Social Pros 7 – Cindy Kim, JDA Software

This is Episode 7 of the Social Pros Podcast : Real People Doing Real Work in Social Media. This episode features Cindy Kim, the Director of Marketing and Social Media for JDA Software. Read on for insights from Cindy, our “Work It Out” advice segment, and Eric’s Social Media Stat of the Week (this week: […]

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Full Episode Details

This is Episode 7 of the Social Pros Podcast : Real People Doing Real Work in Social Media. This episode features Cindy Kim, the Director of Marketing and Social Media for JDA Software. Read on for insights from Cindy, our “Work It Out” advice segment, and Eric’s Social Media Stat of the Week (this week: does Pinterest drive more traffic than all other social networks combined?).

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Huge thanks to data-driven social media management software company Argyle Social for their presenting sponsorship, as well as Infusionsoft and Jim Kukral at DigitalBookLaunch. We use Argyle Social for our social engagement; we use Infusionsoft for our email; and Jim is our guest host for the podcast and a smart guy).

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Jay: Hey everybody, it’s Jay Baer and Eric Boggs live, a live episode of
the Social Pros Podcast from soggy South by Southwest in Austin.
Eric, I haven’t seen you in full rain gear in quite a while, and
it is a sexy, sexy look on you.

Eric: Yeah. I’ve been on the ground in Austin for three hours now.

Jay: And it’s rained 14 inches in those 3 hours.

Eric: Yeah.

Jay: It’s the big typhoon edition of the Social Pros Podcast.

Eric: So it’s bearable, but it’s going to get nasty when the sun goes down
and it’s going to get colder.

Jay: As I saw on Twitter the other day, the killer app of South By is an
umbrella, which is less digital than you would expect. We have a
great show. Live here at the SpreadFast Social Lounge is our
good friend Cindy Kim, Head of Social Media for JDA Software. We
are going to talk to her about their supply chain business and
the amazing things that they’re doing in social. They’ve come a
long way fast, and it’s going to be some pretty interesting
stuff, and I think a lot of people will be amazed by and will
learn from.

Jay’s Thought of the Week

So let’s get into Jay’s thought of the week, and I tell you,
it’s weird. I feel like we have this commoditization of social
networks, that we have a diminishing level of distinguishing
characteristics. So here’s what I mean. Twitter announces last
week that they are going to do a new iteration of brand pages on
Twitter so that companies can actually have Twitter apps. They
can have contests within the Twitter platform themselves. So
essentially, you will have a Twitter page that will be somewhat
similar to a Facebook page.

And Facebook just announced and
actually rolled out Interest Lists, so you can actually
subscribe to topics on Facebook and get in your news stream
things about dogs or, in my case, tequila or, in your case,
North Carolina Tar Heels basketball failures. And Google+ is
the same thing, right? Google+ has half of their features came
from Facebook, and the ones that Google+ innovated, like
circles, Facebook copied in 30 seconds. And so, if all three of
these guys end up doing the exact same features, what the hell
is the point? Why do we have all these different social networks
if they’re going to have the same functionality?

Eric: Yeah. You even left off Facebook’s new ad platform, which is,
effectively, exactly Twitter’s ad platform.

Jay: Which, actually, Twitter’s ad platform is actually Google’s ad
platform in many ways. I understand that good ideas should be
copied, but I feel like, instead of truly innovating,
everybody’s playing “me too”.

Eric: Well, it’s kind of they’re all sort of approaching the mean. They’re
all kind of becoming the same thing.

Jay: Yeah. But is that based on they think that they understand what people
actually want, or is it like, “Oh my god! These guys have a
feature. We need to roll out something similar.” I think it’s the latter. I think it’s more competitive pressure as opposed to
some sort of in-depth market research on consumer demand that
says, “Oh, we have to have Interest Lists.”

Eric: I think it’s driven by the need to become the biggest social network that they could possibly become. When you look at what Facebook has done and they’ve kind of built every feature under the sun, and you look at what sort of the strategy that Twitter looks like they’re taking where now there are going to be brand pages, they’re headed down that path.

