The ISTE 2013 conference is starting in 10 days.
I had a look at how those who discuss the conference on Twitter influence each other.
The network map below shows a graphical interpretation of the relations. The size of each node indicates how central someone is in the discussion.
There are too many nodes show the names in detail, so the second network shows a detailed picture of the most central tweeters along with their Twitter handle.
The table shows the top 30 influencers as of June 11th 2013. I plan to update the lists as we get closer to the conference.
If you are interested rankings, take a look at our ranking of education blogs.
Have you ever walked into a mall to get a coffee and walked out with new garment or another item you had no idea you were going to buy when you walked in?
What often happens is that you browse with no intent to purchase and you get sold to by a skilful sales person.
During your time in the mall the whole sales process went from zero to 100% complete.
The B2B sales process is different in so many ways, but it is still interesting to think about how complete the sales process is when the prospective client first reaches out to the vendor. Not to buy, but maybe to inquire about budgetary prices, lead times or other more detailed questions.
According to Forrester the sales process is anywhere from 67% to 90% complete when it happens. The vendor’s sales team now has the opportunity to move the process the last stretch in order to close the sale.
However, the real challenge is – how do you move the sales process from zero to 67%+ without your sales team being in touch with the prospective customer?
The answer is of course “marketing”!
You produce product descriptions, case studies, white papers, presentations and put them on your website so they are easy to find.
You execute campaigns to get your marketing collateral in front of prospective customers to raise awareness so you appear on their shortlist of potential vendors.
However, according to Forrester, the prospective customer only gets 20% of his information about your company and products via you – 80% comes via other channels.
These other channels can be thought of as influencers. Whether they are industry analysts, journalists, thought leaders, bloggers or something else, they influence your sales process. They influence how you move a prospective customer from 0% to 67-90% of the completed sales process. Neglect or leave these influencers to your competitors and you are unlikely to ever get past the 67% line.
B2B marketers have long been engaging with influencers, but the process has traditionally not been very scalable. This has led B2B marketers to execute limited campaigns where they brief industry analysts and a maybe a small number of other influencers once or twice a year.
However, because this is an expensive and logistically demanding activity it is usually restricted to a very small group of influencers who anyhow see their overall influence in the industry erode on a daily basis as more and more influencers participate in the discussion on industry trends.
Today more and more B2B marketers are realising that there are ways to run very large and very cost-effective influencer programmes where they effectively look after all influencers in their industry. Not 20, not 100 but 5 thousand – or maybe up to 50 thousand influencers globally.
While just a few years ago this would have been totally cost-prohibitive it is fast becoming the new normal due to the advent of smarter solutions such as Onalytica IRM that automatically identifies the best opportunities to engage with Influencers.
Now the organisation’s spokespeople/evangelists/PR (whatever name/role they have) don’t have to identify the influencing opportunities but can focus their time fully on actioning the ripest influencing opportunities.
We know the similar situation from sales very well: The sales executive that receives a steady stream of hot leads from a well-oiled lead generation programme is much more effective and closes many more sales than the person who has to personally find the lead for every sale.
So how do you create an effective and holistic influencer relationship programme?
First you need to identity your influencers. You probably already have a group of influencers you, to some degree, look after and engage with. However, because your new influencer programme lets you look after many more influencers you probably need to identify all others who are a legitimate influencer in your industry. This can be done using analysis of the public, online debate on the issues that are important to your industry.
Second, you load all your influencers into Onalytica IRM which will automatically ingest everything they say online – on Twitter, on blogs, in the news, and so on.
Third, you load into Onalytica IRM all your marketing collateral; your case studies, white papers, presentations, blog posts; anything you would like to get in front of your influencers.
Onalytica IRM will now automatically analyse anything your influencers say online and check if you have any marketing collateral that is likely to be useful and/or interesting for the influencers. These matches, or influencing opportunities, are then ranked and surfaced to your team. All they now have to do is to reach out to the influencer. And because they have a piece of collateral that they know is going to be of interest to the influencer they can approach the engagement with the increased conviction that comes from knowing that you are going to be positively received. You may equally choose to engage with the influencer in a different; these efforts can also be recorded in the workflow element of Onalytica IRM so can be tied back to any uplift in your marketing performance.
For organisations with lots of marketing collateral this is not only a fantastic amplifier on the ROI of creating the collateral, but it enables any person in the organisation to make the most use of all the collateral in their marketing efforts. Where a recent joiner to the team may be constrained by not knowing the thousands of pieces of marketing collateral available, the automated solution automatically flags up which piece of collateral is likely to be most relevant for influencing an influencer
The bottom line is
- In B2B sales, influencing plays a key role in moving the sales process from zero to between two-thirds and 90% of completion.
- You can now let computer systems look after ALL your influencers and automatically identify when there is an excellent influencing opportunity and which piece(s) of your marketing collateral you should use to open the conversation with each influencer.
- Your team can now deliver substantially better results from influencing because they don’t have to find their own influencing opportunities - they spend all their time executing on great influencing leads.
To paraphrase from the film Moneyball: In B2B marketing your objective should be to generate leads. But to generate leads you need to buy influence. In order to buy influence you need as many ripe opportunities to influence as your budget allows.
With Onalytica IRM you can look after all your influencers and automatically be served up the influencing opportunity ready with the opening line “Hello, I saw what you wrote/tweeted about. We actually have a case study/white paper that deals with that exact issue and I’d like to present/send it to you…”
Contact us to learn more about how Onalytica IRM can make your B2B marketing budget work a lot harder.
Le Web is on in London this coming week and the list of participants is available on the website. I put the list of participants into our IRM (Influencer Relationship Management) solution to find out who are the most influential.
