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  • Bill Cushard 9:00 am on April 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Improving Sales Enablement with Enterprise Social Networks 

    Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we have the pleasure of presenting a new Zyncro Blog author: Bill Cushard (@billcush). He is an authorblogger, and learning experience (LX) designer with extensive, in-the-trenches experience building learning programs that leverage blended and social learning methods. You can follow him on Twitter or on Google+.

    According to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), U.S. businesses spend $15 billion per year on sales training and that many sales people find the training ineffective or less than useful. This statistic should drive business leaders crazy because it forces them to ask what they are getting from such a large investment. And this number is just in the United States. Imagine what that number would be if one includes businesses around the globe. Because of the large amount spent on sales training each year, there is great value in solving the problem of improving the effectiveness of sales enablement efforts in organizations.

    The question is, “How can organizations improve sales enablement efforts, in order to get the most out of the large investment they are making in preparing the sales force to grow their businesses?” According to research, I believe there is promise in the use of enterprise social networks (ESN).

    Research is Pointing Towards ESNs

    In a 2012 article in the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, it is suggested that the future of sales training must be individualized, jointly determined, voluntary, tailored to fit mutual needs and offered in various modes. Accordingly, the authors advise that future research should explore different types of technology delivery methods, including social, which could help improve sales training effectiveness.

    Enterprise social networks seem to satisfy this need, which is why I am conducting a research project for my dissertation to test Etienne Wenger’s (1998) social theory of learning. I am seeking to find out whether there is a relationship between participation of newly hired sales people on an enterprise social network and sales results. In other words, if newly hired sales people participate in peer-to-peer, social learning activities on an enterprise social network, will their sales results improve? According to a social theory of learning, it should.

    A Social Theory of Learning: How People Learn

    One key element of a social theory of learning considers that people learn through a back-and-forth duality between participation and reification. Participation refers to taking part in communication, activities, or events and applies both to individuals and groups. Reification refers to the process of solidifying the experience of participation in the form of resources. In other words, learning occurs when there is participation in conversation and available resources about a specific topic.  

    Where Enterprise Social Networks Come In

    Enterprise social networks are designed perfectly with the need for participation and reification in mind. Think about it. On an enterprise social network, people can continually participate in conversations and those conversations can contain links to resources and those conversations themselves become resources (reified conversations) that others can access.

    So, if sales enablement is an on-going process of equiping a sales force and learning occurs through an ongoing process of participation and reification, then enterprise social networks should be a foundational platform to get the most out of an organization’s sales enablement efforts.

    But how, you ask?

    There are many ways enterprise social networks can be leveraged to support sales enablement. Here are three ways to start:

    1. Find Experts: It is not always easy to find the right person with the right expertise in medium to large sized companies. This is especially a problem in companies with offices around the world. With an enterprise social network, people can find expertise from people they have never met and from people around the world.

    2. Ask Questions: We all get stuck on a problem from time-to-time. It could be in a sales meeting, a technical support call, or on a big project with new stakeholders. Sometimes, we do not have the answers we need. On an enterprise social network, we can ask a question. Sure, it is easy to ask questions from people who sit near you, but how do you ask questions of people who work in different offices? And how do you ask questions from people you don’t even know?  An enterprise social network empowers people to ask questions of anyone in the organization.

    3. Sharing Resources and Stories of Success and Failure: If I read an article about a major change to an industry that my company sells to, I can post that link to everyone in my sales organization so that the team is aware. To make my post even more valuable, I can add some commentary to set the context for why I think it is important. This commentary can spark a conversation from others and a discussion can occur that may impact a broader group of sales people.  Furthermore, I can share a recent success I had trying a new sales technique that might benefit the team. Someone else may comment on my story about how that same technique did not work for them. Others can ask further questions and decide for themselves whether the technique would work for them and how they could apply it to their situation. This is a scenario that no training can keep up with.

    Sales Enablement Is Not Just About Sales Training

    Sales enablement is not just about sales training. In fact, Forrester defines sales enablement as an ongoing process that equips client-facing employees to have valuable conversations with clients and prospective clients. Yes, training is vital, and so is a systematic sales process. But in order to foster and sustain an ongoing process that equips your sales force, an enterprise social network must become a foundational infrastructure in sales enablement efforts. As much as organizations spend on sales enablement, efforts to equip the sales force in a sustainable way should be a top priority.

