IDC directions 2010I attended IDC’s Directions 2010 at the Boston Sheraton last week and now that I am out of jury duty, I have time to sit and write a post my best take-aways from the event.

1. Go get your answers. Michael Gerard suggested finding vendor communities, surveying customers on their social media usage, and grilling asking the sales people about what they find.  Everything I want to know is not always on already on Google.

2. John Gantz warned conference-goers not to use new technology to do old things better.  I think that sentiment is worthy of meditation or a plaque or something.

3. Rich Vancil stressed a need to “operationalize” social media. What does that mean, you ask?

  • Congrats- everyone in the company is in marketing.
  • Do digital marketing training.
  • Research where your customers are hanging out.
  • Develop tools and staffing capabilities for mining conversations.

4. Michael Fauscette said social change breeds technology and business change. What is social business?

  • Transparent: trust, credibility, openness.
  • Employees are empowered to contribute.
  • Customers are engaged in an ongoing relationship.
  • Inter-dependant ecosystem
  • Service when/where/how the customer wants it.
  • Power is shared and distributed
  • Power is shared-not controlled
  • Leadership coaches, not controllers
  • Customer-defined products and services
  • Anticipated customer needs
  • Collective intelligence

5. Karsten Weide pointed out that social media penetration levels are higher in developing countries than in developed countries because new web users go directly into web 2.0 instead of changing from web 1.0 to social networking. Specifically the penetration levels of social networking by country are:

  • US 56%
  • UK: 58%
  • Germany 61%
  • France 72%
  • India 87%
  • Brazil 88%
  • China 89%

6. Mary Wardley said something interesting: crowds are smart. They consist of self-organizing networks, foster two-way unstructured information exchanges, are egalitarian and feature people at the center.  Awesome….now what?

  • Acquire knowledge and ask questions of a community.
  • Share knowledge
  • Listen to and monitor conversations
  • Increase awareness
  • Gather feedback on company/products/services
  • Participate in market conversations
  • Manage relationships
  • Get ideas for new products and services
  • Communicate with colleagues outside your company



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