Interview with Neil Fenton, Laureen Harper’s “ex” – Chairman and Founder of 10Duke – Social media – Rachel Phillips, Technical Director, E2.0, Oracle
Enterprise 2.0 In Action
Creating the emotional relationship with customers online.
Creating the emotional relationship with customers online
Neil Fenton, Chairman and Founder of 10Duke, explains what social media is and how the enterprise can benefit from it. He also provides practical steps for its implementation and explains why time is critical. Posted: 13 Apr, 2012
RACHEL PHILLIPS (Technology Director, Enterprise 2.0 Oracle): Hello, welcome to Oracle’s E2.0 thought leadership program; and today I have with me Neil Fenton, who is Chairman and Founder of 10Duke. So Neil, today in your presentation, you’ve actually talked about social media. What is it, “social media”, uh, in practice, and how can we apply it to the organization?
NEIL FENTON (Chairman and Founder, 10Duke): Uh, well, I think social media, there’s no specific definition of, of what it exactly is, ’cause it’s changing every single day, and that’s one of the beautiful things of it, uh, is that, every new – every month there’s a new service being launched. But I think very broadly you can talk about it in terms of third-party services, such as the ones we’re all familiar with, like YouTube and Facebook; uh, services that a company may have themselves, uh, and… primarily is focused on video, text, photos, and interaction with users. So it’s very social, variety of different types of media, and also it tends to be IP-based: so it’s based off of a, uh, you can access it through a computer, or a mobile phone, or potentially even your TV.
RACHEL PHILLIPS: Now you talked about applying it in practise as well, though; and how would that apply, though, to an organisation, a commercial enterprise?
NEIL FENTON: Well, I think what’s great about social media is that there are these third-party services where, it’s often a very effective way of communicating with your customers, and using those; but also it’s so easy now to launch your own social media services, that people can do that very quickly, uh, it needn’t be a huge kind of 12-month development cycle, and the tool set exists where you can effectively dip your toe in the water and try stuff out, and see whether it works.
RACHEL PHILLIPS: You also talked about the emotional relationship. What is an emotional relationship with a customer?
NEIL FENTON: Well, I think emotional relationship is, again broadly, something that allows you as somebody who’s offering a particular product or service, to talk to that customer, uh, and give them certain things that mean that they become much more loyal to you, uh, that potentially allows them to get more information or, or you can tap into trigger points from them, where they connect more to your product or your service or your brand, uh, and potentially de-emphasise price, and fundamentally for you as a business, move it forward so that you can generate more revenue and provide a better service to them. Uh, and that, I think is a two-way street where, you providing service and taking information back from them in terms of feedback, and moving your product set along. So it’s just trying to develop a ver–, very tight relationship with that customer, to give them something very relevant to their needs.
RACHEL PHILLIPS: You also talked about launching a non-traditional space. What do you mean by non-traditional space?
NEIL FENTON: Well, I think, where social media comes into its own is, it’s basically a set of tools that can allow you to contact that customer in just a different, non-traditional way. So rather than using maybe traditional marketing techniques, what social media allows you to do is use non-traditional methods, to potentially convey those same, uh, core messages around your product or service to the customer, uh, but interact with them in a different way, whether that be through an application on a, on a PC, uh, or on an application on your phone, uh, it’s just a different way of doing… basically very similar business things that you may have been doing 5, 6 years ago. Uh, but instead of doing it, uh, in the, fi–, you know, older methods, you’re now using up-to-date social media things, which are very inexpensive to launch, and very responsive in terms of with your customers.
RACHEL PHILLIPS: Okay. You also, uh, talked about the steps of implementation and you talked about keeping it simple. Can you just talk us through what those steps of implementation would be?
NEIL FENTON: Sure. I mean, one of the biggest challenges with social media is that, in 3 months’, 6 months’, 12 months’ time, there could be a funda–, you know, huge, uh, new social media service like, uh, Twitter that’s launched and has, you know, 10, 20, 30 million people using it. So the biggest challenge is speed. So, the biggest thing you have to do is, decide what you’re going to do, so concept the service, uh, basically, obviously design it, put it together, uh, and then, trial it: prototype it, put it out in front of se–, a select group of customers, get their feedback, figure out what, whether it’s actually working or not. If it isn’t working, turn it off, try something else. If it is working, fantastic, you can expand it. And the, the integral part is making sure that, whatever you prototype and whatever your initial system is, it has that capability of growing, if it becomes very successful: fantastic, you just want to roll with it, you don’t want to have to re-architect or, or, you know, re-platform it and start over again in a production environment. Ideally, what you want to be able to do, is move from the prototyping service all the way through to the production enterprise environment, and that’s what we try to help our customers do.