    How do you use enterprise social networks to sustain your sales enablement efforts? Share your stories in the comments below. The sales force of Telefónica Latin America use Zyncro. This is our best example :-)

     
  • Jose Manuel Perez Marzabal 9:00 am on March 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The importance of Internet naming for your digital strategy 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    One of the most critical aspects in online branding strategy is associated with domain names. Historically we found a tense relationship between domain names on the Internet and third-party brands that coincidentally match them. This tension has generated numerous predatory and parasite practices like, among others, the systematic usurpation of domain names for later sale to the highest bidder as a business model.

    From a current and practical perspective, in the context of the so-called Web 2.0 that represents an evolution regarding traditional corporate websites, we are faced by the phenomenon of naming and personalized addresses that social networks provide (“vanity URLs”). In my modest opinion, the previous situation is repeated which gives clear precedent of the figure of the “cybersquatters” before the existing policy of the ICANN was consolidated as a fundamental part of the entire works for registering and resolving controversies stemming from the holder of a domain name and a third party for the registration and abusive exploitation of the name in the scope of Internet domains (also known for its acronym “UDRP”), to favor the resolution of disputes by arbitral mechanisms with the intervention of accredited entities, including World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

    The elements making up the internet of computer networks need to be identified and differentiated from others through a unique and irrepetible address. Said identification is achieved through IP address and the domain name system (DNS). The domain names, which have the legal nature of immaterial goods, went from being a simple electronic address to being a distinctive sign sui generis that identifies individuals and legal entities, which make up the ecosystem of the Internet.

    However, and here lies a potential source of litigation, practically any user name can be registered as a URL address on the social networks and web applications with the sole requirement that it is available – one of the exceptions possibly is Facebook-. In other words, under the current “open” regime, without prejudice of the service terms and conditions on social environments (which we talked about in the last post), there are hardly any restrictions for individuals or entities that can be registered. However, faced with an infraction, both brand and unfair competition legislation would be applicable, which have the procedural advantage of the possible adoption of preventative measures ab initio.

    While waiting for new developments, the fast growth of social networks, as well as the strategic interest of developing the brand on the Web 2.0, in particular for those companies whose activities cross borders, it also encourages the creation of a wide portfolio of user names. For this reason, it is recommended that all actors with a minimum presence on the internet or that want to have a competitive advantage based on differentiation and brand image should use tools like namechk or Google Alerts before designing their portfolio of domain and brand names that will be used to solidify their digital marketing strategy.

    Jose Manuel Pérez Marzabal (@jmperezmarzabal) a lawyer who specializes in the internet and e-commerce at MTNProjects. He is also a visiting professor at BES La Salle and a teaching consultant at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). He has a Master’s in International Law (LL.M.) from WWU Münster and a Diploma in Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics from the University of Barcelona.

     

     
  • Marta Carrió 9:00 am on February 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Times of Crisis? Invest in your Internal Reputation 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Nowadays companies are confronted by the impact of the interests and needs of different collectives and individuals. For this reason, it is important for organizations to measure and analyze these strengths and expectations in order to adjust them to their strategic goals.

    Generally speaking in reputation management, promoting a strong internal reputation is often forgotten in organizations, although it is a key issue for increasing sales, for example. So while many companies are focusing their efforts on the sales area, it has been proven that sales increase when employees’ positive perceptions are greater than that of customers. Similarly, promoting a favorable internal reputation helps to capture and retain talent, reduce costs associated with crisis management, improve efficiency in the organization, as well as collaboration, engagement, communication, loyalty, and to identify and resolve internal conflicts.

    In times like the present, if companies are trying to improve their reputation by regaining customers’ loyalty and trust, they would be better off by change their priorities.

    The biggest threat to a company’s reputation is not its competitors, rather a lack of identification, motivation, communication, collaboration and not leveraging skills and abilities found within the company. For this reason, most reputational crises found today on the social networks originate with the employees.

