Posts Tagged ‘blackberry’

Using Data To Delight Your Community

Every company or brand out there has its fans and naysayers. It’s just a part of business. One great example where we’ve seen both types prominently over the past few years is the company formerly known as RIM (now known as just BlackBerry).

The company was at one point the leader in smartphone technology. In fact, they were probably the first real smartphone makers in the market. But then other companies like Apple and Google entered the market and some people felt that BlackBerry had been left behind. Fast forward a few years and BlackBerry has made a stunning reemergence in the field with their fully redesigned operating system known as BlackBerry 10.

When BlackBerry announced that it was completely revamping itself from the ground up, it was again met with its fair share of vocal fans and naysayers. For example, take a look at this tweet below that highlights one of the naysayers being countered by one of the very vocal fans:

One thing is for sure; whether it was from a naysayer or a fan, there was a lot of talk leading up to the launch of BB10. Check out this popularity chart below for mentions of BB10 over the past 6 months leading up to the launch. There were over 19 million tweets during this period.

Now, this is where the story gets very cool:

TELUS, a large telecom in Canada, was just as excited about launching the BB10 line on their network as some of the super fans out there were. They also knew how excited a lot of their customers were for the new BlackBerry devices. That’s why they decided to reward a lucky customer who was the most eager (and persistent) for the big release.

Using our MAP platform, TELUS was able to analyze millions of conversations about BlackBerry and BB10 from across Canada to find the people that were talking the most positively about their excitement for the new smartphone. By cross-referencing the top BB10 anticipators with their client records, they were able to grant one lucky customer’s wish of being one of the first people in the world to own a BlackBerryZ10 device.

This is a great example of how companies can use big data (both from social media and from their own databases) to show their customers and fan base that they’re listening and that they care what they think.

Dan Fricker, TELUS’s Social Media Community Manager, had this to say:

“Social media’s one of our many ways of connecting and actually having conversations with customers. What Sysomos offers is an incredible way to listen to those conversations, from different people all over the country. Beyond engaging in real-time interactions, we can also go back and see what people have been anticipating most about the launch of BlackBerry 10, for example, or who’s been talking about this new device the longest. That’s the case with @Im_Sure_ who’s been tweeting with @TELUS about the BB10 for weeks. With tools like Sysomos and the power of social we can engage in customer conversations like Matt’s, arguably the BB10’s #BestFan. Given Matt’s such a big BlackBerry fan, we surprised him with his very own Z10 today.”

Should the BlackBerry Go Social?

In many respects, this is going to be an important week for Research in Motion and the BlackBerry. Facing increased competition from Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, the BlackBerry is being viewed as vulnerable and in jeopardy of losing its status as one of the world’s leading smartphones.

While the BlackBerry has maintained its strength in the corporate marketplace that values its rock-solid email and voice service, the BlackBerry’s consumer foothold is, at best, modest despite efforts to pimp its look and features.

The reality is the iPhone is sexy; the BlackBerry is your father’s smartphone.

This week, RIM is expected to unveil its new OS 6.0, which could include a Web browser that actually works. There’s also speculation RIM could unveil plans for a tablet computer to compete against the iPad.

In the midst of BlackBerry’s challenges, an interesting trend is how the device has gained a foothold with younger consumers. While they are not totally thrilled with the BlackBerry brand given its corporate roots, they like using it because the QWERTY keyboard makes it easy to use text-messaging and social media services such as Facebook and Twitter. If you take a look at younger consumers, the BlackBerry seems to be alive and well.

Given this foothold, maybe a logical strategic direction for RIM is pushing to become the social media smartphone. Rather than trying to out-Apple Apple, RIM should tightly integrate Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, etc. so they become a seamless part of the BlackBerry experience.

If RIM makes social media on the BlackBerry so user-friendly and intuitive, it might be able to capture more of the youth market to counter the iPhone’s appeal to the geeks and cool kids.

At the same time, RIM should embrace an Open API system, and encourage developers to create applications to make the BlackBerry even more social.

There’s no doubt this would be a bold step in a new direction for RIM but if can become the “social smartphone”, it would be a terrific way to complement its strength in the corporate market.