Why Forrester's Social Technographics Profile tool should have India in it!

If you were writing a social media strategy plan, the first thing you'd want to do is - look at the Social Technographics Profile of your target market. Forrester has provided a handy tool for this purpose(see below - also, to know more about Social Technographics, check this post on groundswell blog or even better - buy the Groundswell book).

However, as you can see above, Forrester's Social Technogrophics Profile tool has data for only 12 coutnries and India is not one of them. Canada was added only recently (around 2 months back). My aim in this blog post is to create a compelling case for including India in this tool.

1. I don't think the choice of countries to be included in this list was driven by the number of internet users that each country has. After all, India has the 4th largest number of internet users in the world. It's true that the ratio of population with internet access to total population of country is abysmally low (7%) but the absolute number is way higher than many countries that are included in the list.

2. The second highest number of hits to Forrester's website comes from India - for whatever it counts. I'm sure many of these Indian visitors will be really happy to see their Social Technographics profile in Forrester's tool.

3. Forrester.com is ranked 9539 in India and 3747 in USA. In relative terms, India ranks forrester.com much above than what Australia and France do. What it essentially means is Forrester.com is more popular in India than in France and Australia (countries included in Forrester's Social Technographics profile tool)

4. India ranks 7th in the whole world among people who search for Forrester on Google. I'm sure many of these Indians feel a little disappointed when they don't find India on Social Technographics profile tool.

5. Thought leaders such as Gaurav Mishra (CEO of 2020Social) have taken initiatives in building Social Technogrpahics profile of Metro India and many others in India are doing similar research. However, Forrester is best equipped to come up with these numbers and to remove the prevailing guess work.

6. A huge amount of social media data related to India is already available from various sources such as http://www.vizisense.com/ http://juxtconsult.com/, DoubleClick, comSource, eMarketer, IMRB, http://in.nielsen.com/, IAMAI, etc.

7. Hundreds of companies in India have either already invested or are planning to invest in Social Media marketing campaigns. They'd benefit greatly if Forrester's Profile tool had data from India

8. The internet penetration in India is growing exponentially. Tracing the social technographics profile of this dynamic population will be a very interesting excercise and may reveal several exciting insights about Indian internet users.

Prepare for Splinternet

The golden age of the Web is coming to an end - says Josh Bernoff of Forrester (author of Groudswell). The reasons he cites in this short post on Forrester's Groundswell blog are very interesting and convincing.

Connecting the dots {just a thought!}

Updated on 29/01/2010:

The Rise Of The Conversationalists

Recently Forrester updated its 4 year old Social Technographics® ladder with a new rung - Conversationalists. The inclusion of this new rung in the model has important implications for digital marketing plans that have been developed based on old Technographics model. Most digital marketers will have to now re-evaluate their marketing plans to see if their strategies are appropriately addressing the "conversationalists" or not. According to Forrester blog for interactive marketing professional, there are three key reasons for Interactive Marketers to care about Conversationalists:

  • 33 % of adults are Conversationalists. In other words, they represent one third of your online target audience.
  • By following Conversationalists, you get free consumer insights. Conversationalists are your customers and they are talking about you. Listen to them!
  • By communicating with Conversationalists, you embrace change.Interacting with your customers in an ongoing way, in a conversation, creates lasting learning on both sides.

Social Media ROI

I think there are two important things that one needs to keep in mind while approaching social media ROI
  1. Setting up an ROI framework to track and calculate SM ROI accurately. This is absolutely necessary to optimize channel/media-mix and to achieve high ROI. But before this happens, you need to
  2. Get a buy-in for SM investment in the first place - perhaps by showing SM ROI of other companies. This approach requires building a convincing business case and backing it up with solid data.
I've spent quite some time researching contemporary literature on Social Media ROI and have found plenty of resources dealing with the first aspect.  However, I'm yet to see any good resource which deals with the second aspect. Yes, hundreds of case studies about social media marketing success are available online but the data in these case studies is unstructured. We need massive amount of structured data to build correlation models. 

Lack of such historical ROI data is probably not a problem for big companies but in smaller companies, the SM investment decision is solely/mostly driven by this historical ROI data.  I know that in order to encourage companies to invest in social media, a lot of social media evangelists/agencies are working on designing Social Media ROI frameworks. That's great but how about consolidating and structuring data from existing case studies to arrive at some rough ROI estimates. I think if someone takes this initiative and makes these figures available, it'll go a long way in encouraging companies to invest in social media.

I'm planning to update this post with resources that contain structured data about social media ROI. Will really appreciate if anybody wants to help.

Interesting conversion rate data - not really social media but an important resource nonetheless.