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Opting In
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Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Preface xviii

Chapter 1 Why Social Business? 1

A Social Business Is Engaged 4

A Social Business Is Transparent 6

A Social Business Is Agile 7

Social Business and Earned Success 8

Lessons Learned 8

Endnotes 9

Chapter 2 The Social Product Manager 11

Enter the Social Product Manager 13

Analyzing an Analyst's Report 14

Social by Policy 20

Sales and Marketing Viewpoints 22

The Social Product Manager's Direct Feedback Loop 24

Lessons Learned 26

Endnotes 27

Chapter 3 Self, Product, or Company 27

Painting a Self-Portrait 30

Positioning Product 35

Representing the Company 41

Lessons Learned 44

Endnotes 45

Chapter 4 Offense or Defense 47

Situation Analysis 48

Timing 52

Volume and Amplification 55

Anticipation and Unintended Consequences 59

Lessons Learned 61

Endnotes 62

Chapter 5 Picking a Fight 63

You Can't Please All of the People... 64

Entering a Fray 68

Make Some Enemies 73

Lessons Learned 75

Endnotes 76

Chapter 6 Activate Your Advocates 77

Leadership 78

Content Versus Curation 78

Identifying Influencers and Providing Recognition 81

Continuous Feedback 85

Truth in Use 88

Lessons Learned 91

Endnotes 91

Chapter 7 Tools of the Trade 93

2011 IBM CMO Study and the Importance of Customer Insight 94

Inbound Social Networking Tools 95

Outbound Social Networking Tools 103

Forums and Feedback Sites 110

Lessons Learned 112

Endnotes 112

Chapter 8 In Real Life 113

Amplify Your Message 114

Develop Community and Individual Relationships 116

Make Friends 123

Lessons Learned 127

Endnotes 128

Chapter 9 Social Inside the Organization 129

Intersecting Organizational Goals and Social Tools 130

IBM as a Social Business 132

Measuring Return on Investment 138

The Impact of Social Tools on Product Development 140

Who Needs to Participate? 143

Lessons Learned 144

Endnotes 144

Chapter 10 Risk Management in Social Business 145

Risk of Reaching the Wrong Audience 146

The Public Apology, and the Risk of Emotion 148

The Risk of Subset Population through Language and Other Demographics 151

Risk of Identity Challenges and Imitations 152

Internal Risks 154

Lessons Learned 155

Endnotes 155

Chapter 11 Putting Opting In into Practice 157

A Day in the Life 158

Using the "Lessons Learned" 160

The Social Product Manager of the Future 163

Next Steps 166

Conclusion 170

Appendix A IBM Social Computing Guidelines 171

Introduction: Responsible Engagement in Innovation and Dialogue 172

IBM Social Computing Guidelines 173

Detailed Discussion 174

Endnotes 179

Index 181

About the Author

Ed Brill is Director, Product Management-IBM Social Business solutions.

Brill is responsible for the product and market strategy for IBM's messaging, collaboration, communications, and productivity products, including IBM Notes/Domino, IBM SmartCloud Notes, IBM Sametime, IBM Docs, and other related social business solutions. Brill's focus is on extending and growing the success of these solutions through customer engagement, partner ecosystem development, and harnessing the breadth and depth of the IBM organization.

In 18 years at IBM, Brill has led a variety of sales, marketing, and product-related organizations. As Director for Social Business, Brill has succeeded in elevating IBM's expertise and reputation in brand and product management. He has constantly innovated in both marketplace strategy and product execution.

Previously, during Brill's role as Business Unit Executive-Worldwide Sales, his suite of products posted year-to-year quarterly growth for four years and gained thousands of new customers. Earlier in his IBM career, Brill led competitive strategy and held several product management and strategic marketing roles. Brill's technical background includes development of infrastructure deployments through project management and IT architect roles. Committed to understanding the global marketplace, Brill has visited IBM customers in more than 40 countries, and is a frequent speaker at IBM and industry events worldwide. Brill has served on the advisory boards for Web 2.0 Expo and IDG Mobile Enterprise Next.