Jay: And that, in particular, is the one that really bothers me because
I’ve always believed since the very beginning that Twitter’s
genius was that it did one thing and did it extraordinarily
well. And, to me, every time they hang more ornaments on their
Christmas tree, it takes them away from their competitive
advantage, not giving them new competitive advantage.

Eric: You and I did a great webcast this week about niche networks, and three or four years ago, Twitter was a niche network. Today, it
is without a doubt one of the top three with Facebook, Twitter…

Jay: 400 million users or whatever the number was.

Eric: Yeah. And I think this is kind of the price they’re having to pay.
You look at something like Pinterest or Instagram, these niche
networks that may or may not cross that transom and become
mainstream, they are the ones that are doing one thing really
cleanly and really simply. The big difference is that Facebook
is making a kajillion dollars a year, and Twitter seems to be
ramping up to be making a kajillion dollars a year, and
Pinterest and Instagram are making zero dollars per year. So
it’s all driven by ad dollars. I don’t know that that’s best for
the user, but I think there are a lot of people that have
invested a lot of money in these companies that want to get
their money back.

Jay: Yeah. It’s going to be fascinating to see where we are a year from
now, when we basically just have Twacebook and Fwitter, right,
and it’s like the exact same thing. I think we’re going to get
that day, maybe not exactly that, but we’re headed that
direction. What do we have on the math front?

Eric’s Social Media Stat of the Week: Does Pinterest Drive More Traffic Than All Other Social Networks Combined?

Eric: We have a couple stats of the week, actually, this week. First stat
of the week is 50, in that it’s 50 degrees in Austin, Texas,
which is…

Jay: 50 degrees in Austin, Texas.

Eric: And rainy. I think there’s a 70 percent chance of rain tomorrow,
which is not what the South by Southwest organizers hoped for,
and certainly not what the South by Southwest attendees had
hoped for. That said, the party will go on.

Jay: The party is going on.

Eric: The actual stat of the week comes from our dear friend, Tom Webster.

Jay: Tom Webster. @Webby2001.

Eric: VP of Marketing at Edison Research. He writes one of the best blogs
on the Internet, One of the few blogs where I
read every word that is written. He just launched sort of the
second piece in his media empire, which is And Tom is a self-admitted data snob. So he wrote his first blog post on site and it’s going to be a great site, I can already tell you. Basically, he took a report from Shareaholic,
which is like an onsite sharing system, and basically, these
guys put together a report. The report surmised that Pinterest
drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn
combined. And Mashable got a hold of the report and that was the
headline, is that Pinterest drives more traffic than these other
networks combined and Tom’s point is: You know what? That is a
valid outcome, but only when you put it in the context of
amongst Shareaholic users, amongst this set of data, we found
this outcome.

Jay: You can’t assume that Shareaholic users behave the same as a larger

Eric: It’s not representative of humanity.

Jay: Well, it may be. We don’t know that. But you can’t assume that.

Eric: Exactly. Exactly. And this type of content is classic Tom Webster and…

Jay: And that kind of study is classic modern marketing.

Eric: Yeah, exactly.

Jay: That’s why we have a social media stat of the week on the Social Pros
because this kind of thing happens consistently, and the
desire to get clicks and win the content marketing game tends to
get in the way of either nuanced reporting, he says, former
journalism major, or legitimate market research.

Eric: Yep. And I’ll tell you, we do this at Argyle. We’re a data driven
company. A lot of our marketing…

Jay: You’re part of the problem, not part of the solution, honestly.

Eric: I disagree. I will admit it is a tough line to tow, and we just try
to be as absolutely upfront and transparent as we can be. I give
a lot of talks at conferences, and I spend way more time than I
should probably…

Jay: Disclaiming, yeah.

Eric: …describing the context…

Jay: Verbal asterisk.

Eric: Yeah. The context of the dataset and sort of empowering everyone
with, “Use this, but your mileage may vary because this is our
data and this is what it tells us.” So, a Tom
Webster joint, it’s going to be a great blog.

