Posts Tagged ‘90:10 Group’

[SURVEY] Social Business Maturity Assessment in the Middle East

February 16th, 2011 Comments

As part of the effort to define what are the various stages of social business maturity in the Middle East region, we’re collecting your insights and data to better understand the market. We’ll be publishing the results in a consolidated free downloadable report on the Social Media Hub Middle East LinkedIn group.
So, thank you for taking the time to fill out our survey.

Listening to Social Media: Your new way to Market

February 16th, 2011 Comments

Thanks to the Executive Director of one of our 90:10 Middle East (90:10 ME) customers in Lebanon, I was invited (and given the great opportunity) ten days ago to come and give a lecture to the Executive MBA participants (all managers and directors of companies from Lebanon and the region) at the American University of Beirut (AUB).

I was impressed by the high interest of all participants by the subject: ’social media’. Not about how to use Facebook and Twitter, but how Social Media has changed the way we (should) market our brands, products and services to consumers, to potential buyers. More than 45 minutes of Q&A…!

The more I meet professionals and managers of brands and companies in the region around social media strategies, the more I feel there is a big need for such lectures, conferences, forums and workshops. This will be part of the 90:10 Middle East effort in the coming months. If interested, I have as well created a LinkedIn group: Social Media Hub Middle East dedicated to social media news and info from the region. Join us and share your experiences, case studies, doubts, questions, promotions etc…

What, Why, How Social Media? @ Business Opportunites Lebanon

October 22nd, 2010 Comments

Business OpportunitiesHello. After a challenging morning trying to fly out of Paris, where the air flight controllers were on strike, I’ve finally made it to Beirut with more than 2 hours delay. A great crowd was waiting for me at the conference center for the Social Media session organized by INFOPRO which stands for Information Provider. InfoPro’s debut came with the publishing of Lebanon Opportunities, which has become the country’s leading business magazine, earning a reputation for dependable information, ethical business practice, and of being a good corporate citizen.

The Social Media session was moderated by Jamale Rassi General Manager of Adline Beirut a leading provider of media space in the MENA region. The crowd has waited for me for more than an hour… :) ) you were great after. Lots of questions and hopefully god answers.

Here is my presentation.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate. Any input is well taken. As I’ve said, I’m not a social media guru, just a guy with probably more exposure and experience than other but still in a beta mode … llistening and learning.

Social Media & EMEA: redefining regional business for multi-nationals

October 8th, 2010 Comments


It was my first time this year at the Inbound Marketing Summit. The venue was at the Gilette Stadium. A very good conference with rich content and great speakers…US and/or Canadian speakers in majority. I was probably the only ‘foreign European’ speaker. Thanks to the @nmlteam (New Marketing Labs) for the invitation. I’ve appreciated the 2 days, have met live many people I read their blogs, follow on Twitter, get to discuss with companies such as Compete and Radian6 on the challenge for these companies to come into Europe…kind of the subject of my presentation. Here it is. Looking forward for all your comments.

View more presentations from 90:10 France.

Social Media Readiness: starts with a SWOT analysis

July 27th, 2010 Comments

Hi all. Long time no see… :)

I’ve been very busy lately working closely developing with our clients different social media strategy aspects. One area (at least here in Europe) of a usual concern is the company’s social media readiness!

Social Media Ready stamp

There are plenty of factors to consider regarding the hows, dos, don’ts and understanding the possibilities and challenging implications around social media. But how do you determine your company’s Social Media readiness? Start with a SWOT analysis.

We all know the SWOT analysis used extensively in business to obtain an overview of the critical businesses issues. It is simply a series of questions asked about your business to assist in determining the business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

The goal here is to audit your current organization in the context of SWOT. Identifying key internal and external issues allows you to more carefully consider and then incorporate them into strategic objectives. The list of questions below is by no means all the questions which need to be answered to complete a full analysis of your business’s Social Media readiness. It is just an indication of the types of questions you should be considering about your business’s capability to thrive in a Social Media environment. Without a SWOT analysis it will be impossible to develop an effective Social Media strategic plan, develop company guidelines and effectively engage your company on the social web.

SWOT Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths and weaknesses are internal conditions, factors or attributes. For example, your recognized expertise in your market space would be a definite strength. Not having a method for employees to collaborate would be a weakness.

  • What does your company do well and does not do well?
  • Are there people at your company who already use social media in their personal lives
  • Are people at your company using social media tools and applications to do their jobs? If so, did management introduce these tools or was their adoption and use more casual and organic?
  • In what ways do you currently communicate with your employees?
  • Does your company encourage and facilitate collaboration among employees? If so, how?
  • Does the company feel comfortable with empowering company employees to interact with customers using Social Media?
  • Do you have a happy satisfied work force that your company feels comfortable allowing employee interaction using Social Media tools?
  • What role does continuing education and training play inside your company? What methods do you use for training?
  • Would you characterize your company as a fun place to work?
  • Would you characterize your company as a creative company?
  • Do you believe that expertise is understood and recognized within your company?

SWOT Opportunities & ThreatsOpportunities and threats are external conditions, factors, or attributes.

