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The SAP CRM thought leadership webcast "Webcast, Nov. 10: How to best leverage Social Media & Web 2.0 in Marketing" was held on Nov. 10th and brought together over 200 participants who heard from distinguished speakers, such as Dr. Jesko Perrey and Michael Chui from the Sales & Marketing Practice at McKinsey & Co. and Thomas de Buhr, Head of Media Solutions at Google.

You may view a RECORDING of the event here.  I have summarized (from my perspective) interesting points and key take-aways from the webcast below, as well as compiled questions and answers.

UPCOMING: Our next webcast on "Webcast, Dec. 8: Driving Customer Advocacy with Loyalty Marketing" is scheduled for Dec. 8. I hope you can join us!


Social Media Webcast Summary and Key Take-Aways:

To kick off the session, Ralf Strauss, Head of Global CRM Marketing Product Management at SAP AG, highlighted that there is a social evolution which is dramatically changing marketing and the way of doing business... and this is not just for B2C, but for B2B as well... recognizing that the web will be used to get partners and customers connected. Based on a survey of forty CMOs worldwide, it is clear that the use of social media and Web 2.0 is still in its infancy. Even though more than 50% of CMOs rate this topic as very relevant, half of them have started projects and really know what they will do in this area. However, it is clear: the unidirectional communication methods to consumers are no longer valid; now it is more the customer-to-customer communication that drives how your brand is perceived.


During his presentation on "How businesses are benefiting from Web 2.0 and social media", Michael Chui mentioned a key finding: 2/3 of companies surveyed are already deriving measurable business benefits from their use of Web 2.0 (from global survey on web 2.0 of McKinsey Quarterly), with the #1 benefit of increasing effectiveness of marketing.  He also outlined six new capabilities that can be unlocked by Web 2.0/social media, and gave an overview of the 5 flavors of social marketing with interesting examples: 

    User-generated advertising: Oxfam asked the British public for powerful advertising slogans for display in billboards; Viral marketing: AXE released content on Web that was "too racy" for TV and encouraged teenage boys to forward to their friends; Reviews and recommendations: Office Depot used product reviews to help drive customer conversion and increased revenue; Brand-focused communities: Carnival created social network that allows users to share cruise experiences and travel plans; Market research communities: CharlesSchwab used an online community of Gen X-ers to deepen understanding of this demographic.

He also shared six keys to unlocking participation using Web 2.0 and social media as learned from early adopter companies:

  • Creating bottoms-up impact requires help from leadership
  • The best uses come from users - but they need help to scale
  • What's in the workflow is what gets used... you can only achieve critical mass if people are returning and operating in social media as part of their day to day life. 
  • Appeal to users' egos and needs - not just their wallets... it's more powerful to reward users with title/status, additional rights and privileges, etc. than money.
  • The right solution comes from the right participants... you need to get to the well-connected people as well as those with the right skills.
  • Balance top-down and self-management of risk... negative discussions will occur anyway, so will you engage in them or just let them happen?

In conclusion, another best practice they have come across... Clients that are effectively using social media tend to adopt an approach/mindset for experimenting, measuring results in a quantitative way (tracking who's involved?, how often?, and what drove their participation?) and then scaling based on these results.

Here are links to the McKinsey studies highlighted during the webcast:

              How companies are benefiting from Web 2.0: McKinsey Global Survey Results

              Six ways to make Web 2.0 work


In his talk, "Social Media on YouTube", Thomas De Buhr contrasted the traditional media/TV broadcasters to YouTube to emphasize the magnitude of this new phenomenon that is definitely not niche and not disappearing -- e.g. 1.6M hours of video all time for US broadcast networks. The same volume was uploaded to YouTube in the last 60 days.

YouTube is more than just videos, it also provides features that foster dialog such as: rating functions, ability to share, distribute, comment on videos and even embed in your site or blog.  It gets users to engage and participate; in fact, more than 50% of all videos have been rated/commented on in YouTube. He mentioned that the underlying principles of "participating & sharing" are supported by four basic needs: Fun, Fame, Fulfillment(i.e. feel like you can influence things), and Fortune. He gave a few interesting examples to demonstrate different ways to leverage YouTube, such as "Green Eyed World" that allows users to create their own story around Sprite or what GE is doing to share information with partners about their products, which leverages social media in a B2B scenario.

