Financial Institutions Submitted 8% of the Entries for the Forrester Groundswell Awards 2011

It is that time of the year again. Yesterday was the final day to submit entries for the Forrester Groundswell Awards 2011. Forrester will announce the winners between end of September and mid November.

This is already the 5th edition of the awards based on the immensely popular book co-authored by Josh Bernoff, SVP Idea Development , andCharlene Li, Founder at Altimeter Group.


The number of key categories and sub-categories increased in the last couple of years to recognize the most innovative initiatives in social media / digital engagement (online + mobile) from all over the world.

Please find below the distribution for the 145 enties of the 2011 edition:

Business to Consumer North AmericaListening (7), Talking (10),Energizing (16), Supporting (5), Embracing (8), Social Impact (9), Mobile Application (9)

Business to Consumer InternationalListening (3), Talking (6),Energizing (5), Supporting (2), Embracing (3), Social Impact (3), Mobile Application (2)

Business to BusinessListening (5), Talking (6), Energizing (6),Spreading (7), Supporting (6), Embracing (6)

ManagementEmployee Mobile Application (6), Collaboration System(12), Innovation System (3)

As you’d expect, most of the usual suspects entered the awards to showcase their latest social media initiatives. My favourites are Dell‘s “Trade Secrets” on facebookCisco‘s “Flip your Profile” on facebookStarbucks‘ mobile appsAT&T‘s ROI of social media for customer service, and Best Buy‘s Unboxed,

By the way, do you know what USAA has in common with Best Buy? Hint hint: think volume of UGC on their prospect site… This is a fantastic stats which gives us some perspective on the future of banking websites.

Can the Risk-Adversed Financial Services Industry Win Some Groundswell Awards?
Yes it can. As a matter of fact, year after year, financial institutions have always been keen to enter these awards (even though most of the entries from the industry are US-based initiatives) and quite a few have won the prestigious award:
* 2010: Intuit’s Turbo Tax – Distributing Social (B2C NA) and Intuit’s Brainstorm (Innovation), Chase – Co-Creation (B2C NA), USAA’s iPhone app – Auto Circle (B2C)
* 2009, 2008, 2007: Fico’s myFicoServus’ Young and Free Alberta, Charles Schwab, Intuit (again)…

This year is no different with 12 entries (or 8% of total number):
Allstate – GoodRide by Allstate
American Family – Someone is always talking about American Family Insurance
Blue Cross Shield – A Healthier Michigan
Regence – My Blue Community

 – Detect the Hidden Value in the Organization Through Crowdsourcing
Landmark Bank – Landmark Bank Mobile Website

Credit Card
Discover – Customer Feedback Helps Discover Live their Brand Promise

Financial Services & Investment
Putnam – FundVisualizer Fund Comparison Tool
* Intuit – Inner Circle Program and Love a Local Business Competition
* Deloitte – Americas IQ and Yammer Network (Australia)

May the Best Nominees Win
Like for any other awards or contest, the quality of the winners depends essentially on the volume and the quality of the nominees or contestants.

I can think about dozens of other innovative initiatives from the financial services industry which would have been worthy contenders had they entered the competition this year such as Webank‘s Wepad project(crowdsourcing), Standard Chartered Breeze‘s Wishlist (mobile banking),Credit Agricole‘s TooKam (social media branch), American Express‘ Small Business Saturday (facebook)… And I guess it was a bit too late for first direct to enter the contest with the first direct Lab launched earlier this week. 😉

Anyhow, best of luck to all the nominees from the industry!

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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