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Social media and collaboration: A board’s eye view
While few C-suites would dispute the need for acute customer focus, many continue to perceive social media as entertainment, and collaboration as little more than a logical extension to e-mail and enterprise resource planning. In sharp contrast, experts in social marketing see these shifts as fundamentally influencing where the digital budget is allocated. They see service and sales moving towards intelligent, real-time capability where data can be converted into real enterprise value. They see brand equity being built on the frontier of digital media, where loyalty and advocacy can be confidently planned, managed and optimised. Furthermore, they predict that through these processes, businesses can ultimately evolve into ‘customer companies’. Despite development in this direction, there remains a conceptual divide between enterprise and social strategy. It is the cultural impact of social media and collaboration, on both sides of the enterprise wall, that holds the key to bridging this divide. This paper focuses on the shift of IT spend into marketing; clarifies the strategic role of data; and examines the new power dynamics that drive the customer challenge to brands. Finally, it provides a simple framework for action through case studies and insights into eight qualities of successful customer companies.
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