RACHEL PHILLIPS: But that means, sort of trying to launch something in three weeks rather than three months.
NEIL FENTON: Yeah. I mean, you simply can’t afford… to get involved in a, in a social media, a new social media application, and… hope that it comes alive 12 months later: you have, it, time scales are now measured in weeks. And so you have to be able to use… a platform or a set of technologies that can allow you to do that. So it means you have to be decisive, in terms of, not only what technology you use, but also what the concept is and what you’re trying to produce.
RACHEL PHILLIPS: Right. Um, you talked about “beyond media and entertainment”. Can you explain what you meant by going beyond media and entertainment and beyond traditional companies that perhaps we would associate social media with?
NEIL FENTON: Uh… sure. I mean, we’re all familiar with YouTube and we’re all familiar with watching very funny adverts, in a typi–, typical kind of media or entertainment space. Um, but that same tool set that allows… you to communicate with your friends on Facebook or whether to Tweet, those, that same tool set can be used in a, in a more traditional enterprise space, whether you’re providing enterprise, uh, engineering software to your customer base, uh… you know, laboratory testing equipment and services to your customer base, you can use social media tools to, uh, offer your customers better products, better services, and interact with them in a more kinda effective manner, uh, very quickly and, and quite easily.
RACHEL PHILLIPS: Okay. Why do you think Oracle, though, is, is well-placed to actually deliver this emotional relationship to its customers?
NEIL FENTON: Well, I think Oracle, uh, has a vari–, you know, basically an end-time solution that you can potentially deploy on, particularly if you’re already running core Oracle aps as part of your business: you don’t want to have to reassess those. Uh, and you, you may want to try different, uh, kind of Web 2.0 services or social media services, on top of that; and Oracle has a, has a very kinda robust suite that allows you to do that. So it’s, uh, I think one of the few in the market that c–, that can offer that type of service, particularly if you’re an existing Oracle customer.
RACHEL PHILLIPS: Thank you, Neil. [Turns to camera] And thank you for joining us today.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING SUMMIT
Schedule time: 14 March 2011, 1pm
Webcast: Panel Session – Business Gets Social: What’s Your Strategy?
Hays Marketing is pleased to support the BrightTALK™ Social Media Marketing Summit. Post questions live to the presenter in this free 45-minute webcast or if you can’t attend live, you can view afterwards at your convenience.
Rachel Phillips, Technical Director, E2.0, Oracle
Matt Whitehart, Oracle
Neil Fenton, Chairman and Founder, 10Duke Software
Join this roundtable panel session and participate in the debate which will answer some of the important questions facing organisations today around the whole social business movement.
Why is there such an interest in organisations using social experience platforms, can they really attract new customers, help sell new services or even lower operational costs? What does becoming social really mean in terms of new business models, technology requirements and changes to strategy? Which companies are getting it right and what can we learn from them?
The panel will be chaired by Oracle’s UK Technology Director, Enterprise 2.0 – Rachel Phillips. Rachel is a Thought Leader and advocate within the social business community and is passionate about campaigns taking a long term view on their social computing solutions. Also joining the panel is Neil Fenton, Founder of 10Duke, a company which has a wealth of experience in developing new technologies to help some of the world’s leading brands, such as Nike, Adidas and BBC to improve their customer experience and offering online. Neil will be sharing some of these customer case studies during this discussion. The third panellist will be Matt Whitehart, a senior Oracle Architect who has over 10 years’ experience within the enterprise content management and portal industry and will be drawing on his experience with customers including Vodafone, Kew Gardens and DirectGov.
About this webcast
This BrightTALK™ Webcast is sponsored by Hays Marketing. This session is part of the BrightTALK Social Media Marketing Summit, ask questions, rate speakers and vote in live audience polls. View the full line-up and register to attend live or view on-demand at your convenience here.
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