Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Social Enterprise Smarts = Profitability Plu$

Recently I moderated a round table discussion on social media at a conference.  I am amazed how many people still have not boarded the bandwagon.  Consequently, they are not positioning their organizations for the future – Social Enterprise Smarts = Profitability Plu$.

Read On:
The 2013 CMO Survey, a group created back in 2008 (Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, McKinsey & Company, AMA, etc.), predicted earlier this year, social media spending as a percentage of marketing budgets, will more than double over the next few years.  Currently social media accounts for approximately 8% of marketing spending according to the CMO Survey; 11.5% within a year; 22% within five years.  A year ago, IBM published their Global 2012 survey of 1,700 CEOs.  The survey revealed that only 16% of CEOs were active on social media.  They projected that 57% were expected to be more involved over the next 3-5 years.

Why are companies waiting?  It is time to build a social enterprise!  Based on what I have learned as I continue my online experimentations, the foundation of a social enterprise will require four basic steps as follows:

1.      Knowledge Workers – Employees who exhibit “social smarts” thanks to their ability to embrace social technologies that improve their overall communication and collaborative skills.  Consequently knowledge workers will be better informed.  This first step requires training and resources!

2.      Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – Once trained, knowledge workers will connect and get closer to their key customers via ongoing engagement.

3.      Collaboration – McKinsey projected back in 2012, knowledge workers will increase their productivity as high as 20 to 25 percent due to their ability to collaborate more effectively via social tools (e.g., company intranet) both internally and externally (e.g., key suppliers).

4.      Big Data – The final step!  Big Data will be the byproduct of any company that embraces social technologies.  The key will be to assign skilled resources to analyze Big Data in real time.  As a result, social enterprises will make better decisions across the board that result in increased profitability.

Social Enterprise Smarts = Profitability Plu$.  Are you ready to walk the talk?


  1. I love this and you are so right about building a social enterprise. What I have seen specifically in retail is that the social media silo does not communicate with the consumer insight/research silo. BIG mistake.

    What we have here with social media insights is one big online focus group filled with information of all kinds- on their brands but also on their competitors. Yes, it is unstructured data but it has an important place in research and brand awareness.

  2. Great post, Jimmy. Brand awareness is one advantage, not always by naming your comany or brand, but merely by sharing insights and interesting sector news: this is a way to show your expertise in your sector.

    As Kathy writes, I find it sometimes a chaotic place out there and companies need easy tools to let knowledge workers store and share online info. I am thinking of Evernote, which I find very useful.

    A Social Enterprise is a process to which the whole company should contribute, not just the marketing department. Speaking for our company, a European food manufacturing company, the mindset to spend some time on social media in an efficient way is not yet there.

  3. I think Kathy has a point there for why many companies are withholding a deeper investment in social media - in addition to being unstructured, these communication channels also represent the first time in the last century where marketers are no longer in control of the message. Instead, it's the consumers who drive and guide the conversation.

    So that requires a shift in interaction from the traditional push message where brands maintain control over what people hear and see about their product/organization to a pull one where organizations have to listen and engage with the public to build the reputation and perception they hope to have for their products/services.

  4. Some really solid comments. Thank you. One thing I would like to add, for current companies to fully embrace social enterprise, they are going to have to adapt their cultures accordingly, plus tear down the silos.

  5. I love the link you made between Social Media (Networking) and Social Enterprise.

    Social Entrepreneurship is indeed the way forward!
    For a thorough presentation of Social Entrepreneurship and the impact it will have on the future of humanity,

    I strongly recommend a recent book, Social Entrepreneurship, The Secret to Starting a Business Worth Living For.

    A good review of the book can be found Here.