Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays from Customers 1st

We're taking some much needed time off from our coverage of customer relationship management to celebrate the season with our loved ones. We want to sincerely thank you for your readership, your comments and your participation.

Here are our top posts from 2009:

Dell Delights Customers

NACCM 2009: Answering the Social Phone – Listening, Measuring, and Engaging in Social Media.

Hospital provides customer service training at the request of employees

We'll be back in January with more coverage.

We wish you Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from Community 2.0

We're taking some much needed time off from our coverage of social media and online communities to celebrate the season with our loved ones. We want to sincerely thank you for your readership, your comments and your participation.

Here are our top posts from 2009:
Track Presentation: Southwest Airlines - Nuts About Online Communications

Enterprise Customer Communities: Hot Topics for 2009

Keynote: Traditional Corporate Communication is Dead

We'll be back in January with more coverage.

We wish you Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from The Market Research Event!

We're taking some much needed time off from our coverage of shopper marketing and private label to celebrate the season with our loved ones. We want to sincerely thank you for your readership, your comments and your participation.

Here are our top posts from 2009:
A deeper look at the country music listener
Creating "Delicious" Research
The Skinny on Marketing Research at Facebook

We'll be back in January with more coverage.

We wish you Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Social Media Strategies & Community 2.0 Brochure Available

Welcome to Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies

Targeted advice for business managers seeking real-life stories of how to leverage social media for real results. Not just entertainment value, hype or buzz, but real-world examples of driving revenue, cutting costs, and energizing conversations around your brand.

For more information, visit the webpage here.
Download the brochure here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Facebook Campaign Beats Cowell's New Singer

CNN.com reports that Rage Against the Machine has claimed the prestigious No. 1 spot on the British singles chart on the last Sunday before Christmas, marking the first time in five years the winner of Simon Cowell's "X-Factor" has not won.

Joe McElderry's "The Climb" came in second, beaten by a huge online swell of support for "Killing in the Name," backed by a Facebook group with nearly 1 million members.
It was the first time a group had ever won the top slot based on downloads alone, BBC's "The Chart Show" said.

It's reported that this upset is the product of a very savvy social media pair. Jon and Tracy Morter, who led the Facebook campaign for Rage Against the Machine have since turned down offers by Simon Cowell to "be in marketing or even running the company!' reports The Daily Mail.

Learn more:






Friday, December 18, 2009

Social Media Plans a Must for Businesses in '10

Vanessa DiMauro has a fascinating look at social media policies in her recent post on CustomerThink.com. DiMauro warns that a social media policy should be implemented across an organization as soon as possible. This will arm the organization with a set of procedures and policies that can keep everyone on the same page with regard to corporate communication. DiMauro offers a few tips on what to consider when formulating at social media plan.

Some questions to consider when formulating a plan:
What is your company culture like? Make sure that the social media policy reinforces company culture - an informal organization will have a different policy than, say, a government agency.

How do you want the employees to engage with clients and prospects? Take into account the in-person sales and marketing channel strategy and align the social media policy to those best practices.

What is considered confidential to your organization? Spell out what hind of information can and can't be shared publicly.

How should staff represent them selves to others? Standardize or provide guidelines so that there is an evenness to your online footprint. Should all sales staff, for example, use a similar moniker in their twitter name or is it up to the person to decide?

What does transparency mean to your company? Too often people confuse personal opinion with company-representation. Can a staff of your organization share displeasure with the company's product or services online without disclosing she work for your company?

For more information on creating a social media plan, we encourage you to check our DiMauro's post in its entirety.

Learn more: Why You Need A Social Media Policy in 2010

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Twitter's Top Trending Topics of 2009


PCWorld.com just released their top trending topics of 2009. As we look through the list -- any surprises? What other topics should have been included? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

There are plenty of lists on the PCWorld website, click here.


News Events

1. #iranelection
2. Swine Flu
3. Gaza
4. Iran
5. Tehran
6. #swineflu
7. AIG
8. #uksnow
9. Earth Hour
10. #inaug09

Technology became a disruptive force in Iran this summer when protests broke out over the results of that country's presidential elections. Tech tools like twitter, cell phones, digital cameras, Flickr, YouTube and Facebook were all employed to get the word out and raise global awareness about the controversy. Since the protests, the actual impact of Twitter and other technologies on the protests have been called into question, but there's no doubt Iran was a hot topic online this year.
Technology

Google Wave was the hottest technology topic on Twitter for 2009. Google's collaborative work platform grabbed a large amount of interest when it was first announced, but since then enthusiasm for Wave has diminished. Apple and Microsoft got their fair share of tweets after launching the Snow Leopard and Windows 7 operating systems. And Palm's Pre was the only smartphone to make any of Twitter's top ten lists for 2009.

