Have you ever noticed not very many people want to listen to the person who keeps talking about the way things used to be? It’s those who talk about how things are, and where things are headed, that seem to get the most attention. So let’s have a brief moment of sympathy for the enterprise CMOs and CIOs who don’t believe their worlds are changing…quickly.
Somebody audaciously entered the hallowed halls of the corporation: the customer. They now feel they actually have a say in a brand’s product, service, tone, look…you name it. They feel this way because they’ve banded together. They have megaphones and can get very loud, very fast. They’re always connected (no matter where they are, thanks to mobile). They know they collectively represent value to you, so they fully expect good experiences. This is what social media has created.
The job of the enterprise is simply to adapt. I say “simply” knowing that it’s anything but simple. Those consumers are forcing infrastructure changes, policy changes, priority changes and role changes. And all that’s happening in large organizations where change is rarely an overnight affair. An unprecedented collaboration of people, processes and technology is being called for.
Social was once a “marketing thing.” Not anymore. It’s become increasingly essential in every consumer interaction across the enterprise. From CRM to sales to HR to product development, there’s an unprecedented gold mine of social data that, when married with enterprise data, can paint an actionable picture of the customer so as to create differentiating consumer experiences. Conversations about holistic, socially enabled enterprises are increasingly common.
Forward-thinking CMOs are plunging into tech head-on. They’re collaborating with IT to leverage social/mobile/cloud technologies faster. They want to understand digital, have a voice on tech matters, align with sales for consistent brand and consumer experiences, and move toward proving the ROI behind the spend. Gartner predicts the CMO will even outspend the CIO on IT by 2017.
For their part, the CIO is realizing everything they do is about the customer. InformationWeek found more IT leaders give their relationship with marketing weaker marks than any other business area. They’re highly effective at what they do, but “what they do” now has to extend beyond functional excellence and move toward pioneering customer-focused innovation that speaks to the CX.
CMOs must see the science behind the art. CIOs must see the art behind the science.
It’s no longer a matter of whether or not to focus on social, but how roles will be reorganized around social, plus figuring out what partner can insure effective execution of the social enterprise. Plenty of vendors offer pieces of the puzzle, but social can’t sit in vendor silos if the goal is true integration/accountability. The growing CX imperative requires a scalable, end-to-end system that facilitates satisfying and profitable interactions, no matter the touch point. Social marketing, social selling, social commerce, social service, social HR, social recruiting, and social collaboration…fully realized with global enterprise applications.
This post originally appeared in Social Media Today.