Outside of IBM, Brill is an active Chicago community member. As a 25-year resident of Highland Park, Illinois, Brill authors "Highlands and Ravines," a regular opinion column on community news website Patch.com, and previously wrote for the Chicago Tribune's TribLocal.

Brill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Indiana University, with a minor in political science.

Use the following to connect with the author online:

  • Blog: www.edbrill.com, named a Best Blog for Buyers by Network World
  • Twitter: http://twitter.com/edbrill
  • Facebook: http://facebook.com/edbrilldotcom
  • LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/edbrill Opting

Reviews

"A must-read for anyone in business today. Ed does an incredible job at articulating the cultural shift driving social business today and the need for companies to embrace social business practices in order to thrive in today's changing digital world."

-Jonathan Levitt

Chief Marketing Officer, OpinionLab

"Ed gives us a highly actionable, from-the-trenches view of social business, how it works, and why it will reshape how we do business."

-Dion Hinchcliffe

Chief Strategy Officer, Dachis Group

Columnist for ZDNet and InformationWeek

"I have been teaching Internet Marketing classes at DePaul University since 2006, and the IBM Social Computing Guidelines have been indispensable in providing direction to students looking to meaningfully engage in business social media. To this excellent resource I now add another, Ed Brill's Opting In. The book is an honest and open combination of history and insight, in which Ed shares how he and IBM have used social media to make a technology giant more approachable and relevant to the lives of its customers and prospects. No small feat. The publishing industry abounds with social media guides at present. Opting In distinguishes itself from the completion by sharing real-world examples of what has worked (and what has not), with a clear explanation of the critical factors and lessons learned. Perhaps the new IBM meme will be 'Nobody ever got fired for 'Opting In'.'"

-James Moore

Director of Online Learning, DePaul University, Driehaus College of Business

"Many organizations are struggling to find ways to connect more effectively with their customers, partners, and their own employees. As an early adopter of social business solutions, IBM's Ed Brill has been excelling at this for more than a decade. In Opting In, he shares his experiences and insights on how to engage with communities and use their feedback to help guide critical business decisions. Anyone looking to learn how to leverage community feedback should put this on their reading list."

-Alan Lepofsky

Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

"Social business is an organizational imperative. In Opting In, Ed Brill demonstrates how IBM transformed our culture and tools to connect people with people and insert social into business process. This book represents the best practices and lessons learned in an extremely effective, personal narrative. Must reading for any product or brand manager."

-Jeff Schick

Vice President, Social Software, IBM

"Ed has been involved with social software since its very early days, driving his personal, product, and corporate brand forward as the social landscape began to take shape. This book gives an insider's view of the evolution of the social business from a personal perspective and how brands needed to adapt to the changing way of communicating. He shows how the use of social media has enabled the growth of transparency in business and gives practical advice for aspiring social product managers. It is an excellent resource for any business wishing to activate its advocates and grow its agile social business."

-Eileen Brown

Contributor, Social Business column at ZDNet and author of Working the Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business

"Clearheaded, actionable, and hype-free. As an IBM product manager who has successfully navigated the social business waters for himself, Ed demonstrates a remarkable ability to marry data and experience into a framework others can use to build, lead, and actualize social product strategies. This book is a must-read for any product manager with questions about navigating social business!"

-Jason Seiden

CEO, Ajax Workforce Marketing

"'Opting in' to become a more social business is imperative whether your business is large or small. This book gives you the roadmap you need to get there."

-Laurie McCabe

Partner, SMB Group

"Ed Brill's Opting In is an important book that takes social business beyond external marketing to provide practical guidance on how to drive significant business value through enhancing human interactions within the enterprise."

-Bill Ives

Partner, Merced Group

"Product management is a relationship business. It is about resonating with the user. Opting In shows you why and how social tools can accelerate relationships so you can sing to your consumer and make an extraordinary difference to the world."

-Kantha Shelke Ph.D.

Principal, Corvus Blue and developer who helped create and launch more than 100 food products that are still on the retail shelf today

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