Opting In: Lessons in Social Business from a Fortune 500 Product Manager

Opting In: Lessons in Social Business from a Fortune 500 Product Manager

by Ed Brill


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Winning social business techniques for product managers, marketers, and business leaders!

• How product managers at IBM are using social business to transform markets and build vibrant global communities

• New best practices for promoting engagement, transparency, and agility

• A deeply personal case study: handbook, roadmap, autobiography, and inspiration

Does “social business” work? IBM has proven unequivocally: it does. In Opting In, IBM executive Ed Brill candidly shares best practices, challenges, and results from his social business journey, and shows how his team used it to transform existing products into thriving business lines.

This deeply personal extended case study offers you a detailed roadmap for achieving and profiting from deep customer engagement. Brill shares his 15+ years of product management experience at IBM and describes how these techniques and experiences have developed a vibrant marketplace of social business customers worldwide.

You’ll learn how to use social business tools to strengthen customer intimacy, extend global reach, accelerate product lifecycles, and improve organizational effectiveness. You’ll also discover how social business can help you enhance your personal brand—so you can build your career as you improve your business performance.

With a Foreword by Marcia Conner, Author and Principal Analyst at SensifyWork.

Using today’s social business tools and approaches, product and brand managers can bring new products and services to market faster, identify new opportunities for innovation, and anticipate changing market conditions before competitors do. In Opting In, IBM’s Ed Brill demonstrates how product managers can fully embrace social business and leverage the powerful opportunities it offers.

Brill explains why social business is not a fad, not “just people wasting time on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube,” and not just for marketers. He shows how to drive real value from crowdsourcing, interactivity, and immediacy, and from relational links across your organization’s full set of content and networks.

Drawing on his extensive experience at IBM, Brill explores powerful new ways to apply social business throughout product, service, and brand management. Using actual IBM examples, he offers candid advice for optimizing products by infusing them with the three core characteristics of social business: engagement, transparency, and agility.

Drive breakthrough product, service, and brand performance through:

Engagement: Optimize productivity and efficiency by deeply connecting customers, employees, suppliers, partners, influencers…maybe even competitors

Transparency: Demolish boundaries to information, experts, and assets—thereby improving alignment, knowledge, and confidence

Agility: Use information and insight to anticipate/address evolving opportunities, make faster decisions, and become more responsive

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780133258936
Publisher: IBM Press
Publication date: 01/29/2013
Series: IBM Press Series
Pages: 191
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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

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

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Opting In: Lessons in Social Business from a Fortune 500 Product Manager 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To the person who wrote "who cares" - they obviously didn't read the book. Or are in a position where they are looking to leverage social to create dialogs with their customers. This is a great book that really is primer for anyone in corporate to build honest relationships with the social tools available today. There five star reviews for this across the web - so sorry to see "Anonymous" had nothing to offer with the one star review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who cares ?