Enterprise hits and misses - community management vs ROI, digital pandemonium vs privacy and planning

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed June 24, 2019
This week - community managers get serious about ROI, while "digital pandemonium" forces contingency planning. BI aims for revenue impact, and the diginomica team hits the tarmac for your event scuttlebutt. Your whiffs include epic takedowns, and midflight meltdowns.

King Checkmate

Lead story - Community Management at 10 - a conversation with Rachel Happe - by Den Howlett

MyPOV: When it comes to why customers buy, no other factor is as underestimated as community. But quantifying community in a way that stumps the skeptics has always been a trick. No one tracks it better than Rachel Happe of Community Roundtable.

On the occasion of Community Roundtable's tenth annual community management survey, Den gets the good and not-so-good from Happe on his podcast and writeup. Den:

Perhaps most revealingly, the report concludes that those firms which are operating at what the survey describes as an advanced level are producing demonstrable value, despite the fact that engagement levels are not particularly different from those who operate at an average level. The report suggests that any difference is down to the quality of engagement and the ability to measure success.

Community managers still struggle with that measurement thing:

Managers are not always clear about which metrics matter or, where they are certain, how to relate those back to the business.

As always with Happe's data, there are surprises. Den assumed tech company communities would be leading the ROI charge, but that is not the case. Vendor tech communities:

Tend to be insular and viewed through the lens of acting as a support mechanism rather than as a vehicle through which to drive business change that adds value across the entire organization.

Even if you can measure the impact of community on support, that's a limited lens. Den leaves us with the thorny topic of change:

How well business leaders and community managers respond to current challenges is an open question.

Community Roundtable has compiled enough data and lessons to provide a roadmap for measuring community success. But whether horses will come to water is another story.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

  • Digital pandemonium - are the downsides of technological complexity and interdependence outweighing the benefits for enterprises? - Kurt brings Markonian tough love for corporate execs and IT leaders: expand your contingency horizon, or pay a steep price. Check Kurt's Gartner quote/wake-up-call on the recent Target outage: "Nobody is immune to an outage like this...Routine technology maintenance has become more complicated because systems are not isolated from each other. They're all integrated…which introduces greater complexity."
  • Talking about voice commerce - Mobile changed e-commerce, and how brands sell - and that goes for both B2B and B2C. Now there is enormous hype to pull voice into that mix, and voice forces marketers into conversational content. Barb cites privacy issues that must be overcome because Alexa is kinda freaky and likes to listen. Still, as Barb says, we better get on it: "We talked about the need to be mobile-first, but now it's more like we need to be voice-first."

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

Derek rocks MongoDB World - Derek got MongoDB World done in style - catching a vendor moving upmarket while making an intriguing big data play. Here's a few picks from Derek's content flourish, including:

And here's a couple highlights from my time at Salesforce Connections in Chicago, where "customer data platforms" competed with "connected customers" for hype cycle honors:

A few more vendor picks from another tarmac-filled week:

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

Top picks of the week

  • Confronting overconfidence in talent strategy, management, and development - Is a "rose-tinted," overconfident view of talent management preventing companies from excelling? McKinsey thinks so, and here's why it matters: "Companies with very effective talent management enjoy higher total returns to shareholders than less effective competitors do."
  • What Matters Most In Business Intelligence, 2019 - Louis Columbus brings his analysis to bear on the Dresner Advisory Associates' Wisdom of Crowds BI survey. This one jumped out: "Improving revenues using BI is now the most popular objective in 2019, despite BI initially being positioned as a solution for compliance and risk management." I look forward to hearing more BI-for-revenue improvement stories. I haven't found many in the field, despite vendors of all stripes mining BI hyperbole for sales gold the data-is-the-new-oil hypewagon.
  • System Integrator Risk Mitigation Processes Often Have the Opposite Effect - UpperEdge's John Belden unloads an SI rant: "How can it be that projects continue to go wildly over budget or result in significant business disruptions but profits by systems integrators continue to rise?" I'd like to think my podcast with Belden and UpperEdge's Adam Mansfield greased the wheels for this rant, but you be the judge: Putting digital transformation and cloud to the project test - a chat with Belden and Mansfield of UpperEdge.
  • The future of personalization--and how to get ready for it - Personalization as we know it today is flawed. Look no further than this McKinsey stat: 15 percent of CMOs believe their company is on the right track with personalization. So why care? " Today's personalization leaders have found proven ways to drive 5 to 15 percent increases in revenue and 10 to 30 percent increases in marketing-spend efficiency." Pretty good motivation, I'd say - though in my experience, most of those gains are from e-commerce recommendation engines. I've yet to see a very effective email personalization strategy, for example. I've never been emailed in a personalized way that made me care about a brand or think that brand cared about me.
  • Are We Ready for AI-Powered Security Cameras? - David Cassell of The New Stack digs in: "Researchers are investigating AI that can recognize emotions, behaviors, and 'the patterns of our movements.'" I put this out on Twitter for the techno-optimists to provide me with upbeat reassurances about where this is all headed. None came.

Honorable mention

  • We review SuccessConnect London 2019, Analytics, EC Time and More - Steve Bogner and gang are back with another solid HR podcast.
  • Serverless computing: another step away from the data center - Joe McKendrick ties serverless to data center self-loathing: "Large organizations want to get out of the data center business altogether. The current move to a serverless architecture - albeit a misnomer because servers are involved - is an inevitable chapter in this evolution."
  • The One Thing Providers Could Do To Make Buying Easier - Hank Barnes continues to parcel out morsels from Gartner's latest buyer research. Though it's kind of pathetic disturbing tedious sad that this late in the sales transparency game, Gartner's clients "regularly cite issues with vendors being reluctant to share the detailed information they request." Somewhere out there, a vendor reading this will spot a clue to winning right here. Right?

Overworked businessman


So if you're going to steal your neighbor's surveillance camera - which I strongly advise against - maybe don't livestream the theft?

The Ad Contrarian has been spitting satirical mockery lately, as in this utter deconstruction of the hangers-on activity at the Cannes Film Festival:

A research expert said that in order to understand Gen Z we must forget everything we know about Millennials, who were digital natives, and start to understand Gen Z, who are "digital aboriginals." Ignoring the needs of Gen Z is a death sentence.

Then there is Josh Bersin's epic takedown of a pal's B2B press release, which earned my John Travolta "Greased Lightning" reference:

Can't top this one from Den Howlett though:

I doubt my flight to Vegas today can top that one - but I'm about to find out. See you next time.

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.