Special Guest – Cindy Kim, JDA Software

Jay: Awesome. So let’s bring in our very special guest, live at soggy
South by Southwest, Cindy Kim from JDA Software. Cindy, my
friend, how are you?

Cindy: Good. How are you? Thanks, Jay, for having me.

Jay: We are delighted to have you. Tell the folks at home or in the car or
on the treadmill, wherever they happen to be, a little bit about
JDA and what you guys do.

Cindy: So JDA Software is one of the leading providers of supply chain
management software. They’ve got global offices everywhere, and
we’ve got large enterprises that we serve in the retail
manufacturing and travel transportation markets.

Jay: So, if you need to create some sort of, I don’t know, portable,
disposable raincoat for South by Southwest attendees, you need
to make sure that those raincoats are here for this conference.
JDA Software can make sure that those raincoats are manufactured
and shipped in time.

Cindy: Yes. And I’m sure a lot of our clients were responsible for
bringing in a lot of the food, all of the items for South by
Southwest in terms of the supply chain.

Jay: Well, thank you, for making sure that we have beer to drink at South
by Southwest because of your software. Congratulations.

Eric: Exactly. We’re all going to be huddled indoors drinking together, so
it’s important that we go on.

Jay: So, as I mentioned in the show intro, it wasn’t that long ago that
you were actually hired as the Head of Social Media at JDA
Software, but yet, the company had no social media program,
which I think is one of the greatest feats of getting a job in
history. I’d like to be your Director of Social Media despite
the fact that we have no social media, which is really quite

Eric: Lots of smoke. Lots of mirrors.

Jay: It’s genius, right? You need to open a recruiting business. But now,
fast forward like 18 months, and you guys are all over the
place, I mean blog and everything else, social networks. How did
you do that? It’s a big company with big company issues, about
trust and turf and all those kind of things. How has that journey unfolded?

Cindy: When I started, I think JDA was ready and we had a good
leadership there who understood the need for social media as part of the marketing mix. So, I was really glad to take that
role and look at the company’s culture and the needs of our
culture, not just to fast track and adopt social media as part
of our marketing strategy, but really to understand what is it
going to be in terms of really benefiting our brand and building
our thought leadership and really engaging with some of the
supply chain folks that are out there.

Jay, I’ve had the pleasure of bringing you onboard and working
with you very closely and looking at our company culture, and
really asking the question, “What’s going to really work for
JDA, and what are some of the objectives and goals that we want
to achieve?” So I think with that in mind, really understanding
the intent and the commitment by the executive team, we were
really able to lock down a policy where we got really good
engagement from HR, Legal, and all of the core stakeholders, and
then really looking at putting together a very solid, powerful
social media marketing strategy and program.

Another key thing that we did was we did bring in an agency that
I trusted. We really looked into the digital experience and
really used them as the extended branch of our brand and to get
our voice out there. So I think that has helped quite a bit, and
that firm is Lois Paul & Partners, obviously you know. I think
one of the success factors of really being able to be successful
is understanding that we are going to focus on the core
channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, not Google+. But
we understood, even from me speaking with you, was really
getting the blog as the essential hub of content. So really
being able to invest and get buyer insight and really get the
approval from our executive team to launch that.

Jay: I think the executive team part of that is so critical. I mean, we
talked a lot about that, of course, in The NOW Revolution, and
Amber, my co-author, now is doing a lot of consulting around
corporate culture and social business transformation
. But I
don’t think you could have gotten to where you are today without
cultural alignment and true executive support for social. I
think people believe that to be true, but you’ve lived that,
right? If you didn’t have the sea sweet drink in the social Kool-
Aid, this wouldn’t have gotten off the ground, I presume.

Cindy: That’s exactly it, and I think one of the things that I did
was, when I put together the social media strategy and program,
I tried to really do the social selling to our executive team
and not to just our legal, our HR. They really bought into it
and they started to evangelize within their own business units
and within their own management that this was a good thing for JDASoftware. When it came to the blog, it was very unique. We
actually had the executive team excited about it, but we
developed a buddy blog program. We really shared with them how
we were going to make this successful.

Jay: How do you mean a buddy blog program?

