Marketing Technology » Enterprise 2.0 Combining marketing and technology to develop new markets and grow existing ones Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:47:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Does using social media really lead to higher margins? Mon, 10 Jan 2011 13:55:26 +0000 admin According to the latest survey research from the McKinsey Global Institute, it does. Of course, this is fantastic news for all those – including myself – who have spent the last few years evangelising the application of web 2.0 technologies in the workplace. Cue tweets and blog posts regurgitating same.

But before you join their throng, take a closer look at the data and methodology – not to mention the comments, which reveal a number of caveats – and you’ll see that the reality doesn’t quite live up to the hype.

  1. All the data is self-reported rather than empirical and therefore subject to over- or under-estimation by respondents, some of whom are no doubt evangelists for these technologies in their own organisations.
  2. The correlation coefficients are very low and don’t isolate the impact of web 2.0 technologies to show that they are the cause of any business performance indicator improvements.
  3. Only ‘market share gains’ have a moderate correlation and high statistical significance, and this metric is often estimated and may not even be relevant to many organisations.
  4. The correlations of variables associated with operating margin are actually very low.

So ultimately, this is a pretty inconclusive study and to claim that ‘Web 2.0 finds its payday’ seems a little misleading. It may further the debate, but it by no means resolves it as many social media proponents are suggesting.

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Is Enterprise 2.0 a crock? Thu, 27 Aug 2009 07:52:51 +0000 admin Dennis Howlett thinks so (although he doesn’t say whether his hypothetical crock is full of gold or some other raw material).

I started writing a brief, witty response to his ZDNet post whacking anyone who dare use the term Enterprise 2.0 over the head with his stick of experience (and a touch of hindsight, which as we all know is a wonderful thing). Then I realised it would have to be a more reasoned and tempered response. After posting, I guessed that like most comments on blogs owned by big media it would be unlikely to be seen by many so here it is for your delectation. I’d be interested to know if you agree.

Yes, Enterprise 2.0 is a label. So was Groupware. Remember that? New things will always be given labels by the people trying to educate the market. Get over it.

So is Enterprise 2.0 trying to solve a problem? No. Because it’s just a label. Is it a thing you can go and buy? No. Because it’s just a label. Is it going to change the world? No. Because… you get the idea.

But the tech that sits under this label isn’t just about creating community, as this article seems to be implying. There ARE real business problems that this tech can HELP solve (but like any tech, not solve in itself).

Things like streamlining internal communication in businesses when information overload is the norm – in order to ensure employees are informed, engaged and motivated.

Things like getting sales people to share best practice from the field with the product and marketing people – in order to keep the product line relevant.

Things like improving collaboration amongst people who have never spoken to each other before, or work in different countries, cultures and time zones – in order to secure that vital piece of business.

Things like connecting people with each other and information (answering questions like “do we work with this prospect anywhere else in the world?” that no other piece of tech I have seen can do quite as well), and between information – in order to ensure that the company knows what it knows, what it knows it doesn’t know, and what it doesn’t know it knows.

Should tech vendors in the space start focusing on how their products solve some of these real business problems and stop evangelising Enterprise 2.0 as if it is some kind of panacea to cure all ills? Absolutely.

Is Enterprise 2.0 a crock? No. Because it’s just a label.

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To block or not to block… Wed, 03 Dec 2008 20:52:00 +0000 admin Since writing my book, the most common question I have been asked during presentations of my research is “should companies block access to Facebook?”. The answer, in my opinion, is not a straightforward yes or no, but usually “it depends”.

However new research from the Chartered Institute of Management suggests otherwise, going as far as to say that “the failure to allow widespread use of technology will hinder UK business in the long-run.”

There is, the organisation argues, a disconnect between employers who view Internet activity as a “massive time-waster” and the enthusiasm for Internet-based applications amongst Generation Y managers aged 35 and under.

The survey of 862 Institute members (which is apparently “almost 1,000″ according to the press release) found that 65 per cent of their employers block “inappropriate” websites and 18 per cent impose curfews that dictate when the Internet can be used at work. The study also claims that 65 per cent monitor employee Internet access, although I suspect that is considerably understated.

Whilst some of the other findings are somewhat dubious (relying yet again on respondents’ recollection of what they have done online in the last three months) and trying – and failing – to jump the Enterprise 2.0 bandwagon (“web-casting” is apparently a “new Internet (Web 2.0) technology”), this is further fuel to the argument that senior executives need to start boning up on what their future managers are going to expect – and demand – from them.

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Enterprise 2.0 – It’s Here! Thu, 03 Jul 2008 10:34:00 +0000 admin UPDATED 6 July 2008 – If you are in any doubt as to whether the book is relevant to you, I invite you to download the intro and first chapter (820Kb PDF) and decide for yourself.