1. Google Wave
2. Snow Leopard
3. Tweetdeck
4. Windows 7
5. CES
6. Palm Pre
7. Google Latitude
8. #E3
9. #amazonfail
10. Macworld

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gartner Says Nokia to Blame for Low Smartphone Purchases

PCWorld.com reports today that although sales of smartphones have risen in Q3 of 2009, the increase was much lower than anticipated. Gartner, the market research firm, believes that Nokia's smartphones may be to blame. Mikael Ricknäs, IDG News Service reports:

But the third quarter was a disappointment -- mainly due to Nokia's lack of attractive high-end smartphones. And consumers who like Nokia's products are not necessarily buying smartphones from other vendors, so the market is taking a hit, according to Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner.

Still, in 2013 more than every third phone sold will be a smartphone, unless mobile operators persist at packaging smartphones with flat-rate data plans, which could put the total cost out of reach for many consumers, according to Milanesi.

What do you think about smartphone purchases -- is Nokia really to blame?

Learn more: Smartphone Sales Increase Disappoints, Says Gartner

Meet the speakers of Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies: Ali McCourt, TurboTax Inner Circle

We’re pleased to announce d like to present you with the first of a series of speaker podcasts delivered by our outstanding Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies speaker faculty.

Our first conversation is with Ali McCourt, who is the leader of the TurboTax Inner Circle.


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Download the podcast here.
Download the transcription here.

Can you tell us about the TurboTax Community?
Ali: I manage a community called The TurboTax Inner Circle. And essentially what it is is a volunteer army, a group of about 25,000 customers, and they participate with us by raising their hand and telling us that they want to help build better products and services. We work with them throughout the year to get those insights. So the goal for our community is two fold. On the product and marketing site, it’s really to obtain quick customer insight to help us drive enhancements and changes. On the customer side, it’s really building loyalty among those who want to engage with us. So it’s really great because as a result of interacting with them, and getting quick iterations on our product, obviously we get those benefits in that we get to push those to our product. And then on the customer loyalty side, we get to build this engaged group of evangelists who help spread word of mouth. And then they’re also leveraged for immediate feedback year round. We have great participation rates within our community.

How has it helped build a relationship with your customers? Has there been a financial benefit from creating this community?
Ali: Absolutely. Any time you really listen to customers and take their feedback to heart, and put it into your products, you’re going to see the financial benefits, because these are the people who buy your products. But chances are that more specifically within this community, I’ll give you an example. We launched a feature about a year and a half ago and we saw an immediate lift in revenue by $6 million. And since it’s been implemented, we’ve seen a lift of over $19 million in the last two years and that’s just with one feature. We do this year round, there’s upwards of 30 or 40 interactions per year that we have with this group. So financial upside is kind of a no brainer when you consider the cost of what it takes to listen to your customers.

Now for the first question, how does this help with engagement? I think this really helps us humanize our brand. So, this group of 25,000 customers sees me as TurboTax Ali. So now there’s a face and a persona with the brand versus “Oh, it’s Intuit,” or “Oh, it’s TurboTax.” They really have this special relationship with me and they know that they can come to myself or the community to get help or give feedback, to really know that they’re listened in their feedback and their time is taken to heart. So for us, I think that’s the biggest benefit. And that’s why we keep doing this, and it kind of creates this virtuous cycle of engagement. We’re able to close the loop with them and tell them where their feedback has been enacted. Pointing to it actually gets them more excited to get participating and giving us more ideas. I think this is the best way we’ve worked to create engagement.

You won a Groundswell Award for your work on this online community. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Ali: The Groundswell Award we won last year was for Company Transformation. So I have to give credit to my colleagues, so it wasn’t just the Inner Circle that won the award. It was our whole company. So QuickBooks community, who is another business division of our company, has their own community. The Inner Circle was also part of that, and then our TurboTax Live Community, which is a live question and answer based support site. This leverages the power of community in order to answer those questions.

