more. We don’t just know how many, we often know who. We know when. We know what happened before you clicked and where you went afterwards. We know who you know and what you like.

It’s called “big data” and there’s a whole lot of behavioural information trapped in the clicks and links that we all make each day on the web. The challenge we face as marketers is to sort this data in ways that are meaningful for our businesses.

But what can all this data tell us? This infographic from business intelligence platform Domo explains what’s happening with each and every minute.

How-Much-Data-Is-Created-on-the-Internet-Every-Minute

Via theCuriousBrain.

For B2B, Google+ May Be Your Best Friend

For years I worked in business to business marketing in one form or another. I understood how all the different channels worked, loved the way that the newly emerging web brought immediacy to my communications and got a sense that the concept of “branding” was shifting under my feet.

And then I landed in the world of business to consumer marketing – working for an agency on big FMCG/entertainment and QSR brands. Despite years of experience I felt out of my depth. And one of the most challenging aspects was understanding the nature of SCALE. In the B2B world, your focus is on much more narrowly defined audiences – whereas for large consumer brands, scale is what works.

Over the last 10 years there has been a lot of cross-pollinating between B2B and B2C. Much of this has been driven by social media – or by our new appreciation of audiences that are a by-product of social media. Yet, I can’t help feeling a little disappointed that we haven’t learned another lesson of social media – that it’s not scale or reach that is important. It’s the engagement – and the potential to impact BEHAVIOUR – that is vital.

Take a look at this infographic from Pardot comparing Google+ and Facebook brand pages. The numbers are huge. The scale is amazing. But think about it – in B2B you often know WHO you want to reach (I don’t mean “who” in terms of a persona – I mean actual people working in actual businesses). The challenge is to find innovative and creative ways to not just reach, but to engage and prompt them to action. And if you think about that rather than the being dazzled by statistics, you might just find that Google+ is your new best friend.

Pages-vs-Plus11

Internet Trends 2012

Each year, venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers release their research and analysis into the trends they are observing across the web. Compiled by Mary Meeker, it’s packed with statistics and pithy one liners – and will provide plenty of fodder for your upcoming client presentations – especially where you need to reinforce the reports key themes – “internet growth remains robust and rapid mobile adoption is still in early stages”.

There were a few items that caught my attention:

  • Growth in internet user numbers is being driven by emerging markets – with China, India and Indonesia in the top 3, with the USA down the list at number 8
  • Australia ranks 14th in terms of mobile 3G subscribers – with 76% penetration and 21% year-on-year growth
  • While iPad adoption is astonishing (3x the iPhone) – Android is outpacing all devices currently running at 4x the iPhone
  • Mobile web traffic now accounts for 10% of all internet traffic

And while the statistics are fascinating – especially for the data nerds out there – the compelling part of this presentation is the focus on the “Reimagination of almost everything”. The report covers a wide variety of consumption habits, technologies, cultural and artistic production, information and so on – announcing what many of us already know – that the magnitude of change that is coming (or is already upon us) will be stunning.

KPCB Internet Trends 2012

Google Visualizes Your Brand

One of the benefits – and strategic advantages that Google is able to tap into each and every day – is the huge volume of data that is generated by our collective use of the free website measurement tools known as Google Analytics. Not only do these tools provide rich data and analytics capabilities to organisations and individuals the world over, that information is also aggregated by Google.

So while we are able to learn more about how people find, use, convert and engage on our websites, so too is Google able to tap this data store to reveal trends, understand behaviours and make sense of our globally connected work and life styles.

Add the abundance of information that comes from our daily use of the Google search engine, and this data store is awe inspiring.

Over the last few years, Google has made a range of tools available to tap into this data. Google Trends provides fantastic insight to search data – but the new Brand Impressions tool from Google thinkinsights team takes it a step further. You simply enter a brand name and wait while information is drawn from Google+, YouTube, Google Images and Google News, Google Maps and of course, Google Search. And in a few moments you have a nice, interactive infographic built specifically for your brand (or your clients’).

Here’s what was revealed when I queried global software brand SAP. Fascinating. And I am sure this is only the beginning. Over time, this tool is bound to improve – making it a great addition to your strategic insight toolbox. After all, data is great, visualisation can be breathtaking, but true insight is divine. Time to put your thinking caps on!

SAP-GoogleBrandImpressions

Report: Outlook for Australian Social Business

Outlook for Australian Social Business Report In the fast-moving world of social media, technology and marketing, you can be excused for feeling like you are being “left behind”. There’s always another new site, social network or mobile app to assess, figure out or show off to your friends and colleagues.

