At the Forrester eBusiness Forum in Chicago this week, Nate Elliott, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, announced winners of the 2013 Groundswell Awards. The awards went to six companies that topped Forrester’s chart this year for social marketing programs and innovative customer-reach tactics.
While not all the winners are specifically big-name brand-names, the judges recognized them for demonstrating solid brand-building strategies and proactive customer service programs. The awards are of interest because they provide valuable insights for virtually all customer service managers, sales and marketing managers, and others responsible for customer experience and customer relationship management (CRM).
Indeed, the choice of winning companies reflects how much "marketing" has come to rely on social media and "social marketing" specifically. Marketing goals now have to extend beyond just counting eyeballs and tracking visits. Creative use of social media needs to be folded into virtually every marketer's strategy.
Social Marketing's Role
This year, Forrester based its e-business awards around its "Marketing RaDaR" model. The R stands for Reach, meaning social reach tactics that help people discover your brands, products, and promotions. The D stands for Depth, referring to social depth tactics that help prospects explore and buy your products. The final R refers to Relationships, for the social relationship tactics you can use to build stronger engagement with your best customers.
Forrester's view is that social marketing is key to success in today's world. Branded profiles on social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can foster stronger relationships with existing customers, as well as being helpful for attracting new customers. The most successful social marketing efforts go there and beyond.
"More than 90 percent of the marketers we survey are already using social tactics," Elliott said earlier this year. "After people buy from a company, there are many ways they stay in touch. Social [media] has a valuable role to play here."
In fact, two of the six winners in Forrester's competition reflect bright ideas for motivating customers to remain on board and socially share their positive feedback.
Brainshark Champions Success
Waltham, Massachusetts-based Brainshark won the Groundswell award for "Social Reach Marketing" in the Business-to-Business category. The company, which was founded in 1999, provides cloud solutions for businesses to create and share high-impact video sales presentations.
Early on, Brainshark deployed all the standard confidence-builders for its website visitors: testimonials, reviews, case studies, etc. But, Brainshark's management team wanted something more -- a strategic mechanism where happy customers pleased with their cloud-platforms for online and mobile video presentations could really help "spread the word." (continued...)
Posted: 2013-11-06 @ 9:15pm PT
Some of the products mentioned are barely even known, but have proved their mettle with these awards. Social CRM as a unique product is catching up everywhere given the nature of social media today. It's definitely true that social marketing is the way to go. This is something that even marketing automation systems need to take care of (like we did with Agile CRM). Social outreach has tremendous capability, as is being demonstrated everyday.