The Risk Of Not Being A Social Business

by Jay Deragon on 12/06/2012

It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” — Paul “Bear” Bryant

Preparing to win in the future of business means preparing to be a social business.

The social business market is expected to reach $6.4 billion in the next four years, according to Forrester Research, and that’s precisely why technology’s biggest players — Microsoft, IBM — have been making key acquisitions. But technology is only one part of being a social business.

Mark Fidelman, writes “It’s clear in my discussions with Social CMOs and those that aren’t that there is a huge divide in how they and their companies operate. For example, at Cisco, according to CMO Blair Christie, each of the executives has access to a social media Kiosk that sits in executive row that displays a heat map of social activity for the day, a list of Cisco influencers and other relevant social content. “We’ve mapped social into our business processes, and it’s gone so well that in some topics we have a higher share of voice in social media than we do in traditional media. So from a marketing perspective, you can’t buy enough advertising or paid media to replicate the results of our much lower cost social campaigns.”

“Not many of the CMOs I know that are avoiding the move to social, discuss topics like influencer marketing, social media for acquiring and retaining talent, and restructuring the organization to accommodate a more social business; but Pam Wickham, Raytheon’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications does. From her perspective, “We’re looking out 4 years from now and predicting our new employees’ expectations. That is our approach – we understand that today is the day that we need to prepare.” via Meet The Top 20 Most Social CMOs Of The Fortune 100 [Visuals] – Forbes.

The First Requirement To Become “Social” Is What?

Creating “sustained value” is the purpose of social business according to Gartner.  The mechanisms to achieve this goal are numerous.  They all are focused on pulling together “talent, interests, experience, insights and knowledge” of people throughout an organization according to Gartner’s Mark McDonald.  While technology can provide the mechanism to pull together “talent, interests, experience, insights and knowledge”  people have to be enabled to participate in the pulling together.

The future holds tremendous promise for Social Businesses but getting there means a change in thinking about the purpose of business followed by transformation of cultures that were created by business. Not being prepared for the transformation is the biggest risk any business faces.


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