Thomas also highlighted a few other key principles:

  1. Make use of the new stars (ex: Numa Numa guy with 33 million followers - Numa Numa and Numa Numa Gecko)
  2. Be open - e.g. Crowdsourcing (ex: MyStarbucks or Dell that leverage the wisdom of the crowd to get new ideas/products)
  3. Be ready for a dialogue (ex: Tiger Woods Jesus Shot where EA Sports turned a complaint/negative comment about a bug in their game into a funny response)

Observations & Lessons learned:

  • Be clear about what you are expecting
  • Your Homepage, can be, but is not necessarily the best place for social media
  • Don‘t see social media platforms as a competition - many people are not on your website, but on social media platforms and are in a different reception mode.
  • Play according to the "rules" of the platforms - important not to stop the dialog or delete negative comments.
  • Seed and promote your activities
  • Be open for a real dialog - and manage it!
  • Take professional advice/support


Then, Marcus Ruebsam from SAP CRM Product Management went through a showcase of how to use Twitter as an integrated marketing channel.

Find out more details on this Twitter Showcase here:

Or access a Twitter Showcase Demo.


Questions & Answers: 

  1. Any experience to share on necessary resources for entering social media - and I mean more people/structures than just investments!

    Michael Chui: It really depends on the online strategy of your company and the way your organization is structured. But in many cases the areas that seem to be most underestimated are the resources and time required for moderation and community management, as well as web analytics. Organizationally companies use different models to handle social media either through corporate centers or through business units. At this point there is not one model that seems better than another; companies need to experiment and develop models based on their strategy and corporate structure. 

  2. How to touch the ego's of the execs to get them to believe & participate fully?

    Michael Chui: Some clients respond to different things... some are data driven and by showing them the adoption curve and the potential for reaching audiences/populations they are convinced. For others, however, it's more personal or an experiential experience. They need to become familiar with the new social media technology, use it themselves to realize how powerful it can be. So, it can vary from a very data-driven, business presentation to a more experiential presentation.

  3. Can Google explain how do they see Google Wave fitting in their web 2.0 strategy?

    Thomas De Buhr: Google wave is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. So, this is how communication would look like today (from our point of view), if the internet would have been invented today. Google is building up a wide range of technologies suited to a variety of needs and users (Google Mail, Docs, Talk, Voice, etc.), and we're strongly committed to continuing their growth. Wave is the latest such investment.

  4. Would social media channel likely replace email or augment the importance of email for consumer communication?

    Michael Chui: There is a remarkable fact: email usage/adoption has been increasing in double digits in the group of people over 25 years old, but has been decreasing in double digits in the crowd less than 25 years old. So if you follow this trend line, you might come to the conclusion that email will eventually go away. However, media adoption patterns across history tend to be additive rather than replacing one completely with another. So, for the time being email is certainly being augmented by social media. We are seeing social media being used as communication method to increase transparency in conversations that were previously one-to-one... For example, if you are having a conversation with your manager, having peers or even external partners follow that conversation can be very beneficial and effective in driving enterprise collaboration.

  5. Are there any best practices in dealing with 'negative' marketing from social media?

    Michael Chui: Negative discussions will occur anyway, so the question is: will you engage in them or just let them happen? If you decide to engage, it is important to be authentic and engage in a real way. Companies should not delete negative comments. Offering ‘balanced' information can actually provide benefits to companies, as seen in the example of online retailers that allow users to post positive and negative product reviews and actually see higher conversions and net positive financial results.

  6. How can a company justify investing in Social Media Marketing when the social media environment is not that matured? -- by that I mean, users moving from myspace to facebook, twitter, then what in the future...

    Thomas De Buhr: Every company should be aware of the discussion going on about their brand/company. This requires a minimum investment (not necessarily money). All the chances that are beyond this point are partly unexploited territory - so the early bird catches the worm. I don't believe there is an order or a defined flow, These websites have different functionalities so they can work together.

  7. There is still a big question how YouTube and other web 2.0 services are generating profit. This is related to the fundamental question, what is the quantitative and qualitative potentials of the Web 2.0 i.e. increase in sales volume or customer retention. Are there any studies or approaches which are dealing to answer the question?

    Thomas De Buhr: There will not be just one way or one idea of funding these platforms, there are many ways to do this. For us it is crucial to always keep the focus on the user. 
    Michael Chui: See the McKinsey survey results captured in our article "How companies are benefiting from Web 2.0" in which respondents describe the degree to which Web 2.0 has improved customer metrics (Exhibit 1).

  8. Can this sentiment analysis work with different languages other than English? It seems to have rely very much on its intelligence to 'categorize' sentiment ...any misinterpretation of sentiment may be misleading.

    Marcus Ruebsam: Yes, the text analysis tool can work in different languages and with the rule engine it can be optimized not to mislead sentiments.


Other References:

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