    This unfavorable misalignment at an internal level cannot avoided by merely performing surveys on the work atmosphere or different group dynamics, rather it requires actively identifying and analyzing the relationships and roles of the different collectives and individuals in the organization according to the dimensions of the entity’s internal reputation (employee satisfaction and commitment) in order to design a response plan that enables it to refocus employees’ perceptions and attitudes towards the company.

    Enterprise Social Networks, like Zyncro, can help contribute and apply an Internal Reputation Assessment process, communicate the importance of participation across the board, creating alignment and trust; inform the entire company of how the process is being implemented, its participants, phases and results; or act as a feedback platform, among other aspects.

    So given all this, what are you waiting for to sell more, reduce costs and become more efficient? If you want to know more about how to manage internal reputation in your company, download our free whitepaper that we wrote in collaboration with Zyncro: Internal Reputation Assessment.

    Marta Carrió is Doctor in Corporate Reputation (UPF). She is also partner of Plan, a consultancy specialized in corporate reputation measurement, analysis and management.

     

     
  • Javier Velilla 9:00 am on January 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    How could a strong brand help your business? 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we welcome a new Zyncro Author: Javier Velilla, founding partner and director of the strategic communication consultancy company Comuniza. He is an expert in brand management, planning and social networks. He is also a professor at higher education centers, businesses and institutions, as well as an academic researcher and author of a book on branding. Thanks for joining the Zyncrommunity, Javier :-)

    Strong brands target consumers. They must do so from within, but outwardly. More or less introspective proposals, focused on, say, the product or on quality, are not enough. For example, in the kitchen manifesto of elBulli, the subject of quality lies second out of the 23 declarations: “The use of products of maximum quality, and knowledge of the technique to prepare them, goes without saying”. This culinary synthesis defines a style, and for years was behind the performance of this mythical restaurant. In short, quality is not enough and competitive branding needs more.

    More what? Performance of brand management has been discussed at length. In times of crisis when efficiency is a mantra, is there any return on brand management? Does branding make sense? And what sort of sense?

    Yes, (of course) it makes sense. Brand equity is dependent on a large number of factors we will thresh out in later posts, but the impact of these factors affects brand value, an intangible but vitally important reality (the same as other realities such as know-how). For accounting purposes, brand value can be calculated as an intangible asset or goodwill, but the aim of this post is to look outside this dimension (which makes sense, particularly when a company has to be valued for a corporate operation).

    The valuation of a brand is based on three simultaneous analyses: legal, financial and performance. Looking at the indicators which, although not set in concrete do offer a very revealing perspective, we perceive that a correct branding for an organization strengthens its market position, acting as an entrance barrier to new competitors, making copying more difficult, facilitating the incorporation of better talent, making access to financing easier, building memorable relations, orienting the sense of the organization as a shared culture…

    The key to understanding the value of a brand is knowing to what extent it contributes to the success of the business (and, to do so, focus must be on this objective).

    Essentially, managing a brand efficiently could help to accelerate your business at least from the point of view of four aspects:

    1. Defining the competitive field you operate in.

      It establishes the competitive arena, the rules of the game and relative differences. The brain’s function is, mainly, to discriminate constant sound and the thousands of impacts we receive each day. In this regard, the brand is a symbolic exercise that unifies, categorizes and organizes a large amount of information.
      In time frames (remember G. Lakoff and his elephant), a brand helps because it provides a very economical solution to conveying a large amount of information. Starbucks isn’t only coffee, it’s a “third place”; Volvo is safety on wheels; Estrella Damm is the Mediterranean; Duracell adopts the logic of superheroes… This exercise allows, in the terms of W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, blue oceans to be created where the competition is nothing less than irrelevant.

    2. Defining who the brand exists for (in other words, the target).

      The proposal must mean something to someone, which is often manifested by profiles based on behavior. A brand is a proposal aimed at someone in particular. Séneca said that “there is no fair wind for a boat that doesn’t know where it’s headed”. Defining a target means choosing, and choosing requires ruling out. Strong brands are capable of conveying a proposal of value to specific people (or groups which share very specific motivations). For this point, segmentation is increasingly more to do with responding to insights, in other words, understanding that people have goals and that the way of discovering how to meet them is essential.