  • What do your customers value most about your company? How do you know this? Do you have a way of measuring it?
  • What do your customers value the least about your company? How do you know this? Do you have a way of measuring it?
  • Do you have customers who already use social media applications in their personal lives?
  • Do you have customers who use social media tools and applications to do their jobs?
  • In what ways do you currently communicate with your customers? How effective is this communication? Do you have a way of measuring it?
  • What lifestyle trends or factors are affecting your customers?
  • Do you seek feedback from your customers? If so, how?
  • Do you collaborate with your customers? If so, how?
  • What factors influence your customers’ decisions to do business with you?
  • Do your customers rely on your company to educate them about things? What kind of things? How are you currently doing this?
  • How important do you believe it is to educate your customers?
  • Do you have a happy satisfied work force that your company feels comfortable allowing customer interaction using Social Media tools?
  • What do your competitors do better than you do?
  • Have you identified and evaluated the efforts if any of your competitor’s Social Media presence?
  • Do your customers rely upon your expertise as part of their business relationship with you?
  • Does any part of your business relationship with your customer depend upon your ability to help them have a good time or enjoy their experience with your product or service?

This SWOT analysis is quick way to assess your company’s social media readiness, but is often not sufficient. If you want to take your analysis to another level, I recommend you to perform a ’social media audit’ within a given period (ofthen 30 days) where we assess the volume, frequency and tone of conversations throughout the social web. We can then establish a benchmark assessing the state of your brand, products, communities and competitors. This will as well serve as a metric by which to compare your future activity on the social web.

An example of such a benchmark report is the Fasion UK Social Media Landscape Audit done by 90:10 Group, which an extract has been published on slideshare. Enjoy the reading.

The ability to develop and manage the will to change how a business does business will be a contributing factor the the overall effectiveness of any Social Media initiative.

Social Media in the Middle East: more at ARABNET March 25th & 26th

March 5th, 2010 Comments

A common feature across the Middle East region is that young people make up a relatively high percentage of the population (in some over 50% are less than 21 years old). In most countries the “net generation”, regardless of its geographic location or cultural background, tends to be comfortable with online technologies and prefer the speed and variety of content delivered through the web and mobile channels.

ARABENET ME 2010Next 25th and 26th of March will be held for the first time in the region (in Beirut Lebanon), ArabNet 2010, the first international conference for the Arab web industry, bringing together leaders from across the MENA, Europe and Silicon Valley to discuss cutting-edge trends and emerging opportunities.

I’ve been invited (and am very pleased) as a guest speaker (representing 90:10 Group) at the ‘Social Media’ panel, featuring among others, Ghassan Haddad, Director of Internationalization at Facebook and Timothy Bataillie, the MENA Biz Dev Manager of Netlog, the region’s largest social network for youths (14-24). Full program here.

But where does the Internet stands today in the Arab world (source: startuparabia).

  • At present there are roughly around 56 million Arab internet users in the Arab world, representing only 17% of the 337 million population.
  • More people are getting online in the Arab world, and are relying more and more on the Internet for their news, videos, social interactions and more, but only 1% of all content online is in Arabic, not offering them much choice.
  • Online news consumption is gaining ground with 22% to 34% of the people using internet at least as much as print media to read news.
  • On average, 70% of the people in the four main Arab markets researched use social networks in some capacity and about 15% use social networking sites at least once a day.
  • About 6 million internet users in the Middle East – or about 12% of the total online population in the region – have access to broadband networks.
  • People in the Arab world are spending about three hours per day on the internet on average, which is already on par with the amount of time spent on TV.
  • About $56 million or 1% of the total media advertising spend is online in the Middle East.
  • 8.3% of active Facebook users come from the Middle East & North Africa, representing a 7.9% penetration. The number of users under 25 years of age represent 60% of active Facebook users in the region. Fastest growth in user adoption in the region is in the 55+ age group.
  • Among the Arab countries, the top 7 countries in active Facebook user numbers are: Egypt (1,820,000), Saudi Arabia (920,000), Morocco (860,000), UAE (840,000), Tunisia (690,000), Lebanon (680,000), Jordan (490,000).

Last November in Paris, at LeWeb, Joi Ito moderated a panel on the Middle East with Rabea Ataya, Chairman & CEO of and Habib Haddad, Founder of Yamli. Their shared with us (video below) their view and vision of the future growth of the web in the region.

The Arab Media Outlook latest report (PDF) summarizes the region’s opportunity:

Our analysis points to significant opportunities for media companies in the region to use the power of web 2.0 to develop new revenue streams and to maximize the value of both new and existing premium content. Distribution to mobile broadband devices including mobile television will play an important part in this. Another priority area is the development of audience measurement processes for both print and broadcast media. The absence of reliable audience figures makes it difficult for advertisers to target their advertising and to assess its effectiveness, which reduces their willingness to spend.

As far as Twitter is concerned, it is difficult to have any precise figures. Last July, the region counted less than 15,000 users (source SpotOnPR). Since, the growth has been phenomenal, but still difficult to measure precisely its impact on media and brands. Hopefully, I will learn more about the region’s adoption of social media and new web 2.0 start-ups at coming Arabnet conference (25th and 26th of March in Beirut). Promise you to tweet from there and blog as I return to Paris.

