Social Business for Sales, MarketingIf you are trying to find the best social business tool for your organization or simply looking to glean best practices and insights from those who have been there, there was a lot to learn from our recent webinar: How Social Business Tools are Accelerating Sales and Marketing. Read on for the webinar summary and the full event recording.

The webinar featured Elizabeth Brigham, Jive Software's product marketing manager overseeing social marketing and sales, as well as Jackie Bartolotta and Deepa Ramesh from Millward Brown, a leading market research company and Jive customer whose 5,500 member workforce are almost universally invested in the company's intranet, codenamed Greenhouse.

The State of Social Business

Brigham gave us some background on the Jive platform, but also a solid overview of social business in general. She highlight an often touted McKinsey study about how much time workers waste in meetings and shuffling through email. The Social Economy report makes a strong case indeed for the value of social tools, and Brigham pointed out the tools are simply a way to unlock people's potential.

"It's less about automation and more about unleashing people's real talents."

"Think about who that person within the company is that just knows lots of good stuff. How do we get to the core of that institutional knowledge?"

Social business tools seek to couple people with the information, resources and expertise they need, and Brigham highlighted three specific use cases where it can be truly effective. They are:

  1. Responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) faster
  2. Improving marketing campaign ROI
  3. Speeding up the on-boarding and ramping of new projects.

For those working with partners in their intranet/portal, it's important to tear down walls between those entities, Brigham said. "With social, we have a single war room for us to work together in."

Before companies dive into a program like this though, they need a strategy to be in place. Benchmarks need to be identified and culture sometimes has to be changed to get people out of email and into the social platform, Brigham said.

Build Your Own Greenhouse

Millward Brown, a market research company focused on advertising and brand building, started up its Jive social intranet system, dubbed "Greenhouse", 16 months ago. Greenhouse has a high rate of use, and so far, great track record, Jackie Bartolotta and Deepa Ramesh revealed in the webinar.

Millward Brown does a lot of ad copy testing, for example, and it's been using social tools for many years in the form of an older intranet system. Their previous system was simply outdated, and like many still in use today, made it rather difficult to find assets. The company looked around and chose Jive because it was scalable, mobile ready and trusted by large analyst firms, Bartolotta, Millward Brown's director of knowledge services said.

The company is a bit different than many in that in choosing its social business tools it had a mandate from the executive board to get it done. This is often the reverse case for many, and executive buy in is critical to success with social business tools. That being said, Greenhouse was implemented not for the Millward Brown workers, but by them.

Having them help build it created some pre launch buzz, Brigham noted, and within the first month of launch, 80% of employees were logged in.

The company asked workers what they wanted to see there via a survey, conducted quarterly updates and even built a pilot program with a large partner to test it out.

From there, product ambassadors were appointed, and office champions selected in each of the over 80 offices to help with training and answering questions.

Greenhouse by the Numbers.

Congratulations, You're Engaged!

Greenhouse has kept its members engaged because of how easy it is to access knowledge, Deepa Ramesh, Millward Brown's global community manager said. The old system made it hard to connect with people in other regions, for example, and now employees can quickly get perspectives from colleagues around the world.