“What?? Are you crazy?” Ok, when you pick yourself off of the floor, consider the following….
How much do you spend on customer relationships? No just CRM, not just marketing, but all of the systems, processes, and people to support customers. If you are like most companies, you are spending probably 90% related to customers in some way. If the customer experience changes radically, 20% may not be enough.
But when you consider social business is really about customer experience; you also realize that customer experience is really an crass-functional, organization wide responsibility. Social media has lowered the cost of communications, opened up the levels of transparency in business that we have never seen. Organizations cannot just assign it to marketing and go about their business. The impact is too large and too overwhelming.
We have seen a tremendous number of CIO and CMO’s tell us that they are struggling with the amount of information being generated in their organizations and they see it growing exponentially. VP’s of HR are seeing the way potential employees engage with organizations changing. Sales and partner organizations are trying to deal with the amount of noise and the speed of change. All of this has impact on our organizations and eventually, we believe, market valuations. Every function is trying to adapt to the speed of change and the amount of information now being readily available due to social media. Social business is not going to work if it is seen as a siloed functional initiative.
We have seen the similar evolution in other technologies; ERP and the Web where the evolution of the market, technologies, and business processes were silo-ed and eventually evolved into cohesive platforms. We are seeing the similar evolution in Social Business with the disruption being as impactful as many of the technologies disruptions that we have seen in the last few decades.
We are even seeing it at the project level where “social” projects are really 80% traditional and 20% social, but the sequencing, priority, and objectives look radically different.
If the customer experience is fundamentally going to change from the “over-automated” to a semi-automated, more personalized model, then your business systems and processes; even your people are going to have to adapt. 20% may be too little, but with a 3-5 year plan and systemic and consistent innovation; companies will be positioned to succeed.
The alternatives would be to look at the 62 companies during 1989-99, all market leaders, of the Fortune 100 companies that got caught and replaced on the list of the Fortune’s biggest companies. They got caught flat-footed, or too invested in their business models to adapt to the web. Competitors caught them from behind and grew much faster. Many aren’t even around today.