• September 19, 2009
  • By Jessica Tsai, Assistant Editor, CRM magazine

Jive's New Social Media Release Powered by Radian6

Jive Software released its new Jive Market Engagement solution today, with a social media monitoring platform powered by an integration with Radian6. The solution boasts the ability to go beyond merely listening to social media conversations, but "measure, share, and engage," with the insights coming into the organization. Data and information are brought together into a central "Market Space" where collaborators can discuss and make observations. The final step is the creation of a summary report, or "Viewpoint," which is then used to support the appropriate response.

Especially in today's social media frenzy, the demand for this solution is obvious. "You want to keep on ahead of brand disconnect," says Ben Kiker, chief marketing officer of Jive Software. "You want to understand those potential moments of pain and move a lot faster." When it comes to incorporating external, social data into your corporate strategy, social media monitoring platforms are an imperative for the initial listening. They allow companies to identify the conversations being had and which topics or keywords are most pressing. The challenge, Kiker says, is what to do with that knowledge.

Forrester Principal Analyst Suresh Vittal says that Jive's solution is the "first solution that puts in place a workflow, process, collaboration," around engaging insight from social media listening. While there are other technology solutions that may offer collaboration platforms, Vittal says that most, if any, don't have the listening component -- more specifically, the ability to listen to the social universe. Typically, he continues, listening tends to be an "ad hoc analysis activity" that may take place anywhere from email correspondence to offline, water-cooler conversations. "There's very little ownership...there isn't a workflow. This is v. free form activity," he says. While listening itself may be an analytical function, engagement, however, requires an actual process.

Kiker says that from what he's seen in the industry, most of the time, the strategy is often either:

  • executed by PR firm or marketing agency partner responsible for watching the brand and produces reports that often sit unused; or
  • conducted over email, which is a "terrible collaboration tool," he says.

Jive Market Engagement, he adds, offers threaded discussions that tracks the moment of pain, moment of opportunity, who was involved, how the issue was acted upon, and how long it took.

The "market space," or what Jive also refers to as "war room," is where all the observations about the market - the industry, the competitors, products, or customers - are brought in, Kiker says. "As CMO, I'm always bombarded with people sending us tweets saying, ‘I think this makes us look good or bad, what do you think?' So the market space is the place you bring all observations together." From there, decision makers can then come to a conlusion about what action to take next. As the solution is packaged, a $25,000 annual subscription to the on-demand service, buys access for up to 50 people. Now that Jive has the collaboration piece in place, "the question now," Vittal asks, "is can they advance listening much more broadly in the organization, in the institutionalized practices?"

According to Kiker, the sophistication of companies involved in social media monitoring roughly breaks down as follows:

  • 50 to 60 percent of companies have no strategy for social media monitoring at all;
  • 25 percent have a framework in place, to include tools like Google alerts, and collaboration via email; and
  • 10 to 15 percent have a social media platform, like a Radian6, in place.

Vittal agrees with these estiimates, adding that "the biggest reason [listening] is so low is because the lansdcape is changing as quickly as it is and channels are exploding," he says. "Organizations are still trying to figure out how this impact them."

Jeremiah Owyang, partner at consultancy Altimeter Group, sees the solution as "a version of social CRM," in its efforts to bring social media conversations into the internal-such as, marketing, product development-communities. While he is hesitant to say Jive is the only vendor with this type of solution, Owyang does admit that the company has made it easier and more accessible with the help of a good user interface. However, Owyang does see a potential challenge. "This [solution] is good for the community members that want to discuss these things, but now you're creating separate, disparate customer go-to-action information outside of your traditional CRM," he says. From what he can tell, integration still will require companies to embark on "custom development to merge those two things."

Kiker says that the solution aims to extend the value of classic applications like CRM and ERP, to help companies effectively add the social layer to the data. He hinted at an upcoming release that will be taking place in the next few weeks, which will feature additional solution integrations. 

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.

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