    3. Defining the vision of the world, the brand goal that synthesizes its mission, vision and values.

      This goal comes in the form of a promise that balances a combination of rational, emotional and relational elements. A business is an organization of people, therefore the collective sense (the goal, the dream, the challenge) should be inspiring and the cornerstone of the people who work there.

    4. Defining and extracting value from the main trends to align the business with cross-cutting elements that give the brand depth and speed.

      The world is changing and markets are becoming more and more dynamic. Brands that connect more closely to trends are capable of taking more value from the market and assuring they are competitive.

    And this is the secret. There are few approaches that are more powerful for a brand than working on these four aspects.

     

     
  • Jose Miguel Bolívar 9:00 am on January 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    10 Traits of Organizations 2.0 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    MolecularThe general situation with regard to the changes we could include under the ‘2.0’ tag continues to progress in the right direction.

    Although it is true that this evolution is in fact much slower than many of us would like and, above all, than is necessary, it does seem as though the conditions necessary for its definitive acceleration are appearing, and for the change to occur across the board.

    I mean, of course, organizations whose raw material is knowledge, not necessarily solely but at least partially. In other words, a growing percentage of organizations in developed countries.

    If we look back four or five years, we see that we have gone from a situation in which hardly anyone in a position of responsibility in an organization was aware of what ‘2.0’ was all about, to one in which three large and very different groups have appeared:

    1. The first group, probably the largest, is made up of people who still don’t dare to make a move in order to be part of the change, but who are increasingly more aware that they need to.
    2. The second group, the smallest, is made up of people who, admirably show sufficient courage to actively contribute to change. They are our great hope and an example to follow
    3. The third group,which is fortunately becoming smaller and smaller, includes different tribes: cynics, skeptics, unbelievers, the ignorant, the proud, egomaniacs and other organizational specimens, who continue to show active passiveness, if not open resistance, based on the absurd belief that no change is a viable option and that this way they will protect their status quo.

    In spite of all this, it appears that there is still a certain amount of confusion about which traits define an organization 2.0. Being an organization 2.0 goes beyond “having” communities of practice, enterprise social networks, internal wikis and a presence on social networks.

    Being an organization 2.0 is, above all, about “showing” that a series of so-called values 2.0 have been understood, adopted, interiorized and begun to be expressed, and also proving that it has evolved, overcoming the bureaucratic traditional administration model, towards new forms of understanding the role of people, processes, technologies and structures in organizations, which allow answers to be given to the needs arising from this new situation.

    There are probably more, so these ten points are just a starting point. So, here are the 10 traits of organizations 2.0:

    1. Netarchy: This is an indispensable requirement. An organization cannot be considered genuinely 2.0 until it has overcome the paradigm of control. By definition, an organization 2.0 is a network organization that is merit-based, rather than hierarchical. Meritocracy replaces the organizational chart. Painful as it may be for some, hierarchitis and groupitis are organizational diseases typical of a bureaucratic administration model. As Eugenio Moliní rightly points out, “the network is the only configuration where it is possible to shine with your own light at the same time as others”.
    2. Distributed: An authentic netarchy doesn’t need physical structures to obtain its identity. Large corporate infrastructures make no sense in a network world where connection replaces physical presence. In the Knowledge Era, work is what you do, not somewhere you go. The work centre and working hours are two relics of the past which are anachronistic to an organization 2.0. In a world that is increasingly more globalized, structures must be flexible, dynamic and delocalized.
    3. Fluidity: We live in fluid times and organizations 2.0 cannot ignore this reality. They must therefore be flexible in configuration and size, leaving behind the obsolete concept of job position and focusing on projects. This means changing from understanding the organization as an institution to understanding it as a platform.
    4. Connected: BYOD is the bridge towards a new environment in which each node of the network is an autonomous and independent person responsible for the technology he or she uses. In an organization 2.0, being connected is critical. Nodes of the network must be able to share information and knowledge at any time and under any circumstances, immediately and efficiently. Technology must be understood as a means of uniting people and not become a permanent obstacle to collaboration, as occurs currently in the large majority of traditional organizations.
    5. With a purpose: A large number of organizations have currently stopped being a means and have become an end. Hierarchies are looking for ways to perpetuate, even at the cost of sacrificing the reason for which they were established. In organizations 2.0 sensemaking cannot be brushed aside. Organizations 2.0 don’t need an empty mission, vision or values, but a real and shared “for what”, representing the interests and values of their nodes.
    6. Innovation: To innovate is in the DNA of any organization 2.0, to point where it must form part of its purpose. Innovation is understood to be an essential requirement for adapting and survival. The objective of the people, processes, technology and structures of an organization 2.0 is to encourage and facilitate continuous innovation.
    7. Diversity: One of the main obstacles to innovation for traditional hierarchical organizations is the lack of diversity. The typical groupitis of hierarchies becomes single thought. Diversity, the hybridising of experiences, knowledge, characters and perspectives that are different and complementary, are the essence of any organization with a vocation for innovation.
    8. Open: In line with this vocation for innovation, organizations 2.0 are open. If, as it appears, it is true that there is such a thing as collective intelligence, why not use what our customers, suppliers, friends and even competitors can contribute. In an organization 2.0, the desire to learn and collaborate in order to innovate must always come before the interest to compete and win.
    9. With a human voice: There is room for all voices and opinions in an organization 2.0, not only because they are enriching but because otherwise it would cease to be an organization with a human voice.
    10. With productive people: The challenge for organizations 2.0 is to become networks of productive people who innovate. The increase in productivity must be understood as the aggregate result of the increase in the personal productivity of all of the nodes in the network. The performance of an organization 2.0 is only possible if the people in it are productive at an individual level.

