Driving Data Integration through the Social Network

I read an interesting report in dmreview last week.  Entitled “Survey Shows Chief Marketing Officers Haven’t ‘Friended’ Social Networking Sites” it analyses a report that suggests my peers are not too interested in social networking.  I’m surprised by this, given the role social networking has in today’s society.  That then had me thinking about our marketing strategy here at Informatica and the role of Facebook, and other online communities, in our activity.

Before talking about social networking, I thought I’d start by stating the obvious – the role of marketing here is to raise the awareness of Informatica within our target audience and to partner with the sales organization in executing programs to find opportunities for our technology and services.

The internet and online medium is massively influential in our plans.  A significant number of leads, and therefore opportunities, are sourced from the internet – whether that be our own web site, search engines, syndicated content or email marketing.  We’ve integrated a cloud service called Eloqua into our web architecture and use it to nurture leads and deliver better qualified leads to our sales colleagues (by the way – a great example of Informatica data integration in action!).

In the current economic downturn, I expect the online world to become even more important given the restraints on travel budgets and so on.

So what about communities?

We have our very own technology network – it’s a community for our users and interested parties.  Participation is strong with over 50,000 active members and the site is a self-running community with content being contributed by users across the world.  If you are interested in data integration or data quality, then feel free to join up. It’s free and you can be a part of what we believe is the largest data integration community in the world.

If you are a user of facebook or LinkedIn then check out the Informatica group on Facebook and several Informatica groups on LinkedIn (USA, Canada, Netherlands, Australia plus a group dedicated to certified professionals).   These are all active, but rely upon members to participate and contribute.

Six months ago I was very keen on building awareness through social sites such as Facebook.  We built a series of viral video’s focusing on the value of data (see our train video and countdown here) and launched a site called www.doyoutrustyourdata.com.  We commissioned an external agency to help us push our viral video’s out on sites like Facebook and YouTube and we achieved over 300,000 views of the videos.  We’re pretty pleased with the results – but what does it actually mean to our brand and our lead generation efforts?

Overall I’d say that this is an important part of our outreach in ensuring people hear about us, see us and learn about us.  Everything is designed to drive people back to our website and increase our traffic.  Our goal is to try and put our message in front of our audience.  Technologists love technology, online communities are a modern exemplification of technology and we’re using this to tell our story.

Is it working?  Now that’s a difficult question. We think it is – you tell me :-)

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