I arrived back from a very relaxing vacation to a small package from
my publisher containing nothing less than 6 presentation copies of Enterprise 2.0, hot off the press.

The official publication date has been confirmed as 21 July, but
I’ve already heard from someone who pre-ordered that theirs arrived

I’m now in the process of making sure the key people involved get
either a hard copy or the eBook version to thank them for their

If you want to purchase your own copy, you can do so at the publisher’s site or Amazon (UK or US). Alternatively, if you’re interested in a bulk order to give to your
clients, staff, senior executives, conference delegates or otherwise, drop me a line and I’ll organise a discount for you.

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PR Spam and Enterprise 2.0 Wed, 04 Jun 2008 18:51:00 +0000 admin So far I’ve resisted the temptation to get involved in the debate around “PR spam” as I don’t think journalists and agencies will ever see eye to eye on the issue. That said, my interest in the topic was reignited today as I listened to a panel discussion at the Social Media Influence conference in London, entitled Putting the ‘Public’ back into Public Relations.

Let me make a few observations:

  • Spam is spam. It doesn’t matter where it originates from (or appears to originate from – this is important). It could be from a PR agency, a journalist, or someone offering you a 2008 Swiss Rolex, a medical doctor list from America or a no test, no class Bacheelor/MasteerMBA/Doctoraate dip1oma, VALID in all countries. Calling it “PR Spam” is like accusing all watch sellers of being spammers because you get one message from Rolex Watches with a reply address someone in the Ukraine.
  • I do not agree with the response of some journalists with blogs of publishing the email addresses or domains of those they consider to have “spammed” them. In fact, the latter is worse in my book as it unfairly tarnishes the reputation of everyone in an organisation as a result of the actions of one individual.
  • That said, they – like everyone else – should be able to ignore, delete or block emails from people they consider to have abused their inboxes.
  • PR agencies have a responsibility to educate their employees on the basic principles of email etiquette. They also have the power to trap mass mailings that pass through their email servers.
  • Clients also have a responsibility to listen to their agencies when they advise against sending mass emails to journalists or bloggers. Even if the list is properly targeted, it is still going to demonstrate a contempt of the influencers being communicated with.
  • The media list brokers like Cision and Vocus also have a responsibility. They need to ensure that each individual in their databases has a) opted in, b) been verified and ideally also c) the ability to manage their own data and preferences.
  • Finally, journalists and bloggers also have a responsibility to tell people how they want to be communicated with – and if they don’t. I personally accept that putting my opinions online means I am inviting comment and contact. If I don’t tell people not to contact me, I don’t see why I should be annoyed when they do.

The reason I was there was to moderate a panel discussion on social media In the Workplace & Behind the Firewall (and promote my book, of course – if you want a great pre-publication discount drop me a line). Struan Robertson (, Lee Bryant (Headshift), Richard Dennison (BT) and Ruth Ward (Allen & Overy) debated such topics as how to get started with social software in the enterprise and whether or not companies should block Facebook. The summary of the session goes something like this:

  • Just do it!
  • Don’t spend lots of money doing it
  • Experiment, don’t pilot
  • Don’t do it on your own
  • Hire intelligent people
  • Measure outcomes not output

Thanks to the guys at Custom Communication for putting on such a good show.

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Today’s Big News* Fri, 01 Feb 2008 14:22:00 +0000 admin It’s been 16 months since I broke the news that I had been asked to write a book on social software in the enterprise (now widely known as Enterprise 2.0 thanks to people like Andrew McAfee and Dion Hinchcliffe).

At 22.49 last night I sent my final manuscript (all 50,000 words of it) to my publisher. Phew.

Now the waiting begins. Hopefully they won’t require too many changes and we’ll be able to get into the exciting part of producing and marketing it fairly soon. I’ve already started my bit. My personal domain will be used to support the title, and the nice people at Socialtext have given me a wiki that I intend to become an ongoing revised edition.

It’s packed full of goodies including:

  • Enterprise 2.0 case studies from the BBC, BUPA, IBM, Janssen-Cilag, Microsoft, Oracle, Serena Software, SpencerStuart and the US Defense Intelligence Agency
  • A practical framework for classifying social software and mapping it to the culture of any organisation
  • A round up of the various different models of success (and advice on how to avoid failure)
  • Tips on implementation and adoption
  • A bonus chapter on social software outside the enterprise

I’m sure you can’t wait ;-)

I’m hoping that it will be published sometime in July, so start saving. If you want to reserve a copy (no obligation), just leave a comment or email me at and I’ll give you a shout when it’s ready to order.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get to this point.

* Oh, and some big company is trying to buy some other big company for what appears to be a very large sum of money, but of course that’s not as important as me delivering my manuscript.

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