    What features would you add, change or delete? Do you know any organizations 2.0? Feel free to continue the conversation with your comments.


     Jose Miguel Bolivar holds a degree in Chemistry and a degree in Sociology, and has a Master’s degree in Human Resources and Coaching. He is the author of the blog in Spanish, Óptima Infinito, a collaborative space where he writes about Innovation and Productivity for a World 2.0 as seen by individuals, networks, and organizations, and where you can find the original publication of this post.


     
  • Maria Ripoll Cera 9:00 am on January 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    To digitalize a brand is to transform it 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Five large brands have confessed that they will “invest more in social media in 2013”. The conclusions of Catalina Pons, Bea Bahima, Mireia Guix, Anna Martin and María Abad, digital managers (in the same order) at Intervida, Bacardi, Tous, Philips and Ford, invited by Epsilon to the First Exclusive Forum for Digital Managers at Esadecreapolis, confirm that social media is more than justified.

    Does social media sell?

    The Mecca of social ecommerce that obtains sales through social recommendations is currently overseas news in Spain. Even for Bea Bahima, social media is not the most efficient way to sell. However, it has become a common ingredient in campaign management, forming part of prelaunch briefings with stories of intrigue -as Ford has done-, or connecting “with the consumer in the regions we want to occupy”, explains María Abad. “Social Media doesn’t create direct sales, but it does create the possibility of becoming Top of Mind” was the general conclusion to this question posed during the Forum.

    Social media in 2013

    When these five women who are top level managers were asked about future digital plans for their companies, they were unanimous in the commitment to content as the main pillar of the digital strategy, particularly on Facebook and YouTube. “At Bacardi we will use social media to learn what our followers want and to give them the contents they are interested in, working by territory using simple 20-second videos” explained Bea Bahima. Ford is already investing in co-creating and making products using their consumers’ suggestions, and in encouraging their employees to be brand opinion leaders, whilst Tous intends to consolidate its international strategy by externalizing its digital management, to better connect with the markets. 2013 “is the time to engage by using information obtained from social networks”, adds Catalina Pons.

    “Favourable opinions help us increase our product margin. This way we talk the same language as sales”, reveals María Abad, when asked how they justify their budget to management. “We ask of digital what we ask of communication”, adds Bea Bahima, who explained the case of fashionable entertainment venues that have not invested in maintaining a community and have seen how opinion leaders have made other venues more fashionable.

    The social media management of a brand

    “The key to digitalizing the company is understanding the internal processes and acting as a facilitator”, reveals Bea Bahima, who is responsible for this process after many years working for Bacardi. Mireia Guix adds that it is important to share the process with various technical profiles, with a communication vision. All of the speakers coincide as to the relevance of recruiting an internal community manager, who reflects the values of the company and responds creatively to its day to day work.