Now, the majority of these come from the US – but we are seeing more of these innovative startups appearing on the local Australian scene (take for example the recent launch of Roamz).

But startups are one thing. Adopting these innovations and using them in your business is quite another.

So a couple of months back I asked for input to a survey on the BUSINESS practice of social media. I wanted to know what people were thinking and what they were doing. I wanted to understand the ROADBLOCKS and the challenges as well as the opportunities that were emerging – specifically in an Australian context.

And now the results are in – and make for fascinating reading. The use of social media appeared far more widespread than I had expected – with a change in focus and a deeper commitment in terms of budget and resources. Moreover, this commitment cuts across all business sectors and sizes – it’s not just the small business owner who is investing in social business … the pattern is repeating right up to the largest national and global enterprises.

The real challenge is seems is twofold:

  1. Addressing the perception gap – the difference between what and how brands use social media and the expectations that their customers have
  2. Demonstrating value – we clearly need to find metrics that work for our businesses. Note that this does not seem to be a roadblock to investment!

You can download the analysis and the results here. The first 100 downloads are available at a 50% discount – only $49 (use discount code socialway).

I plan on repeating this survey each six months – to map this challenging and fast changing space. Keep up-to-date by subscribing to the Social Way newsletter.

How Average Is An Average Day on Facebook?

With all the hoopla about Facebook’s IPO, I thought it would be interesting to dig a little below the surface. Brian Solis points out that with 845 million monthly active users and 100 billion friend connections as at December 31, 2011, we’re looking at a valuation of about $5.90 per active user and about 5c per friend.

So, for the average Dunbar bound individual, it values your network at around $7.50 (there’s a premium calculation there on your individual active user value). But what does “average” look like in the Facebook world? This infographic from JESS3 provides a nice insight.

facebook-infographic

Via Business2Community.com

Best. Generation. Ever.

Often when we talk about the big, world changing trends that will shape our future, we focus only on technology. But, for me, the single biggest challenge facing us all in the next ten years is the retirement of the generation known as Baby Boomers.

It was previously expected that 2011 would mark a turning point in global demographics with Baby Boomers reaching retirement age. This has partly been ameliorated due to the global financial crisis which saw retirement savings slashed. But time waits for no man (or woman) – and the coming years will see drastic changes in our workplaces. Not only will we begin to lose corporate knowledge, business experience and capabilities – it will be replaced by a younger generation – the millennials (or Gen Y/Z) – with vastly different priorities and expectations.

The shock waves that radiate from this change will impact almost every aspect of our lives. This infographic from OnlineGraduatePrograms.com sums up some of these impacts nicely (with thanks to R Ray Wang). But think beyond the figures – think also of the behaviours – for that’s where the real change will hit us full force. Get ready.

millennials

Outlook for Australian Social Business in 2012

Are you involved in marketing or social media from a business perspective? If so, I’d love to have your input on the outlook for social media, marketing and social business in Australia for 2012. It is a very quick survey that should only take about FIVE minutes of your time. I will publish the results here on the blog, together with some analysis and maybe even some insight.

AND if you participate I will send you a nicely produced PDF version of the report that you can use in your marketing presentations next year!

Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia

We Are Social Singapore are showing impeccable timing in releasing their Guide to Social Digital and Mobile in Asia – especially as I will be focusing more closely on the Asia Pacific and Japan region through 2012.

There are some fascinating statistics dotted throughout – but the most powerful aspect is the sheer scale of social media adoption that has already taken place across Asia. Just think – there are 750,000,000 social media users across Asia. And that accounts for over half of the population in Brunei, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.

But if you are thinking social media in Asia – don’t think Facebook. It ranks a lowly fourth with 172 million members. That’s way behind Qzone with 536 million, Tencent with 310 million and Sina Weibo weighing in at 250 million.

And social is only part of the story. The clincher is mobile – with three quarters of the population (or almost 2.8 billion people) registered as mobile subscribers. Over one in five of these have access to the internet via their mobile phone – that’s 623 million people who use their phones to access online services.

But enough with the powerful, mind blowing statistics. Spend some time with the data in the report – but when doing so, think about behaviour. What is taking place with your customers in Asian markets? How does their usage, interest and even the limitations of mobile internet services impact the way you can engage them? What are the opportunities? And what shifts that lay ahead in 2012 can you use to surprise and delight your customers (and confound your competitors)?