Six critical success factors to make Web 2.0 work

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McKinsey Quarterly published an interesting article this month how companies can successfully use Web 2.0 tools. McKinsey has studied in the past two years the experiences of more than 50 early adopters of Web 2.0 tools in corporate organizations. The experiences are equally balanced between enthusiastic and dissatisfied. However, basis for success lies in the acceptance of the disruptive characteristic of Web 2.0 and the understanding how to create value with these tools.

Based on these results McKinsey has identified six critical success factors for the use of Web 2.0 technologies:

  1. The transformation to a bottom-up culture needs help from the top
    Web 2.0 projects depend on bottom-up involvement of people throughout the organization. However, involvement of senior management is paramount as they will act as role models that will encourage participation of the rest of the organization.
  2. The best uses come from users – but they require help to scale
    Successful use of new technologies depend on the involvement of the users in the development and implementation of it. Failure is at risk when management tries to dictate their preferred uses of the technologies used. Mckinsey’s research demonstrates that the applications that drive the most value through participatory technologies are often not those that were expected by management.
  3. What’s in the workflow is what gets used
    When developing Web 2.0 applications make sure that the users are able to create the time within their daily workflow to participate in these new collaborative initiatives. Initial enthusiasm will fade rapidly if users experience that participation is another add-on to their already crowded to-do lists.
  4. Appeal to the participants’ egos and needs – not just their wallets
    Financial incentives do not work in collaborative technologies. They create content, but of low quality. More effective is it to bolster the reputation of participants in relevant communities, rewarding enthusiasm, or acknowledging the quality and usefulness of contributions.
  5. The right solution comes from the right participants
    Be sure who to target. To select users that will have valuable contributions takes thorough preparation. Look across the borders of the traditional experts  but also involve other disciplines within the organization. If done correctly, it can create great benefits beyond expectations. Sales forecasts predicted by participants with a more diverse base in operational knowledge were more accurate than those of the company’s experts.
  6. Balance the top-down and self-management of risk
    Web 2.0 by definition is disruptive and stads for authenticity, open and free communication. these factors feed many companies with fear for these technologies. However, Web 2.0 is not equal to total anarchy and some control over the content produced is prudent in corporate environments. Some security functions can, and should, be installed, such as prohibiting anonymous posting. Ultimately, successful participation means engaging in authentic conversation with participants.

Acceptance of Web 2.0 tools in corporations is growing. Spenditure on Web 2.0 technologies is currently estimated at $1 billion by McKinsey, but in the coming five years an annual growth of 15% is expected, despite the current recession. I fully agree with this view. Even stronger, due to the unique characteristics of Web 2.0 (e.g. cost effective, participative, collabrative, very effective harvesting of tacit knowledge) it is the distinctive technology in times of economic downfall. After all, if one thing survives in a recession, it’s innovation. And Web 2.0 is such an innovative technology that makes the difference.

With thanks to Bram Fasseur of Marketingfacts who made me aware of this article.

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Twitter and clean water

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What do they have in common? Well, a lot lately. 

Meet Scott Harrison. He’s into clean water. And he wants the entire world to have clean water. Did you know that 1 out of 6 people on this planet do not have access to clean water? Scott wants to change that and he needs money for that. The wonderful Twitter community jumped in and organized a world wide event known as Twestival. This Thursday February 12th the Twestival will kick off in about 120 countries across the planet. Also in Amsterdam.

The program looks indeed appealing:

At 6pm the full evening’s entertainment will commence, kicking off with DJ daShank who will warm up the atmosphere  with soul funk and rare groove. Headlining the entertainment at the inspirationally designed SPACES. on the Herengracht will be a special arrangement with Farah Day on vocals and Djoeke Klijzing on violon and cello, they’ll be keeping the atmosphere strictly lounge with soulful-grooves accompanied by Local Hero on saxophone. Expect moody smooth tunes with a modern stylised mash of white labels and classics. Later on during the night, sensational DJ Lady Aceand DJ M-Cecille will spin uplifting old skool disco and dance classics before closing the night with some groovy techno.

I hope I can find some time between our activities to check it out.

More info of the Amsterdam event here.

Economic downturn? Not for online video

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In a recent study done by Permission TV it became once again clear: Online Video (OV) is here to stay. More and more businesses are seeing the true potential of using video in engaging their audience, be it internal or external. We just came back from a marketing managers meeting for a pharma company in Brussels where we showed a few of our videos. Everytime we see the smiling faces and enthusiatsic reactions of the people watching the vidoes we know we hit the right spot. 

According to the article:

Advertising, marketing and media executives will increasingly migrate from a planning and experimentation phase to significantly increase implementation of their online video initiatives in 2009, a recent survey of more than 400 senior-level decision makers, has revealed. The survey, conducted by PermissionTV, identified online video as the top priority for digital marketing budgets, and also demonstrated a strong preference among marketers for increased sophistication and interactivity in online video capabilities to help promote their brands.

“As corporate and brand marketers look to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of digital marketing initiatives, online video will play an increasingly critical role in all interactive campaigns,” said Matt Kaplan, VP of Solutions and Chief Strategy Officer of PermissionTV. “These survey results demonstrate the strategic importance of online video in the overall marketing mix, as well a growing requirement for more sophisticated video experiences.”

Some other important key findings:

  • Almost 75% of the respondents said that OV will be a primary focus in digital marketing campaigns.
  • In the next quarter, 52% indicated to be implementing videoprojects.
  • Almost 60% said the next big thing is interactive videos and the use of interactive non-linear storytelling is believed to be the next big thing.
  • 33% said that most likely digital initiatives are not to be affected by budget cuts.
  • The majority (71%) is using OV to help brand awareness.

 

Bring it on!

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