Cindy: We had our social media team from LPP and myself really look at
our bloggers and say, “We’re going to be your blog buddy. We’re
going to provide you the content and topic recommendations. We’re
going to review your blog. We’re going to give you links to
blogs and articles where you could comment and link back to our
blog.” So that has worked. It’s been very successful. But after
our executives saw the plan on how we were going to go to market
and how we were going to make this successful, they were very
confident that we could actually pull this off and sustain the level of success that we had supplied.

Jay: Do you then circle that back and give those execs and other content critters on the blog, “Hey, here’s how many page views you generated,” or sharing behaviors of that kind? Do you reinforce their good behavior with data?

Cindy: Exactly. The first month it launched, we had a very successful traffic flow on a page basis and stuff like that. And so I would send weekly updates to our EVP of Sales and Marketing, Tom Dziersk, to show its success. And really, even the unique page views, but also time on site as well as the clicks on each of the blogs that we posted. And so he could see the success or what’s resonating in the market. We’ve been actually linked from some of the industry blogs as well, and now we’re getting really closely tied into the industry influencers. We’re really headed in the right way, and I’m very excited about what we’re doing.

Eric: I want to go back a couple of questions. You were talking about the
pitch that you made to the executive team. I know you can’t
share all of the details of the pitch, but what do you think was
the hook? What do you think was the angle or the pieces of data
that got the executives to…

Jay: It was free beer. It was like a South By thing.

Eric: I need you to sign this document, but first have a six pack.

Cindy: We had cocktails. You know what’s so funny is a lot of people said, “You’re going to have to do a lot of upfront work to get the executives to buy in.” That wasn’t the case. We, as acollective team, came together and said, “We have a strategy. We
have a plan. And I know how I’m going to sell it.” I first sold
it to the EVP… I actually sold it to the CEO. In my hallway
conversation, I said, “Look. The blog, content is your new
currency, and if you want JDA to be… we’re the best kept
secret in the market. We’ve just got to break out of that. So
the way we do that is through the blog, and the blog is our new
social newswire and we’re going to be clicking out from the blog
to Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. And that’s how
you’re going to succeed in this content distribution and
dissemination.” So he was all for that. As soon as he bought
into that, it was all about the blogger education, how we were
going to roll it out, the content flow, how we were going to
match up the blog buddies to the executive team. And you know
what? Once the CEO bought on, that was it.

Eric: Speaks to the power of selling high, right?

Cindy: Yeah. It’s been great.

Jay: You talked about the content, having multiple authors of the blog.

How many writers do you have? Contributors?

Cindy: We had about, I believe we had eight to start with and the CEO,
Hamish, he was so excited about contributing content because he
really attached and got connected with the customers. So he was
one of our key bloggers to start with. Now we have over, I
believe, 20 bloggers that are on staff. They just love
contributing content, but now our job is to make sure that
content is premium, it’s unique, and it’s really going to serve
the customer audience.

Jay: How do you do that? Do they say, “Hey, Cindy and team, I have an idea
for a blog post,” and you say, “That is a good enough idea”? Or
do they give you content and then you’d say, “Yeah, that blog
content maybe doesn’t quite work”? Or do you say, “Hey, we need
to create content about this topic because it’s good for
search,” and then you assign it? What’s that process?

Cindy: We have a great blog with Lois Paul & Partners. We have a blog
process. So we have our blog buddies. Any content that they
write, they submit it to and our team takes a
look at it. The blog buddy would communicate out, read their
blog post, and say, “It doesn’t make sense. You should link to
this. You should look at this article. You should include this
author.” So they really provide that guidance. But I think in
terms of making sure they’re educated on what they come back
with, we just work closely with them to make sure they’re really
linking to events and relevant news or relevant influence or…

Jay: So they can pretty much write what they want, and you just make sure
that goes through our quality control process…

Cindy: Yes. Exactly.

Jay: …to make sure that it’s good enough.

Cindy: Exactly.

Eric: And these bloggers are employees from different departments
throughout the organization?