Are businesses embracing Social Media?

November 9th, 2009 Comments

In 2009 we saw exponential growth of social media. Americans have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend at social networking and blog sites such as Facebook and MySpace from a year ago, according to Nielsen.  In August 2009, 17 percent of all time spent on the Internet was at social networking sites. European are not that different. According to a report “Europeans Have Adopted Social Computing Differently” by Forrester Research, 60% of European online consumers are taking part in Social Computing activities such as reading or writing blogs, listening to podcasts, setting up RSS feeds, reading and writing online customer reviews, or taking part in social networking sites.

But is this enough for businesses to embrace social media?


Survey results from a recent Deloitte study (2009 Tribalization of Business Study), point to some key challenges that businesses are facing as they move toward integrating online communities into their social media strategy. The three areas they have identified as obstacles are:

Keeping visitors engaged:  30%
Getting people to join:  24%
Encouraging return visits to the online community:  21%

In addition, they agreed that the following are key business outcomes for their online communities:

Increase word-of-mouth:  38%
Increase customer loyalty:  34%
Increase brand awareness:  30%

Liana Evans is her last post starts by saying rightly:

If your online marketing agency has advised you to have a blog, a Facebook fan page, or a Twitter account so that you can get more content just to attain additional search engine rankings, you might want to stop and ask why.

What You Deem Valuable Could be Worthless to Your Audience

You may think that PDF spec sheet of the 10 best of features for your product or service is the best marketing slick ever. You’ve spent hours designing the marketing look and feel around it, you want to make sure that it’s on your Web site and it’s put into every sales packet. You believe this is the most valuable piece of content there is to sell your product.

Listening to your audience talk about what the best features are of your product in social media communities should give you insight into how to provide them with valuable content. It can also help you improve your marketing efforts to reach and engage more people. Utilizing this kind of knowledge can help your marketing efforts in social media reach new engagement levels.

Unfortunately, you aren’t thinking from the end user’s perspective.

A list of specs of features doesn’t do the end user a bit of good if they can’t even figure out how to use your products or services. Many times, companies mistakenly believe that adding more bells and whistles to their products is what customers find valuable. Customers use the product the way it gives them value. Most of the time, the bells and whistles don’t give the value.

How we share ideas and connect with one another has dramatically changed. Previously media was limited to one-size-fits-all broadcast messaging sent out from the center. Businesses had to follow the same model in their communication with both employees and consumers. Social technologies – from forum to Facebook and Twitter to text messaging, means now things can improve.

Now everyone can and does join the conversation.

This explosion of these new communication methods bring people together in  an instant around any interest or passion – no matter how niche. In order to capitalise on these opportunities businesses must prepare to recalibrate with new  thinking and processes. The prize is greater efficiency and innovation.

“The enterprise is waking up to the fact that it needs to listen and that it needs business intelligence” for the communities, said Ed Moran, director of product innovation for consultancy at and one of the study authors.

This is what we offer at 90:10 Group.

Businesses have long had to close a gap between themselves and their consumers with a number of activities that are  inefficient and wasteful. These processes are dependent on  a series of expensive mediators: media owners, advertising agencies, marketing, PR and research companies.

90% of the energy to move from concept to sale is input by the business and its mediators. The consumer gets to join in for the last 10% – the purchase decision.

With the advent of social technologies you can now enjoy direct and real-time relationships with the consumer throughout the whole supply process.

The 10:90 ratio is flipped on its head.

process 9010

Now the willing consumer can join in with ideas, provide feedback through out their development and help market them the end product to their peers. This can deliver a never-ending feedback loop of improvement , innovation and  efficiency.

Many examples show that consumers are increasingly demanding participation. They expect the ability to co-create and lead innovation, and their volubility has forced companies to devise creative solutions to be competitive in a new bottom-up age. Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Dell, Best Buy and Nike have all created digital platforms that allow customers to help them create new products and messages. Starbucks received over 17,000 coffee ideas in the first 14 months since the launch of its proprietary online forum,

Forrester recognizes that the past five years of social media evolution have focused on growth and adoption. It predicts the era of social commerce.

Forrester 5 Overlapping Social Eras

Brian Solis thinks that

The Social Web is distributing influence beyond the customer landscape, allocating authority amongst stakeholders, prospects, advocates, decision makers, and peers. SRM recognizes that whether someone recommended a product, purchased a product, or simply recognized it publicly, in the end, each makes an impact on behavior at varying levels.

Therefore customers are now merely part of a larger equation that also balances vendors, experts, partners, and other authorities. In the realm of SRM, influence is distributed and it is recognizes wherever and however it takes shape.

John Winsor in his article Business Week said:

There’s a delicate balance between encouraging participation and maintaining clarity of overall business objectives. As with any good conversation, a give-and-take dialogue is necessary, and every company will develop its own way of handling that debate. Most excitingly, new forms of social editing will emerge that allow customers, experts, and brand advocates to curate crowd-created ideas to sort through the ideas and stay on strategy. For now, the most important thing is to jump in and try.