Interview with Tim Minahan, CMO of SAP Cloud
Tim Minahan (@tminahan) CMO, SAP Cloud, is a featured speaker at Social Media Today’s Social Shake-Up 2013. We took the opportunity to pick his brain about what he thinks is shaking up social media for today’s large enterprises.
Q: Let’s get right down to business. How is social media redefining customer service?
The era of the empowered customer has finally arrived. Customers today have more information on your product, your brand, and your competitors’ products and brands. This is fundamentally shifting the engagement model. More than 60% of the sales cycle, for instance, is now complete before a prospect ever engages your company. And people are talking about your brand – good, bad, and otherwise – this very second. A study conducted last year found that Fortune Global 100 companies were mentioned a total of 10.5 million times per month on social channels ranging from Twitter to Facebook. To be effective, marketers must listen and engage the market in a host of new channels…and sell and service them through a host of other channels.
Q: But it’s not just about marketers, is it?
Not anymore. At one time, social media was the exclusive domain of the CMO. But this too has shifted. Social media has sparked a whole new class of data that, if effectively harnessed, can drive completely new levels of performance and productivity. So the CIO needs to be engaged out of the gate.
Q: But how can all these people successfully share control of social media technology decisions? Don’t they have different agendas and cultures?
Sure. But the end goal is the same. Both parties want to create a world-class customer experience and gain competitive advantage. And both parties want to get there by tapping into the unique insights and intelligence that social media delivers. . So it’s irrelevant whether it’s the CMO, CIO or LoB Execs driving the car. With the right people in the car and a clear roadmap, you’ll arrive successfully at the destination.
Q: Do you think we’ll see companies making a greater financial investment in social media initiatives for customer service?
Traditional relational or structured data from internal transactional systems may have served as the foundation for marketing efforts in the past, but the unstructured and community-generated information accessible through social media is the future. Companies need to invest in getting the right tools in place to tap into it to and listen and respond to customers and engage them to the point where they become promoters.
Q: In Partnership with Social Media Today, SAP is about to release the results of the 4th annual Customer Engagement Survey. Can you toss out any teasers?
When we look at the people that say they are “very satisfied” with their company's efforts to integrate social media into customer service, we’re seeing some really interesting results. Compared to the rest of the survey responders, this group indicates their companies see social customer service as integral to their overall social strategy. They have more employees involved in implementing their social support strategy. And they are faster to respond to questions raised on a social channel. More on this in a few weeks, when we announce the full report on Twitter @SAPSocialOD.
Tim Minahan is speaking at The Social Shake-Up conference on the panel" CIO vs. CMO: Who Will Control the Technology Spend?" on Monday, Sept. 16, at 2pm.
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