What I think it really goes back to is that social is in Intuit’s DNA. Our founder Scott Cook is a huge advocate of listening to customers and building our products around their feedback and what they think would be easy to do. I think it’s really a part of our brand since we’ve been around in the last 25, 26 yeas. We think of it in three components. We’ve got the social media side, which is more marketing through Twitter, Facebook, contests, etc. Then we have the technology, which is the platform you build the components on. If you wanted to leverage social data, that’s where it falls into place. And then we have our communities, which is the Inner Circle and the live community side of things. The way we’ve broken this down into the different components has defiantly shown in winning the Groundswell award. It’s not just one silo in our company, it’s transparent throughout. No matter who you talk to, everyone is excited to talk to customers, and I think that’s kind of why we’ve been so successful.

To find out more about Ali McCourt's presentation and the rest of the Social Media Strategies and Community 2.0 event, download the brochure here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

How can publishers use Twitter?

J. S. McDougall of the Huffington Post recently wrote a list of how book publishers can best use Twitter. The tips are publishing specific, but how can you twist them to best fit your industry?

1. [Tweet this tip!] Sign up for Twitter then cruise through WeFollow.com,TwitDir.com and the new Twitter Lists to find and follow folks in your niche.

2. [Tweet this tip!] Create several Twitter accounts based on the niches in which you publish.

3. [Tweet this tip!] Avoid the temptation to automate. It is important that you are on Twitter to respond to the community.

4. [Tweet this tip!] Sell books by adding substantive information from your books and authors to the conversation. No hard sales pitches, please.

5. [Tweet this tip!] Have fun. Invent new ... ways to engage your Twitter community--contests, polls, jokes, raffles, giveaways, etc.

6. [Tweet this tip!] Twitter accounts dedicated to a single book are hard to build and sustain. Stick with the larger niche.

7. [Tweet this tip!] If you are one of a few people running a single Twitter account, be open about it by signing your name ala: -Jesse

8. [Tweet this tip!] Create and use hashtags to start and follow conversations in your niche.

9. [Tweet this tip!] Join appropriate Twitter groups (twittgroups.com) and have honest interactions with the folks there.

10. [Tweet this tip!] Use tools to track your Twitter success: ChartBeat,HootSuite, Google Analytics.




Social Media Strategies and Community 2.0 has a panel called How Can I Unlock the Business Value of Twitter to Innovate, Interact, Inform?" which pulls from businesses currently using Twitter such as Sega, Planet Hollywood, Southwest, The Travel Channel and Whole Foods. For more on this panel, and the conference, download the brochure here.

Free Web Seminar - Stated "Versus" Derived Importance: A False Dichotomy

Date/Time: Thu, Jan 14, 2010 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
Register: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/542471264
Mention priority code MWS0028BLOG

Stated or Derived?

It’s a perennial question among applied marketing researchers who typically consider stated and derived importance methods as alternative ways of measuring the same construct.

But is this a correct assumption?

Find out by joining Keith Chrzan, Vice President, Marketing Sciences, Maritz Research for this informative IIR Webinar. Chrzan -- one of the marketing research industry’s leading experts -- will explore the two methods in greater detail and reveal how they, in fact, measure different things. Most of the criticisms directed at both methods apply only if they are done poorly, and in this presentation, Chrzan will distinguish better from worse ways of doing both stated and derived importance. He will also provide examples of importance measurement gone wrong and show how such error can cost companies millions. Additionally, the Webinar will reveal that the two methods have about equal validity when done properly.

What you’ll learn:

- Stated and derived importance measure different things
- If one method is better than the other
- As commonly done (90+% of applications) both methods are fraught with problems
- Both methods can be improved substantially using better measures and models
- Both methods have about equivalent validity when done properly

OFFICIAL CALL FOR PRESENTERS - Submission Deadline EXTENDED The Life Stage Marketing Summit Uncovering Opportunities for High Priority Segments

Email krivielle@iirusa.com by Tuesday, December 15, 2009

May 10-12, 2010
Hotel Sax
Chicago

IIR is excited to announce that we are putting the finishing touches on the Life Stage Marketing Summit. We are looking for just a few more speakers to cover the following session topic areas: Social Media Strategies (measurement & ROI, branding and innovation are priority key themes), Marketing & Engagement for specific life stage or life style segments and research and Segmentation and Trend Insights, as it relates to understanding your key segments or emerging priority segments better. Case studies are particularly well received.

