I.T. Priorities for 2009

I was catching up on my reading after a vacation.  Generally I just move on to new content, however an article caught my eye in eWeek from way back on March 2nd, 2009.  It was an article called priority list.  They take a senior exec and get them to talk about their priorities for 2009.  Michael Hickey the President of Pitney Bowes Business Insight listed the following as his top 5 priorities.  You can read the full text here

  1. Embrace Web 2.0
  2. Target Customer Communications
  3. Ensure Customer Data Quality
  4. Increase SAAS Adoption
  5. Think Globally
I think the first 4 relate directly to social media marketing. Let me explain.
Embracing Web 2.0 is the most obvious one. No matter how you define Web 2.0, transparency and openess are a big part.  Social Media done right puts the technology and kicks off the culture to make that happen.
Target Customer Communications - With a community in place you are in a better position to have smarter, more relevant conversations with customers. Where and how your customer participate in the community will identify the watering holes that they hang out in.  In the real world when you enter a customer meeting, you let the customer speak first, you listen, then you position your offering.  Social Media is the online equivalent.  Listen, then respond.  You do not need to do deep analysis to figure this out.
Ensure customer data quality - Customer are sharing more andmore information about themselves when they participate. They do this 2 ways.  Explicitly, by the information they add to their profile, and Implicitely by their behavioir.   For example, I may tell you that politics does not interst me, but the places I comment and participate may tell a different story. Good social media give you both sides of that.  Its worth mentioning that customer don't give you this information so you can target them.  They share it with the company , AND the other members of the community so everyone has more context when conversing. Big brands should not be creating social media communities just for the pure feel good.  The assett is the customer relationship, the data the customer shares, and how they participate.  Its hugely valuable.
Increase SAAS adoption - Here's where I am a little biased.  Social media is happening now.  If you aren't building a relationship with your customer, someone else is.  Web 2.0 is fluid.  New watering holes are popping up, and it evolves constantly.  If you plan to build and manange in house, you need tomake sure you have the bandwidth to manage change, and brod participation.  In most cases IT has their hands full with CRM, and other mission critical apps.  Community is the best place to implment a SAAS vendor.  Its solves the cost, immediacy, evolution, and support and does not need to ompact your infranstructure.  That being said, its also a good time to investigate Federated identity, so these systems appear seemless to the end customer.
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