Cindy: They’re subject matter experts as well as folks who engage
directly with the customer. We wanted to make sure that we had
equal representation across JDA Software, so that’s what we did.
We made sure that we just didn’t approach just experts. We
wanted to make sure that we get war stories from the field. We
wanted to make sure we got the right mix of content. So I think
our bloggers are just really representative of that.

Jay: Then you were using your social channels at some level to support the
blog. Obviously, you’re talking about other things in social as
well, but what you say in social, in some cases is, “Hey, we’ve
got this interesting content.” So you’re using social to promote
content, not just social to promote the company, which I think
is an important distinction. It goes back to what we’ve talked
about a lot of times, Eric, that content is the fire and social
is the gasoline, right? It’s not the other way around.
Otherwise, what are you tweeting about? How awesome you are?
That’s going to run out of steam pretty quickly in a lot of

Anything on the visual side? Are you guys thinking about doing… last episode, we talked to Jon Wichmann from Maersk Line,
and they have an amazing Instagram program with a giant global
shipping container company, which is not immediately what you
think of when you think of Instagram successes, and it’s an
amazing story and they’re doing a lot of photo stuff in social
media. Have you guys thought about kind of breaking out of the
text mold and going photos, videos, skywriting, magic tricks,

Cindy: I think that’s where we’re headed. We would love to have more
infographics, and we’d love to have more ideas on how to get our
people more engaged with a conversation that’s happening. I
think that’s where we’re headed, but right now, we’re really
just trying to really ensure that we can be successful in the
things that we do and that we are putting out the right
conversation starters.

Jay: Is the audience for the blog intended to be potential customers or
current customers?

Cindy: Both.

Jay: Both, OK.

Cindy: And I think the content really shows that we can go both ways.
But they’re all educational. They’re non-JDA promotional. And
really, the purpose of educating these bloggers was to say that,
“You don’t want to put out content that’s going to promote JDA.
It’s really about informing the market on what’s coming up or
really stating the expectations of how to use best practices to
move the business forward.”

Jay: So the helping, not selling thing that we talked about before.

Cindy: That’s exactly, Jay.

Eric: Talking about what your customers care about.

Cindy: Yes. And that’s at the heart of what you’re trying to do with
content, right? So that’s exactly where we want to be.

Jay: Awesome. Well, we’ll make sure that we link up the JDA blog and other
social channels in the podcast transcript.

Work It Out

We have a Work It Out segment on the podcast today, and today’s
Work It Out is from Julie, a Social Pros listener, and Julie
says that she’s got a company with 15 or so salespeople, and
those salespeople are clamoring to do more in social media, do
more Twitter. Give me more of that Twitter! And LinkedIn and
Google+ and whatever or whatever. She is a little concerned
that, if she gives the salesforce the opportunity to kind of go
batshit crazy in social media, that there could be problems.
Sometimes salespeople have been known to lay it on a little

Eric: Salespeople are salespeople.

Jay: Right. Yes.

Eric: And I say that as a salesperson.

Jay: Yes. There you go. So, Cindy, Eric, what advice would you give to
Julie, the listener, about how to make sure her sales team does
this the right way? You just talked about it a second ago with
the blog, about being educational and not necessarily overtly

Cindy: Yeah, and I agree. And I think of that, what we do is we send
out daily e-newsletters on the content that you can share via
Twitter, Facebook, Google+

Jay: To employees?

Cindy: To employees, and that includes sales as well. So they take a
lot of guidance in terms of re-posting the content that we share
with them. But I think education is key. Work with the sales
guys to really go through an education Webinar in terms of do’s
and don’ts. We also recommend top LinkedIn groups that they
should look at by vertical so that they can engage in
discussions and follow some of the influencers on LinkedIn
versus just posting nonsense stuff. These guys are desperate to
get leads. That’s all they want to do is look at the new shiny
object, use it to get leads or conversation starters.

Jay: The thing about us as marketers is we’re not on to you yet. So people
will say, “Oh, sales guys.” But you know what? We get paid
regardless. They get paid on commission, at least partially.
It’s a different dynamic.