If you have an interesting case study or provocative perspective to share please contact me directly.

Session topics include but are not limited to:
· Transition in Life Stage: How Your Customer Evolves
· Breaking into New Life Stages without Alienating Your Consumer Base
· Products Across Life Stages - Which Ones Succeed and Why?
· Researching Life Styles and Stages: Tools and Techniques
· Innovating New Products or Services for Multiple Life Stages and Styles
· Common Threads and Differences in Specific Segments
· Creating an Authentic Message to Build Loyalty for Life
· Integrating New Trends into Traditional Products to Grow Your Brand
· Emerging Product Markets for Various Life Stages
· Product Life Stages: Introducing and Removing Products
· Ethnography for Universal Design
· The Spread of Technology through Life Stages
· Keeping Your Product Relevant as Your Consumer Ages
· Using Social Networks and Blogs as a Marketing Tool? What Works?
· The Right Mix of New Media to Reach Your Target Market
· Mobile and Online Marketing: Where Your Consumers Are
· Trends in Social Media and Technology
· How Your Consumers are Using Online Now
· Cutting Edge Trends: What's Next?

The Audience
Who will attend? Leaders from a variety of industries with responsibilities in:

· Marketing
· Market Research and Development
· Product and Brand Management
· Consumer, Customer, Shopper, Strategic Insights
· New Product Development/Management
· Strategic Planning and Development
· Customer Experience, Loyalty, Retention
· Business Development
· eMarketing/Social Media
· Innovation & Discovery
· Communications/Design


Speaker Benefits
Our speakers join us for countless reasons. Come include:
· To advance the purpose and value of reaching life stages and styles
· To showcase the critical role of reaching life stages and styles within their organization
· To network with their peers and other industry leaders and participate in high level, intellectual exchanges

Added Bonus: Each speaker will receive free admission to the conference (a $3000+ value) including admission to all conference sessions, networking breaks, lunches, exhibit hall, cocktail party, etc.

Submission Guidelines & Deadline
For consideration, please e-mail Kim Rivielle at krivielle@iirusa.com with the following information by Monday, December 14th:
· Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
· Contact information including address, phone and e-mail
· Title of presentation
· Brief overview of the presentation (1 short paragraph plus 2 bullets that illustrate audience takeaways): Please note: if your proposal is selected, portions of this description will be printed in the brochure and used online to promote your participation
· Previous conference presentation experience and/or brief speaker biography

Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Thank you for your interest in The Life Stage Marketing Summit!


All the best,

Kim Rivielle
Managing Director
Marketing and Business Strategy Division
Institute for International Research
krivielle@iirusa.com
708 Third Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017

Friday, December 11, 2009

Submission Deadline Extended: The Life Stage Marketing Summit Official Call for Presenters

From: Kim Rivielle, Managing Director, IIR
Deadline: December 14, 2009
Re: The Life Stage Marketing Summit
Event Date: May 10-12, 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
________________________________________

The Institute for International Research is excited to announce that we are putting the finishing touches on the Life Stage Marketing Summit. We are looking for just a few more speakers to cover the following session topic areas: Social Media Strategies (measurement & ROI, branding and innovation are priority key themes), Marketing & Engagement for specific life stage or life style segments and research and Segmentation and Trend Insights, as it relates to understanding your key segments or emerging priority segments better. Case studies are particularly well received.

If you have an interesting case study or provocative perspective to share please contact me directly.

Session topics include but are not limited to:
• Transition in Life Stage: How Your Customer Evolves
• Breaking into New Life Stages without Alienating Your Consumer Base
• Products Across Life Stages - Which Ones Succeed and Why?
• Researching Life Styles and Stages: Tools and Techniques
• Innovating New Products or Services for Multiple Life Stages and Styles
• Common Threads and Differences in Specific Segments
• Creating an Authentic Message to Build Loyalty for Life
• Integrating New Trends into Traditional Products to Grow Your Brand
• Emerging Product Markets for Various Life Stages
• Product Life Stages: Introducing and Removing Products
• Ethnography for Universal Design
• The Spread of Technology through Life Stages
• Keeping Your Product Relevant as Your Consumer Ages
• Using Social Networks and Blogs as a Marketing Tool? What Works?
• The Right Mix of New Media to Reach Your Target Market
• Mobile and Online Marketing: Where Your Consumers Are
• Trends in Social Media and Technology
• How Your Consumers are Using Online Now
• Cutting Edge Trends: What's Next?