By analysing the network spun by Twitter messages between all the registered participants a measure of relative influence in the network can be calculated.
The top 25 are shown in the graph below (scores are normalised).
I plan to do a post-event analysis and see who gained the most (influence) from participating… Stay tuned.
Twitter handles of the top 25:
Gartner, the information technology research and advisory firm, has named Onalytica Cool Vendor 2013 in its Consumer Dynamics category.
In its analysis Gartner cites Onalytica’s two flagship solutions Onalytica VoM (Voice of the Market) and Onalytica IRM (Influencer Relationship Management) and their novel, real-time and scalable approaches to insight and influencer marketing*.
In naming Onalytica “Cool Vendor 2013” Gartner concludes their analysis by saying..
“Brand marketing and market research professionals across all consumer technology segments that want to understand their brand perception, market needs and competitor activity among different uses based on online information, as well as to have more impactful conversation with promoters/influencers for their brand, should evaluate Onalytica.”
*Influencer marketing here includes Corporate Communications, PR (Corp and Product), Investor Relations, Content Marketing, Software and Platform Evangelism, Analyst Relations, Public Affairs, Blogger Relations and similar.
The full analysis on the Gartner website (pay-wall)
One of the hottest marketing tactics today is content marketing. According to the content marketing institute content marketing can be thought of as owning your own marketing channel rather than renting it through advertising.
The general idea of content marketing is simple: organisations create interesting content which often educates and inspires decision markers, influencers and potential customers. It’s an effective way of winning mindshare and the idea of communicating with your market place by inspiring and educating them, rather than interrupting people with advertising, seems a great idea.
However, in order to get to the point where you can get your content in front of the right people, they have to become aware of you or your content. To achieve this, and then often establish an automatic email-relationship as people will have to register and give up their details to get the content, content marketers use a range of other marketing tactics, especially social sharing and interruption marketing (aka advertising).
But what if the content could automatically find its way to the influencers or prospects you are seeking to get the content in front of? And not only that, what if it arrived at the time when it was most likely to be useful to the recipient?
Sounds too good to be true? Well, not anymore.
With Onalytica IRM our patent-pending process for “reverse content matching” makes it easy (and automated).
An example shows how it works: Say you work for an organisation in the Big Data space. You have dozens, hundreds or sometimes, thousands of case studies, white papers, blog posts and Power Point presentations; all of which are available on your website for people to download (if they happen to find them).
Just upload all this content to your Onalytica IRM solution, then input your influencers, or let the system determine who the influencers are.
Now, every time the influencers (analysts, journalists, bloggers, developers, storage architects, etc.) say something online, on Twitter, in their publication or their blog – or even shares a link on Twitter, this content is matched by Onalytica IRM with your content.
Onalytica IRM will now automatically surface what we call “moments of influence”; situations where the influencers in your industry are likely to find a particular piece of your content useful.
The evidence is that influencers are not only very thankful when they are alerted to the content, but they start to evangelise it to their network, driving a more viral effect.
A key benefit to content marketers is that the distribution and effect of existing content is amplified, with increased ROI on the content marketing tactic as the result.
IRM launch announcement
I am excited to announce the general availability of our new product Onalytica IRM.
Onalytica IRM helps deliver better ROI on all types of influencing activities including PR, Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, Analyst Relations, Software Evangelism, and blogger relations.
Some of the key benefits and features of Onalytica IRM:
View, monitor and analyse all your influencers in one place
Automatically identify Moments-of-Influence – opportunities to influence or be useful
Manage more influencers per employee
Measure the results of your influencing activities
Understand which influencing activities drive results
Structure your influencing routine
Supports team workflow
Influence on the go – from your mobile
Onalytica IRM is also a content marketers dream come true as it contains patent-pending functionality that automatically identifies when any content or marketing collateral you have is likely to be relevant and useful for an influencer.
This is a game-changer for organisations that have large amounts of white papers, case studies or similar. Simply upload them all to Onalytica IRM and it will automatically flag up when something is relevant for an influencer.
Onalytica IRM is 100% cloud-based so there is no software to install.
Get in touch to learn more about how you can scale your influencing activities and dramatically improve your ROI.
One slide from the joint Samsung / Onalytica presentation “Using the digital debate in real-time to drive insight led strategy and execution”.
The slide shows some examples of where Samsung Europe have applied the insight and data from Onalytica’s Voice-of-the-Market solution
Change in customer service strategy
Event activity optimisation
Informing & monitoring of new PR, Digital and Service KPIs in real-time
Measuring and understanding the impact of marketing activities
Assisting in communication development
Contact us to get a copy of the presentation
We are looking to fill new positions in our data enginerring team.
If you are excited about Big Data and how software is "eating the world", come join us, do what you love and lots of fun!
Head of Data Engineering here
Senior Software Engineers here
One slide from the joint Samsung / Onalytica presentation “Using the digital debate in real-time to drive insight led strategy and execution”.
Key Benefits Of This Initiative:
- Ability to be “always on” for market perception and monitoring
- Instant market feedback where needed
- Provides ability to get data on areas we otherwise would not be able to
- Low-cost vs more traditional techniques
- Historical data available from outset (not the case with traditional research)
- Tools allow embedding of solution directly with teams to drive engagement
At WARC’s recent conference, Next Generation Market Research, Oliver Harcourt from Samsung and I presented the story about how Samsung has implemented and are benefitting from Onalytica’s Voice-of-the-Market solution.
The solution is now powering real-time insight for a large number of stakeholders at all levels of the organisation.
Drop me an email here or Tweet (@flemming_ona) if you would like to receive a copy of the presentation.