Outstanding applications of social technologies by companies such as Dell, Nike, Chevrolet, and Schwab were honored last night at the Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) Consumer Forum in Chicago. The Forrester Groundswell Awards are the first awards to recognize excellence in business uses of social technologies.

Winners were chosen across seven categories that comprise the main goals Forrester recommends companies consider as reasons to use social technologies to interact with customers: listening, talking, energizing, supporting, embracing, managing, and social impact. For demonstrating their business effectiveness and value in these categories, the winners are:

  • Listening: Schwab’s Money and More Private Community of Gen Xers empowered by Communispace
  • Talking: Chevy Aveo Livin’ Large Campus Challenge by Chevrolet and Weber Shandwick
  • Energizing: NetShops Social Merchandising featuring PowerReviews
  • Supporting: Nike’s Jordan Brand Breakfast Club by Blast Radius
  • Embracing: Salesforce.com IdeaExchange at ideas.salesforce.com
  • Managing: Avenue A | Razorfish Wiki
  • Social Impact: Brickfish “Design Your Portion of the Border Fence”

In addition, a special award was designated to capture the powerful changes happening across all functions of one particular organization. Dell Social Media and Community Initiatives were recognized for excellence in Transformation.

The Forrester Groundswell Awards are an outgrowth of the book Groundswell, to be published in 2008 by Harvard Business School Press. Written by two of the most respected and well-known Forrester analysts, Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, Groundswell will focus on effective business strategies in a world transformed by social technologies and will feature the types of case studies recognized by the Forrester Groundswell Awards. More information about the Forrester Groundswell Awards is available at www.forrester.com/groundswell.

“The winners of this year’s Forrester Groundswell Awards illustrate how companies can succeed in a world transformed by social technology and media, and show distinct measurable results for their efforts,” said Forrester Research Vice President and Research Director Christine Spivey Overby. “By making customer input and engagement a cornerstone of their marketing and selling processes, forward-thinking organizations will not only deepen current customers’ loyalty but also spur product innovation and increase brand equity among new constituencies.”

Forrester’s Consumer Forum Presents Strategies For Social Computing Success

More than 800 professionals gathered in Chicago this week for Forrester’s Consumer Forum 2007 to discuss the impact that social technologies have on consumer behavior and how companies must embrace brand participation in order to remain relevant and competitive in the new world created by the social media phenomenon. The Forum’s keynotes and panel discussions offered insights for several key roles. For example:

  • Marketing professionals learned tactics for socializing their brands.
  • eBusiness, channel, & product management professionals discussed how to use social technologies to boost sales.
  • Customer experience professionals were offered tips for designing great social experiences for customers and prospects.
  • Market research professionals focused on methods for measuring Social Computing’s effect on purchase dynamics and brand.

Industry leaders who spoke at the Consumer Forum included:

  • Kevin H. Johnson, Digital Organization Leader, Services Division, Acxiom Digital
  • Philip J. Kaplan, Founder and President, Products, AdBrite
  • Jeremy Allaire, Founder and CEO, Brightcove
  • Richard Edelman, President and CEO, Edelman
  • Robert J. Bach, President, Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft
  • Henry Jenkins, Co-Director, MIT Comparative Media Studies, MIT
  • Christina Norman, President, MTV Networks
  • Christie Hefner, Chairman and CEO, Playboy Enterprises
  • Ze Frank, Founder, ZeFrank.com

In addition, participants gained information on how to stimulate loyalty with social technologies through more than 225 one-on-one sessions with Forrester analysts, peer networking, and a technology showcase where 29 sponsors shared their solutions, including platinum sponsor Acxiom and gold sponsors Leo Burnett Worldwide, Blast Radius, Critical Mass, and WHITTMANHART.

More than 100 members of Forrester Leadership Boards’ marketing groups also met at the Consumer Forum. They attended exclusive sessions hosted by The CMO Group, the Interactive Marketing Council, and the Direct Marketing Council. CMO Group members examined approaches to building effective relationships with customers and peers such as the CIO and CFO to achieve personal and professional results. The Interactive Marketing Council focused on how to positively impact their brands online; the Direct Marketing Council discussed how to focus teams around a single view of the customer across various channels. More information on Forrester Leadership Boards is available at: www.forrester.com/LeadershipBoards.

For more information about future Forrester Events, visit: www.forrester.com/events.