The Audience
Who will attend? Leaders from a variety of industries with responsibilities in:
• Marketing
• Market Research and Development
• Product and Brand Management
• Consumer, Customer, Shopper, Strategic Insights
• New Product Development/Management
• Strategic Planning and Development
• Customer Experience, Loyalty, Retention • Business Development
• eMarketing/Social Media
• Innovation & Discovery
• Communications/Design
• Licensing/Sales
• Segmentation
• User Experience

Speaker Benefits
Our speakers join us for countless reasons. Come include:
• To advance the purpose and value of reaching life stages and styles
• To share best practices and lessons learned
• To showcase the critical role of reaching life stages and styles within their organization
• To reinforce their own position as an expert and share results of an exciting project or study
• To network with their peers and other industry leaders and participate in high level, intellectual exchanges

Added Bonus: Each speaker will receive free admission to the conference (a $3000+ value) including admission to all conference sessions, networking breaks, lunches, exhibit hall, cocktail party, etc.

Submission Guidelines & Deadline
For consideration, please e-mail Kim Rivielle at krivielle@iirusa.com with the following information by Monday, December 14th:
• Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• Contact information including address, phone and e-mail
• Title of presentation
• Brief overview of the presentation (1 short paragraph plus 2 bullets that illustrate audience takeaways): Please note: if your proposal is selected, portions of this description will be printed in the brochure and used online to promote your participation
• Previous conference presentation experience and/or brief speaker biography

Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Thank you for your interest in The Life Stage Marketing Summit!
All the best,

Kim Rivielle
Managing Director
Marketing and Business Strategy Division
Institute for International Research
krivielle@iirusa.com
708 Third Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Social Media Influencing Holiday Purchases

InformationWeek.com reports that a recent survey by comScore found that 28% of online shoppers were influenced by info on Facebook or Twitter in making holiday purchases.

In its latest poll, comScore found that consumer-generated product reviews were the most cited social media purchase influence in the period with 13% of the poll respondents citing that category. Another 11% said they were influenced by an expert product review; followed by a Facebook fan page, 7%; a Facebook friend's recommendation, 6%; company recommendations on Twitter, 5%; and "tweets" from a friend, 3%.

Do you think that the holiday shopping experience has gone entirely social?

Learn more: Social Media Influencing Holiday Purchases

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Social Media Today Web Seminar: Adding Value with Online Community: How to Leverage Community for Fun & Profit

Adding Value with Online Community: How to Leverage Community for Fun & Profit
Webinar December 18, 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT

Register now: http://bit.ly/7nM0AE

In the last two years, the business discussion around online community has evolved from “whether” to “how” and “for what purpose.” No longer regarded as peripheral to communications and marketing strategy, it is seen as core to development of brand, product, and positive customer experience.

The issues arising around online community are now more specific, and reflect the tremendous growth in understanding of communities and the value derived from them. Companies and organizations are creating or sponsoring communities of purpose everywhere on the web. They can be long-lasting, or intended to convene only for a single specific purpose. They are built and exist on many platforms, offered by a growing variety of vendors.

The measures of success also vary, but there is also an evolving set of “best practices” honed by leading researchers like Beeline Labs in its work with Deloitte. Increasingly, marketers are beginning to establish compelling case studies demonstrating significant ROI around communities for reducing costs, generating leads, and plain-old product sales.

In cooperation with Social Media Group, the leading boutique advertising agency for social media, Social Media Today is proud to present a live interactive webcast to explore these developments, the third in its series of discussions about the real events in the world of social media.

This webinar is also an opportunity to introduce you to our new online community, The Social Customer, which is devoted to the discussion of this important topic and other aspects of customer service today. By registering for this webinar, you'll automatically become a member of The Social Customer community.

