BIZTECHBUZZ in the world of social, cognitive, IoT and startups

Tag: technology (Page 1 of 6)

I am AquaWoman!

Crazy title I know.   But did you know since I had my accident in Brazil, I have swam everyday consistently for 3 months in my quest for total recovery.   And have earned my new nickname — Aquawoman!


Given that I go to the same pool daily ( except for the 2 weeks at Christmas where I went to another location and pool!), I have learned the names of the lifeguards, their shifts, who swims when and what injury they have sustained, where kids are heading to college and the list goes on.  Given the lifeguards had to help me into and out of the pool for a while, I gave them each a small present of my appreciation at Christmas.    I have developed a new small family of swimmers!!!

I thought about how amazing this was!  And it was all SOCIAL! I learned a lot of lessons in that pool for my Social World!

  1. Consistency earns Trust.    In Social or any relationship, you can not come in and out.  You must remain consistent in your interactions.  Plan time to interact and develop relationships.
  2. It is P2P – People 2 People.  People are not robots.  And they are not just all business.    They have lives and their lives extend far beyond their business side.   Get to know things that matter to them — their families, hopes, dreams, and injuries!  This helps you to know them as a full person.
  3. Reward those that help you.   Yes, the small token I gave each lifeguard (22 in total!) was a way I could express how appreciative I was of their help.  Everyday I thanked them.   And they responded in kind. I get so much help and great attitudes every time I  come in.   The same is true in Social.  Re tweet others, interview them and spotlight them.  Thank them for their help and assistance!

As I have said many times, Social is not magic.  It is simply something people have been doing throughout the ages — forming relationships!

You don’t have to be as smart as Watson just have the social skills!!!!

Social Business Video Blog on becoming a Social Business Bank!

I get a lot of questions on what does Social look like in a bank.  We have shared many banking references where a bank has started their their journey to become a Social Business.  In past IBM Connect Events, TD Bank, GAD and others have presented their journey!

Since this is a journey,  we pulled together a view of what a Social Business based Bank would look like.   We created Open Financial Network, a simulated world class bank, demonstrates the power of providing customers and employees with exceptional digital experiences.  Experiences that are relevant, intimate, social, drive real value and keep them engaged – anytime, anywhere.

I’d love your thoughts!

The Social Sales Team – Knowledge accidents and all!

The Social Sales Team

A good sales team should rarely meet each other.  It should, instead, be out meeting customers.  It should be working out what your customers want and be maximizing the return for your organization.    The problem comes because sales teams have voracious appetites for ideas, comments, case studies, pricing, presentation, market intelligence and so forth.  They are generally very poor at following a process and providing forms to fill out and records to keep gets in the way of the sales process.  In addition to this, much of what a sales team relies on is experience amongst the members of the team.

The knowledge accidents that occur when they bump into each other in the corridor or at lunch are extremely valuable and efficient to exchange information and catch important snippets.  So how do you keep their appetites satisfied, but maximize their time in front of customers?

Make them Mobile

Give them the technology they need to keep in touch easily with the places they need to go to help them in their job.  This might be an iPad with a 3G card, or a Mi-Fi device or similar which lets them connect to the office and access your systems.

Collaboration Hubs for Clients

In your social intranet, create communities focused on each of your major customers.  Use Wikis, Forums, Activities, Ideation Blogs and all the other tools you need to share everything you have about that customer which would help your sellers.  Consider organizing the material around opportunities (perhaps pulled from your CRM system) using tags.  That way you can easily find everything about a particular opportunity whilst keeping the structure fluid so that it’s easy to re-use information.  For more information on this, please see

Give them some Power Tools

Provide them a social network to interface with other sellers.   Teach them how to use the outside social tools .   Did you know the most productive sellers in IBM leverage social in their sales process?

One of the best techniques the Sales Team can deploy is to use an informal blog. This lets them express their thoughts, experiences and opinions about the work they’re doing with the customer account without the need for the structure of more formal meeting minutes.  It’s in the blog that the seeds of the knowledge accident tree are sown.  It’s where short narratives about what’s going on can be captured and stored for the benefit of the rest of the team.

Remember that by putting mobile technology, which is connected to your system in the hands of your sellers, they will be more inclined to participate.  If it’s made easy, and they are rewarded for doing so, they will do it.

