At Forrester, we’ve always strived to help our clients address their challenges from a number of different angles, and now we’re formalizing this approach with an idea called playbooks. Each playbook we write is focused on one specific business challenge and is designed to give you every detail you’ll need to be successful.

Our interactive marketing research team is hard at work writing playbooks that cover mobile marketing, email marketing, digital media buying, and more — and I couldn’t be more pleased that our first interactive marketing playbook is the Social Marketing Playbook. We’ve worked to create a playbook that’ll help you:

  • Discover social marketing. You’ll see how firms like Unilever and De Beers defined a vision for fitting social into their marketing plans; you’ll be able to survey the social landscape around the world; and you’ll learn how marketers like Charles Schwab and NASCAR built the business case for social spending.
  • Plan for social marketing. You’ll find advice on how to conduct an assessment of your company’s social maturity; you’ll learn how to build a strategic plan for social like Ally Bank and Radio Shack have done; and you’ll see how companies like IBM and Harford Financial crafted their social marketing stakeholder maps.
  • Act on your plans. You’ll learn how to build a organization that can conduct both push and pull social marketing, like Starbucks and Mattel have done; you’ll find social marketing best practices from leaders like Corona and John Deere; and you’ll find advice on selecting the best tools and technology to execute your social plans. 
  • Optimize your social programs once they’re in flight. You’ll be able to sneak a peek at which metrics Dell and P&G use to conduct performance management; you’ll find data you can use for your social marketing benchmarks; and you’ll see how firms like UPS and Kimberly-Clark trained their teams for continuous improvement.

If you’re not sure where to start, I suggest reading our executive overview: "Master The Next Wave Of Social" to get a better feel for what this playbook covers. Then, depending on your company’s exact needs and where you are in implementing social marketing, you can cherry-pick the playbook modules that are most appropriate to your needs.

I encourage you to look through the playbook, find the modules that are most relevant to your needs and challenges, and put the ideas into action in your own business. And if you’ve got feedback, please let us know; we’ll be continuously updating all our playbooks, and your feedback will be vital in helping us craft the content that best serves your needs.