Notes from #WOMMA Summit – Social Dimensions, the new Social CRM

WOMMA Summit 2010 was interesting this year because it brought out so much breadth in social objectives and initiatives. Companies have really begun to put structure on social – both organizationally, as both Josh Bernoff and Jeremiah Owyang discussed, and demonstrated by USAA, Harrah’s, Verizon and Coca-Cola – and programmatically.  The definition of social CRM is expanding considerably.  Here are my key takeaways:

There are 4 Key Dimensions in Social

Listening to the presentations at WOMMA summit last week in Las Vegas, it struck me that social activities and tools fall across two key dimensions for most companies, with objectives and associated initiatives each landing at one end of each spectrum or another, but not both:

  1. The Listening vs. Amplification dimension.  If a company’s efforts were focused on listening, they looked at things like monitoring, brand sentiment, getting feedback into the product development process or being responsive to the community. If the initiative is focused on generating WOM among customers or user base it falls in the amplification dimension. USAA for example has a community-focused initiative that is about being responsive directly to individuals, but a separate initiative around facilitating WOM.
  2. The Off-site vs. On-site dimension.  In the off-site dimension, companies focused on listening are monitoring the conversations happening on Twitter. Companies focused on amplification like Harrah’s are identifying and recruiting key influencers – bloggers who can engage fully with the travel experience and tell the story.  In the on-site dimension, Vail Resorts’ Mike Slone is focused on giving customers tools that drive sharing and amplified exposure – such as a loyalty program integrating web and real-world, where skiiers and boarders can earn “pins” for their mountain activities – and then share them with their social network friends.  But the company is also doing “off-site” by engaging key outside influencers like Lindsey Vonn.  One of my favorite tweets of the event was from @RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities) saying that they should create a social/digital guest book for their own site .

Peer to peer is critical for making social scale.  There was much data quoted on this topic. Rhonda Crawford, VP of Digital Media & Innovation, USAA quoted Marketing profs, saying 84% of people prefer advice from people they know over that from experts.  Companies and brands recognized that while listening is important, it’s not a scalable way to engage in social marketing. You can’t hire enough community managers to interact with everyone on a 1:1 basis, you have to enlist your community of brand advocates – your customers or users.

There is an enormous opportunity for the Travel category.  Brad Fay from the Keller Fay group presented data that showed how little WOM there is in travel in the United States compared with other industries, but how powerful that WOM is – the majority of it driving people to action, from research to purchase. The key insight here is that what is missing are the “triggers.” For example, people are eager to share just as they return from vacation, but stop abruptly when they get back into the swing of regular life. Seeing a photo or reading an article about their vacation destination can trigger that person to start talking again. So how can the travel industry help create these triggers to align with seasonality? Send photo postcards 10 months after a vacationer has returned from a trip? I’m personally excited to help design these user experiences and work with our travel clients like Fodor’s, Pleasant Holidays and CruiseNow to create make these triggers a reality.

B2B marketers are SAVVY in social. As a b2b marketer myself, I was eager to here how enterprise technology companies are using social tools. NetApp, Cisco and IBM gave great presentations – as it turns out 92% of NetApps sales originate on the web, so they are investing heavily in making more of their educational content discoverable on all channels, including YouTube.

I met and learned from many wonderful people this week. Thanks to the WOMMA team for a great event, Gigya is proud to be a member. Here are some other great posts and presentations:

Jeremiah Owyang

Petra @ Cisco

John Porcaro

John Bell

By Kevin White