The Social Caveman

I just watched the Croods with my kids! It was such a great movie.

It was funny to watch the Crood Family move from Cavemen to being transparent and living out in the open!

The same is true for people who are hiding from Social! They are cavemen and woman!

Here’s some incentives to move out of the cave!

* Determine what your brand stands for and what you want it to stand for.   Search yourself on: Google, Technorati, Twitter

*  Come up with your own tagline and ensure that you have the tagline (your brand) on all your social tools.   Make it short and sweet like:  John:  Scholar, Nice Guy, Sales leader or Sally:  Highly recognized Corporate executive  with Top Tier MBA

*  Remember every interaction and experience is a nonneutral brand experience.  Make each one count!

*Engage your core community of enthusiasts, customers & employees where they spend their time — pick the tools you leverage based on who you are targetting
*  Build/engaging with a loyal “brand army” of enthusiasts that make your success their cause.   Social is about forming a relationship.   This is not about marketing.    Acknowledge and harness their goodwill to generate insight and return on your investment
*  Increase your engagement in important conversations.   Have a POV (point of view).     State it and add value!

*  Remember, it is not JUST about social.  It must be supported with real-world events and experiences (F2F is still the most meaningful interaction!)

Move out of the cave and get started!  Reach out if you need help!

Women’s Toolbox Conference: Giving women the tools to excel in the workplace!

I’m so thrilled to be speaking at the Women’s Toolbox Conference on Friday, Oct. 18th! 

What is the Women’s Toolbox Conference? Exactly what it sounds like! It will deliver thought leadership, resources, and networking—all the tools that can help women create a lasting impact in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

Now what does making an impact mean for women? Well, not only can it translate to making more money, but also getting more clients, finding a better job, and being known for your expertise and what you bring to the table. All these things can set you on the course to living a more balanced and happy life!

I love initiatives that champion women in the workplace so I’m excited to be sharing some of my experiences and knowledge at this conference, specifically around social. I’ll be discussing how to become essential to your customers with social business by building your social presence, knowing your prospects and customers and their influencers, engaging and responding with speed, and celebrating your customers! 

Interested in attending this wonderful event and hearing from business superstars and thought leaders?

Register  for the event, which will take place Oct. 16-18th in Beverly, MA!

Talking Social Business with Airlines in Prague with a new Social Study for Airlines

 The GLOBAL AIrline Summit. 

On September 9, I’ll be talking with senior airline executives from around the world at the IBM Airline Summit in Prague, Czech Republic. The theme of the summit is “Smarter travelers expect smarter airlines: Delivering an exceptional customer experience while optimizing operations.”

Today’s travelers really do expect more from airlines than ever before. Yes, we expect smooth operations, a pleasant flight and good value.

But more and more we expect personalized customer service while we are shopping for a trip and during each step of the journey, delivered consistently through all the devices we use.

The NEW Socially Connected Airlines. 

Today, meeting those expectations depends on using the latest social business tools to help the airline workforce keep the planes on schedule and to create exceptional customer experiences.

I recently read a related article in Business Travel News that might interest you by Paul Campion, an IBM colleague in the UK.

The SUMMIT.  A Breakthrough Event!

 At the summit, airline executives will share their own experiences and hear speakers from other airlines, industry analysts, a leading international airport, Coca-Cola marketing, Netflix, and from IBM. 

We’ll be launching some exciting new social business research sponsored by IBM with PhoCusWright – “Social media in travel: mayhem, myths, mobile and money.” The study will provide clear quantitative insights around what travel companies need to manage, mobilize, and monetize their social strategy.

Of course, the Summit won’t be all work and no play. I hear that we’ll take a tram ride and walking tour through Prague’s beautiful old town. Then we’ll share a meal in one of the city’s great restaurants. I’m looking forward to it. Watch this space for my blog post after the event.

Social Lessons from the beach: A little bikini is no match for a big wave!

Yes, both of my daughters love their bikinis on the beach!  But as we went wave riding, they learned quickly that that little bikini is no match for the big wave!

The same is true in social!  Sometimes the wave is too big for just company spokespeople and with 70% of online consumers trust peer recommendations #1,  you will need more than just the “bikini” squad.  You need a brand advocate.