    And they have their work cut out. Tous, for example, manages an international, bilingual Facebook page from Barcelona and 8 by local CMs, with who they share common contents and report their local proposals. Bacardi locally manages global pages on Facebook. And they all have a “dos and don’ts” manual for digitally managing the brand. “But the most important thing is to capture mails of followers so that you don’t have to depend on the channels where you are present”, concludes Bea Bahima.

    Monitoring is one of the areas that will evolve most: “the challenge of monitoring is to make use of the information that networks provide”, says Catalina Pons. “Every two weeks we summarize what has been going on, on the network to look for solutions” explains Mireia Guix, “social media intelligence allows us to adapt our content to the different markets”. “At Ford we measure using specific security and design parameters, to focus on communication and verify that new followers are correctly affected by the brand attributes”, points out María Abad. “We look at the noise share in the market compared to the competition, we look for useful information”, adds Bea Bahima. “We have a lot of analytics but little intelligence, the key is to know how to ask for what we want to analyze”.

    “Digitalizing a brand is an internal transformation” concludes María Abad”, it requires building teams, training, consulting, contents. Brands now work with an extra element: being interesting”. Something that an enterprise social network like Zyncro can manage in an internal and personalized way.

    María Ripoll Cera is a digital communicator and promoter, as well as being a writer. You can find out more about this author on her Spanish website, which we at Zyncro highly recommend.


     
  • Mari Carmen Martin 9:00 am on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Communication 2.0 and organizations 2.0: designed to understand each other 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    A few weeks ago Alejandro Formanchuck was visiting Barcelona and he took the occasion to participate in an event organized by Zyncro: #Ysehizolaluz, which I was able to attend and during which he enthralled us with a conference about internal communication 2.0. Alejandro made us ponder a number of questions such as “Are 2.0 tools revolutionary?”, “Who uses these tools?”

    To be honest, after learning that even Queen Elizabeth II and the Vatican have been convinced, it should come as no surprise that many Spanish companies are currently deciding to join the 2.0 revolution.

     

    This table shows some of the differences in some areas between enterprises 1.0, those which have yet to adopt internal and external 2.0 tools, and the so-called enterprises 2.0. It is clear that the gap between 1.0 and 2.0 is not only semantic, but is also about a natural and sophisticated evolution in many areas and fields of the company, initially by adopting more universal and humanist values, and within a framework for collaboration.

    According to Alejandro, to create a culture 2.0 the following is necessary:
    • Access to and availability of information
    Minimizing the asymmetry between senders and recipients
    • Boosting the prosumer logic
    • Extending participation
    • A genuine interest in people generating the business and sharing contents
    • Interaction in decentralized network formats
    • Collective construction, collaboration and meritocracy
    • Willingness to listen and make use of this information
    Respect for people and giving up ego
    Minimizing control

    Every day more studies show that adopting and using 2.0 tools contributes positively to better company results. In this sense, in 2011 McKinsey statistically proved that businesses which internally and externally use technologies 2.0 to a larger extent, are more profitable. In the same study, 27% of companies declared to have better margins and market shares than their competitors. The conclusions state that “a connected company has 50% more of a chance of belonging to this group“. The latest study by McKinsey from November, about Strategy, shows how “social intelligence” guides decisions and how “internal and external social networks” are changing the classic decision-making process. The influence is clear, if from a common sense point of view we analyze the enormous amount of information that social networks provide, businesses need systems to be able to process the subject in an intelligent and suitable way. This leads to the conclusion that in the development of social CRMs there is a need to include all this “big data”, one of the greatest challenges facing companies over the next few years.

    In the most recent study by IBM on companies that have adopted a social business model, surprising data has been revealed such as:

    • 9 out of 10 businesses report benefits thanks to the adoption of a social business model
    • 57% of companies obtain better results than their competitors which do not have a social model
    Growth in expenditure on social software by companies is forecast at 61%, up to 2016, reaching a business figure of 6,400 million dollars.

    I would like to put a few questions to directors of Spanish companies with regard to this matter: Do you need more data? Do you need more time? What are you waiting for to get prepared? What are you waiting for to drive the strategic change and adopt your company’s social model? Do you want to start with a change in the company’s internal communication? Try out the Zyncro Enterprise Social Network.