We plan on delving into the following issues, as well as responding live to audience questions:

  • What are the various types of community and what are some of their reasons for being?
  • What makes an online community work?
  • How do you measure success? Operationally? Bottom-line?
  • What are the ways that communities fail?
  • What are the best platforms and technologies available?
  • How should you budget for costs?
Social Media Panel of Experts:
Maggie Fox (@maggiefox)
Rachel Happe (@rhappe)
Neil Beam
Francois Gossieaux

Media Sponsor

IIR USA's Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies
May 3-5, 2010 Boston World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel

Presenting Sponsors


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Digital advertisment pays off for Delta

From February to mid-June of 2009, Delta worked with Digitas to more effectively target it's potential customers of international travel. They worked with Digitas to reach these customers through digital mediums at places of high traffic such as ferry terminals, health clubs, gas stations and cafes, to increase awareness of Delta as an international carrier.

The success of the campaign was substantial:
-- Awareness of Delta as an international carrier increased by more than 28%.
-- Among business travelers, the perception that Delta "flies to the international destinations you want to go to" increased 26%.
-- The percentage of people "very likely" to recommend Delta to friends, family or colleagues increased by 61%.
-- 32% of those who noticed the screens (index of 695 against U.S. national average) fit Delta's income demo.
-- Those who noticed the screens were frequent travelers who had an average of 5.2 business trips a year.
-- Overall awareness of Delta increased by 15%

Have you begun to target your potential customers digitally? What are your goals when doing so? How have you best found a way to measure that?

Source: CNN Money

Recent Study Shows Phishing on Facebook has Increased

A recent study conducted by the internet security company Sophos has some shocking details as highlighted by this post on ReadWriteWeb. In the study Sophos created fake accounts to see how the majority of people acted towards friend requests and how much information is made publicly available by its users. Here are the results of Facebook users that gave "Freddi" (the fake account) access to their personal information.

- 72% of respondents divulged at least one email address
- 84% of respondents listed their full date of birth
- 87% of respondents provided details about their education or workplace
- 78% of respondents listed their current address or location
- 23% of respondents listed their current phone number
- 26% of respondents provided their IM screen name

Will Facebook up its phishing policy to put an end to fake accounts?

Budget cuts axe KS Medicaid customer service line

The Kansas City Star reports today that Medicaid budget cuts in Kansas have forced the state to axe its customer service line. Starting in February, a help line for doctors and pharmacists who provide Medicaid care in Kansas will close. Hours for a customer service line for Medicaid recipients will be “sharply” reduced.

The delays in confirming eligibility for new Medicaid applicants will grow. The state will cut $200,000 in funding earmarked for overtime and extra help to reduce the backlog.

Are there any other means of customer service that the state can introduce?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friendster's Facelift and Rumored Sale

Late last week there were rumors that the once wildly popular social network, Friendster, will soon be sold for a reported $100M. The social network, popular with 16-24 year olds in Southeast Asia has recently undergone a site transformation, perhaps prepping it for the big sale. SFGate.com reports, "We've responded to the needs and wants of our core user base, Asian youth," said Friendster spokesman Jeff Roberto. "Friendster is dominant among the youth sector in Asia, and today, Asia represents the largest and fastest growing Internet and mobile phone user populations in the world."

Roberto would not comment on a Reuters story that Friendster will be sold by the end of the year for more than $100 million to a firm based in Asia.

He said there were "inaccuracies'' in the story, but declined to comment further citing company policy. CEO Richard Kimber told The Chronicle in October that Friendster hoped to find a "strategic partner'' by the end of this year.

Learn more: Friendster undergoes "green" facelift, reported close to sale

Friday, December 4, 2009

Poor Customer Service Costs Billions

DestinationCRM.com reports that a new, "The Cost of Poor Customer Service: The Economic Impact of the Customer Experience and Engagement," may finally put the damage bad service can create into a language executive boards understand -- dollars and cents. According to the survey of 8,880 consumers across 16 countries, poor customer service cost an aggregate of $338.5 billion per year, the average value of each lost relationship across all countries surveyed costing $243.

Learn more: Poor Customer Service Costs Billions

Is this news to you? How are you leveraging the costs of customer service?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Social Media and Movies Mix on Movieclips.com

Wednesday's launch of Movieclips.com by Zack James, 27 is an "unprecedented move" by the studios to allow free movie content.

