Part I: CMO Interview with Mark Grindeland of TeleTech, on Social Business
There’s no denying that social media is huge and only going to get bigger. Think Facebook took off fast? Look at the overnight sensation that is Pinterest. Add to that Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr (and other blog platforms) and it’s enough to make any brand’s mind spin. The question for any company should be… “Where is it heading?”
Recently, I was asked by TeleTech to attend the Net Promoter Conference in San Francisco to hear their keynote speaker, Mark Grindeland, the CMO of TeleTech, a company that provides resources to big brands to assist them with their social customer service and strategies. Social agents work around the world to provide everyday online communication and customer support. Following the conference I was able to interview Mark. Here’s “Part I” of our conversation.
Me: So, describe a typical day in the life of a social agent.
Mark: Well, using both our technology and our partners’ technology, a social agent will identify and listen to conversations on social networks that have some relationship to a company we’re serving. If you think about search engine marketing, typically with paid search, you set up keywords, right? In social “listening,” you set up the same thing. The technology then crawls across the web to identify when those conversations are occurring in real time. It gives you a snapshot of those conversations—what’s the sentiment, what’s the profile, if it’s being picked up by other people on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, etc. The social agents will then have guidelines for what to do with that conversation. In some cases, they may forward content, in other cases just a link. Where there is engagement, there is follow-up.
Me: How do you see social CRM truly tying into a support and service model?
Mark: I think it is nascent now and I think it will become very sophisticated. Social web will not go away. It influences social decisions and behavior, and helps us begin to understand the financial impact of any initiative tied to the consumer.
Me: How is the social voice of any brand carried through and maintained at the best level possible, for any company, small or large?
Mark: It starts with analysis. We had a session with a client recently where we showed them how they stacked up against their peers in the social realm. Part of the analysis involves looking at the structural elements required for an engaging social media strategy. We look at the social presence—can users engage? We look at their Facebook connection and YouTube integration, plus their podcast and mobile strategy.
Here’s a great example of a successful Starbucks social initiative, Mystarbucksideas.com:
The initial challenge was, how do you get consumers to engage with the Starbucks brand as well as the community around the brand? Starbucks launched a site where people could come share their ideas for the brand, leave suggestions and so on, and had judges select the winners. And then the winners got their 15 minutes of fame. Everyone wins!
They had over 24,000 ideas generated on coffee and espresso drinks. Plus:
• 11,000 food-related suggestions
• 7,000 ideas on Starbucks card
• 7,500 ideas on new products
• 20,000+ ideas on things like atmosphere, location and ordering process and the pickup process
So, by people talking about this and sharing this, Starbucks gained some really valuable information. They calculated the value of earned media—the cost per thousand, if they paid what would it cost. They generated an equivalent of a quarter of a billion dollars in earned media!
Want to hear more?
Part II: CMO Interview with Mark Grindeland of TeleTech, on Social Business