A brand advocate is a person who is passionate about your brand and references you as a matter of course.   They could be an influencer or a client or an employee.   Determining your brand advocates is about listening and selecting based on common interests, knowledge, and other key elements critical for your business.

In addition to seeking out your advocates, it is important to determine your best friends, or your tippers. These are those people who influence your brand online and those whom others listen to about your products.

These key influencers have a set of characteristics. Typically, they are people who have strong relationships, and are an expert or authority in a subject. Sometimes influencers are those who get attention, taking an atypical view, or are just loud. I was recently at a virtual conference and heard a speaker talk about an influencer as someone who is honest, trustworthy, and knowledgeable. They have a consistent opinion that is objective and not influenced by someone paying them! These items drive a level of social trust and that trust persuades another person to take action.

Finally, developing social trust is about showcasing care and value. Listen and change where needed. Always be honest, and demonstrate value-add to your clients and the industry.

These are the top elements of your plan to build your brand advocates:

[lb]       Determination of your friends or brand advocates today: A friend is a client, a potential client, or an influencer who recommends your brand, company, or product because they like it so much, they feel compelled to discuss it. Determining those who are your friends or brand advocates is important to your overall social trust plan.

[lb]       Determination of your “best friends” or tippers: These are people who influence the rest of the clients and potential clients online and offline, usually about 5% to 10% of your product’s or category’s population. These tippers are important people for your overall strategy and your company will pay extra attention to them.

[lb]       Brand advocacy strategy: A brand advocacy strategy is a plan to determine those actions your company can take to build brand advocates, or people who are passionate about your brand and reference you as a normal course of business. Part of this strategy could be in the content that you share, your shared vision of a point of view in the market, or even support of a common cause that is outside the primary goal of making profit[md]for example, making the planet a better place.

[lb]       Content activation plan: This is a plan to create content, distribute content, promote content, and measure its success. This content activation plan is usually determined in the Social Business Digital Council. The goal of the content is to showcase your company’s subject matter expertise or point of view (POV). It is critical when starting a community, and for guarding your reputation.

[lb]       Determination of key methods to establish social trust in your space: Based on your company’s goals, a trust plan is formed to create and protect trust through online experiences and dialogues with a company, product, or brand.

With this brand army, you can ride the wave with confidence!!!

Social Lessons Learned from the Beach! Integrate!


Ahhhhh!  I love the summer and what better summer fun, that being in the ocean.   I love riding the waves .. and you quickly that another wave is always coming!  There is always the next one —that provides continuous action.  So your plan of attack is ride the one, and for the best, combine their power!

The same is true in Business.   Make sure you are taking into account the consolidated effect!

Did you know that less than one-third of marketers have integrated social media and mobile marketing with other campaign?  The State of Marketing 2013, IBM’s Global Survey of Marketers 

Since 68% of social networking is done on a mobile device, the lack of combining the trends that come on top of one another is a non competitive view!

How might you accomplish this integration?   Combine location, customer identity, and customer interactions to personalize mobile apps

It seems that customers in banking, retail, travel, and media and communications are prioritizing their mobile strategies and many have deployed or will soon deploy mobile applications.   Amex’s mobile app presents personalized offers based on a variety of things, including location – In addition to a customer’s purchase history, aka “spend graph”, and current location, Amex allows users to further personalize offers based on in-app thumbs up or thumbs down ratings, which informs the future deals that surface. Learn from existing customer data and from real-time feedback from users.

 BUT, it is important to recognize that “context” is more than “location”  – e.g., an unhappy customer is an unhappy customer anywhere (still wouldn’t want to target them even if they’re near a store that they dislike)

You can't feed just one seagull (a series on Social and Vacation!)

This past week I was at the beach — with a very relaxing time in the sun.  The whole time I was there I saw social in so many different ways.

Once when my daughters tried to feed one seagull , they ended up with a whole flock.   You can’t just feed one !  Or can you?

In Social,  you should respond to comments in a way that showcases that your brand really cares and engages around client concerns.   Responding is an important part of interacting and engaging with your audience, while also humanizing your brand, improving brand loyalty and creating brand ambassadors. 

But you don’t have to respond to all negative comments.   Have a well thought out plan and know what “level” of comment that you want to respond too.   In some cases, have other clients speak on your behalf.   Unlike at the beach, you don’t have to feed all the seagulls.

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