Lauren A.E. Schucker of The Wall Street Journal writes, "Users of the site...can find clips from more than 1,200 films, ranging from classics like "The Wizard of Oz" to the latest "Twilight" sequel. The Movieclips site allows fans to rent or purchase films from retailers after browsing clips; it also offers ways to share clips on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook...In a rare move, all six major Hollywood studios, including Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., have agreed to license content to the site, perhaps hoping to boost DVD sales by sharing promotional content like clips."

Site Brings Movies to Social Media

Do you think Movieclips.com has the strength to compete with other video sharing sites?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Facebook Integrates with Yahoo

This blog post in Search Engine Land highlights how Yahoo has announced that they will integrate many properties with Facebook Connect. Facebook will be integrated in Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yahoo Answers, and Yahoo Sports. Yahoo users will also be able to see Facebook friends' activities on their yahoo pages and even share content from Yahoo. This is very exciting news!

Social Media Marketers Declare Success

eMarketer.com reports that The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has followed up on its 2007 and 2008 studies of social media usage by the Inc. 500. Adoption and awareness continue to trend upward, with 91% of firms using at least one social media tool in 2009 and three-quarters describing themselves as “very familiar” with social networking.

Social networking and blogging have seen the most growth in adoption, while other technologies have flattened or even declined in use, including wikis and online video. Twitter usage, of course, has caught on quickly—more than one-half of businesses reported tweeting in 2009. This was the first year respondents were polled about Twitter.

Social Media Marketers Declare Success

We've seen the success of social media marketing in market research; but how about you? Are you seeing success with this new marketing medium?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Customer service strategy more important in emerging markets

Barney Beal of SearchCRM.com reports today that customers in emerging markets seem to have more bad experiences to share thereby making a customer service strategy even more important for businesses. According to the results of a recent survey by Accenture,
the survey, conducted over the summer, found that 87% of consumers in emerging markets switched providers in at least one industry sector because of poor service in the past year. That's 18% more than the global average. And, the survey suggests, they're not hesitant to tell others about their experiences -- 69% tell their acquaintances about bad experiences and 25% use social media to spread the word. In emerging markets, 40% of consumers said they use blogs and other online media to tell others about their negative experiences.

Learn more: Customer service strategy more important in emerging markets

Reminder Free Web Seminar Next Wednesday: New Research Study: Do Consumers Prefer Private Label? A Look Into Consumer Attitudes About Private Label

Date/Time: Wed, Dec 9, 2009 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST
Register: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/781266785
Mention priority code MWS0020BLOG

Do consumers know the difference between national brands and store brands? Do they care? How do they describe private label compared to national brands? Does this differ across categories? How about across markets?

Private label and store brands are having an impact on many consumer purchases today, both in the US and Europe. And within these markets the definition of private label compared to national brands varies according to category and retailer.

When is a brand important? What makes a national brand different? Do consumers feel the same way about brands today as they did a year ago? Why or why not?

Showcasing BuzzBack’s unique portfolio of award-winning online research techniques, this webinar will highlight new consumer research conducted in the US and UK about purchasing behavior and attitudes associated with private label versus national consumer brands. The study will present ways to identify consumer behavior and attitudes about shopping via an online survey.

As you listen in, you will learn:
• What drives consumer purchases of private label brands and why
• Consumer perceptions and attitudes about private label compared to national brands
• Types of people who purchase private label compared to national brands

Featured Speaker
Brendan Light, SVP, Research and Development, BuzzBack Market Research

Twitter, Facebook, Google Go Red for World AIDS Day

Today is World Aids Day, and popular social networks have shown their support by going "red" in remembrance of the individuals lost to this deadly disease. Mashable writes, the Twitterhomepage has turned red, but you can also help out by adding the hashtag #red to the end of your tweets, which will make them turn (literally) red. It also works with the hashtag #laceupsavelives, which is a part of Nike’s campaign, promoting their new product: RED laces, designed to fight AIDS in Africa. Follow twitter.com/joinred/ to learn more and support the cause.

There’s also a campaign on Facebook over at www.facebook.com/joinred; share the (RED) video and make your profile picture (RED) if you’d like to raise awareness about this campaign.

Google has added a link to its homepage with information on how you can help and join the various campaigns related to the World AIDS day.

Twitter, Facebook, Google Go Red for World AIDS Day

Do you think that this social media response will help spur awareness of AIDS?