    Mari Carmen Martín (@maricarmenmar) is a trained Industrial Psychologist and an expert in HR. Currently she works for Cloudtalent, a company of the Humannova group, where she is responsible for creating personal branding programs for executives and professionals.

     

     
  • Laura Diéguez 9:00 am on September 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Social Networks, Health and Marketing 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Social networks are powerful marketing and communication tools in all sectors of society, even in healthcare.

    In the US, where health institutions are seen as businesses due to their private or semi-private nature, social media play an essential role not only as senders of medical information, but also as powerful tools for disseminating and creating brand image.

    According to the study carried out by eBennett.org, 1,229 US hospitals already use social networks, with Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter being the most used.

    Through social media, hospitals build strategies based on engagement and patient education. Let’s look at some examples:

    Mayo Clinic

    The prestigious organization opted for extending its presence on the Web from the outset.

    Currently, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Minnesota) has a center dedicated exclusively to social media. A place dedicated to “improving health globally through new communication channels”.

    This selfless gesture of the organization regarding social network use doesn’t seem to match its private leitmotiv:

    “With over 90 percent of Mayo Clinic patients reporting that they say “good things” to their friends after a visit, using social media tools to amplify those impressions seemed reasonable,” explained Lee Aase, Social Media Manager at the Mayo Clinic in an interview with Guy Kawaky.

    The organization’s strategy focuses essentially on covering the patients needs. So it has created a free virtual community where patients can connect with healthcare professionals, an extensive space for medical information where they can access quality documentation, a mobile application, and several commmunication channels that resolve the queries of thousands of followers each day (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr).

    Children’s Medical Center of Dallas

    Personalized stories always generate a greater bond between the reader and the stakeholder. And if we add the possibility of making the reader participate in the story to the equation, engagement is increased considerably.

    The Children’s Medical Center of Dallas found a revolutionary way in 2009 to publicize its services by involving internet users. The hospital broadcasted live a kidney transplant operation between father and son to anyone who wanted to follow it, tweeting the whole operation on Twitter.

    The hospital argued that the initiative was motivated by the need to “make an appeal for organ donations,” aside from any promotional benefits that it involved for the center —thousands of impacts in communication media, considerable increase in Twitter followers, etc.

    Ever since, several US hospitals have followed their lead and others have taken things a step further.

    Lowell General Hospital (Massachusetts)

    For the moment, we have only looked at marketing and communication strategies in the digital environment, however, several US hospitals have managed to optimize the combination between online and offline communication.

    One example is Lowell General Hospital (Massachusetts) that uses multi-channel marketing to humanize its corporate identity by organizing TeamWalk for Cancer Care, a fun walk that aims to collect funds for cancer research.

    The hospital promotes the event through leaflets and posters, as well as through social networks and emails, encouraging participants in such away that they broadcast the events in real time and rally their friends and followers to make a donation.

    I suspect that these initiatives will have not left you indifferent, and you have wondered a few things about them. What do you think about the use of e-marketing strategies in healthcare? Should hospitals and health centers be present on the social networks? Do you think they should be more regulated?

     

    Laura Diéguez is a journalist specialized in business and digital communication, and is also assistant lecturer at Escola Universitaria Creu Roja

     

     
  • ZyncroBlog 9:00 am on August 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Zyncro interviews Laia Congost: knowledge is there in the teams 

    Estimated reading time + video: 4 minutes

    Today we’re bringing you the interview we held with Laia Congost, Marketing and Communication Manager at Contact Center Institute. Contact Center Institute has been implementing Enterprise Social Networks in Customer Service teams for almost two years, creating the new concept of “Social Contact Centers.”

    In this interview, Laia tells us about the importance of Enterprise Social Networks for managing knowledge in teams within the company. We’ll leave you with the video:

    Thanks, Laia! Contact Center Institute is a good example of team and people management 2.0. Has your Customer Service team seen the benefits of corporate communication and collaboration with Zyncro?

     

     
    • Business Networks 8:12 am on October 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for providing the information about importance of Enterprise Social Networks for managing knowledge in teams within the company. Informative video. Thanks for sharing.

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