Eric: So we have a pretty big sales group at Argyle, actually 13
salespeople, and our…

Jay: Are you Julie? Did you call in?

Eric: I’m not Julie, but I’ve…

Jay: You’ve walked a mile in Julie’s stilettos.

Eric: I wouldn’t say we’ve wrestled with this issue at Argyle, but we see
it and we have just made it very clear that, if it is a
conversation related to @argylesocial, that is marketing’s turf,
and we did not want salespeople invading marketing’s turf.
Salespeople, tweet with your prospects, by all means. If you
already have a relationship with someone, you should be tweeting
with them…

Jay: But that’s almost a replacement for email or a replacement for
voicemail more so than a replacement for direct mail, right?

Eric: Right. So you’re talking about Twitter in terms of a lead gen or
prospecting. That sits very clearly under marketing at Argyle,
and we’ve maybe had to slap some wrists to get people to back
off a little bit. It’s good to see hungry salespeople, but you
have to find that balance…

Jay: Well, when everything you tweet is public, right, and customer
service and sales, frankly, is a spectator sport now, you have
to realize that, if you lay it on a little thick, that can have
ripple in the pond ramifications for the brand, not necessarily
for that individual salesperson. That stands to reason. But for
everybody else on the team too. I guess the way to say it is
you’re only as cheesy as your weakest link. That’s
really what it comes down to.

Eric: This is a question I’ve heard many times, we hear from our customers.
You make a list of 10 social media questions and it starts with,
“When is the best time to tweet?” Somewhere in that list of 10
question is, “Should my sales guys be tweeting?” There are a
number of ways to answer that question, but no question, a hot

Cindy: I think that it’s also letting the sales guys know what are the
best channels to engage, because I’ve seen examples where the
sales guys have seen customers come back and ask questions via
LinkedIn, and I think the key thing to note is they need to know
who to go to, to really get that final guidance and approval
before they post anything. And that’s been great with some of
the folks at JDA where they go, “Oh my god! This customer is
talking about something. What do I do?” And then you say, “Look.
We’ve got an expert who is going to go on there to respond and
just monitor that group.” So I think that’s important as well,
understanding where you should engage versus being everywhere at
anytime, being everyone, being just present for everything. Just
investing their time wisely.

Jay: I’m a big fan of SocialToaster. Do you know those guys? SocialToaster
company, actually?

Eric: I’ve heard of them.

Jay: and it’s really interesting software. It doesn’t
get a lot of run, but you can have employees, or it’s actually
built for fan advocacy, but you have employees do it too. And
Cindy, you were talking about the message of the day email that
gets sent out. Same premise, but the way it works is that it’s
software driven, so when you get the email, you go off your
account, so as part of it, your Twitter, your Facebook,
whatever. So, if you’re with the sales team, yeah, I do want to
force amplify this message from the company. You just click a
link in the email and it automatically re-broadcasts on your
account, your Twitter, your Facebook, your LinkedIn. So it is
sort of a geometric multiplication opportunity. It’s a neat

Eric: Yeah.

Jay: You guys should buy them.

Eric: I don’t know how much cash you think we have in the bank account.

Jay: I thought you guys were going to go public or do something amazing.
I’m not just doing this podcast just because I like you. I
thought that someday there was going to be a velvet smoking robe
for me.

Eric: Jay, the friends and family equity grant will be coming.

Jay: Excellent. Thank you. Thank you. Excellent. Next time I’m in North
Carolina, the drinks are on Eric. All right. That will do it for
Episode 7 of Social Pros Podcast from here in soggy South by
Southwest Land, Austin, Texas. Thanks very much to Cindy Kim,
who joined us in person. Of course to Eric Boggs. Our sponsors
Argyle Social, Eric’s company, who we use for all of our social
media stuff at Convince & Convert, and InfusionSoft, who we use
for all of our email, and our good friend and fill-in host Jim
from We’ll see you next week with
Ian Greenleigh from BazaarVoice.

Eric: Which is based in Austin, Texas.

Jay: Also based in… I saw Ian yesterday in the line for the nametags.
So we’ll jump on his case next week at Social Pros. Thanks for

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