TPG agree’s with some of the findings in the following study, and we work with our clients to understand how we integrate the entire social media experience into the fabric of the relationship the consumer has with the company. Sometimes this involves a significant investment in technology integrating social media into the fabric of the company beginning with social media, to sales, to customer service, to order processing and client communications, but for social media to be impactful in any business you need to build a social relationship with your consumers in such a way that it is integrated into their working relationship with your brand…only then do you see the results of social media supporting and driving growth with a substantial ROI. Check out his report and that analysis done by CMO’s Giselle Abramovich. It is a good study with good advice.
Deloitte/MIT Study: Don’t Just Do Social, Be Social
CMO EXCLUSIVES | October 11, 2013
by Giselle Abramovich
Senior & Strategic Editor
“Social business” is growing, but progress is slow, according to recent study by Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review.
- When asked to rank their companies’ social business maturity on a scale of one to 10, more than half of respondents gave a score of three or less.
- Sixty-five percent of respondents said they use social business tools to understand market shifts.
- A stronger connection between the CMO/CIO will improve social business initiatives.
The study, “Social Business Study: Shifting Out Of First Gear,” surveyed 2,545 business professionals to understand the state of social business adoption and how companies are fostering innovation with social technologies.
The report’s main takeaway is that social business is more than just doingsocial to communicate with customers and prospects. It also means beingsocial in the way that the business functions. Truly social businesses are already reaping the benefits: Sixty-two percent of CMO respondents said their social efforts have led to better access to strategic marketing data, and 54 percent said they’re seeing a faster time to innovation as a result of social technology, according to the report.
“Being a social business includes interacting with the consumer via social, but it also means software within the organization that empowers employees to work better together,” said Doug Palmer, who leads Deloitte Consulting’s social business efforts, in an interview with CMO.com. “It means a change in culture as well as strategic vision.”
According to the research, awareness of the benefits of a social business varies throughout the C-suite. CIOs are involved, the report said, but CMOs are the ones playing a larger leadership role in social business. A stronger connection between the CMO/CIO will improve social business initiatives, the study stated.
“What we’re seeing in the market is a real partnership starting to evolve between the IT and marketing organizations,” said Bill Ingram, Adobe’s VP of analytics and social, in the report. He said IT can make sure the site is up, apps are running, metrics are solid, and the infrastructure is well-managed–leaving the content management to marketing. A partnership would mean marketing can do its own job faster, he said. (Note: Adobe is CMO.com’s parent company.)
Unfortunately, becoming a social enterprise doesn’t happen overnight. When asked to rank their companies’ social business maturity on a scale of one to 10, more than half of respondents gave a score of three or less. Only 31 percent gave a rating of four to six, and a mere 17 percent ranked their companies at seven or higher.
Businesses that are ahead of the competition don’t view social as just a platform or tool. Rather, social is integrated into many functions in the business, including marketing, sales, and operations, and it’s part of everyday decision-making as well, according to the study. In fact, 65 percent of respondents said they use social business tools to understand market shifts, 45 percent turn to them for better visibility into operations, and 45 percent use them to identify internal talent.
The report cited a few companies that use social technology in their decision-making process. Cisco , for example, has the Cisco Learning Network, which is integrated with the company’s transaction systems. The marketing team at Learning@Cisco uses data analytics tools to recognize trends and meet customer requirements.
The study also highlights Dell , which, with its IdeaStorm program, has been building products based on customer input since 2007. Dell uses data to guide all of its decision-making and, in 2012, began to use social technology to sort and analyze conversations about the company, competitors, and specific technologies. Dell, which gets 25,000 online mentions per day, applies natural language processing to the conversations and turns insights into actions. While the company’s social business strategies and direction are centralized, its social media functions and teams are dispersed across various business units. The directors of each of these social teams meet weekly to work together cross-functionally.
But it’s not as easy as some companies might make it look. “There are three main barriers of entry,” Palmer said. “The first is the lack of an overall business strategy. Second is there are too many competing priorities for attention on the corporate level, and third is a lack of a proven business case in social.”
About Giselle Abramovich
Giselle Abramovich is senior & strategic editor at CMO.com. Previously she wrote for outlets including Direct Marketing News, Mobile Marketer, Mobile Commerce Daily, Luxury Daily, and Digiday.