Accenture Interactive Point of View Series |Social MediaEnabling relevance at scale in an always-on,always-connected world
Social MediaEnabling relevance at scale in an always-on, always-connected worldIn an age of information media can fundamentally change what Companies that make it easier for theiroverload and unlimited choices, it means for them to be engaged. customers to integrate these types ofany marketer worth their salt activities are better able to deliver a To date, general appreciation of social singularly satisfying and multi-facetedknows that brand engagement media’s power has rarely translated into experience—one that should keepis driven by providing precisely dynamic strategies that lead to relevance customers coming back again and again.relevant experiences that attract at scale. That may soon change as Amazon shows how this can be done with companies learn to use social mediaand hold the attention of to transform how they engage with a scalable platform that provides integratedeach consumer. customers, collaborate with internal access to information, recommendations, reviews, and other products and resellers—Consumer relevance cannot be episodic. and external partners, and align their all geared toward millions of consumers’Maintaining relevance continuously as operations to a common purpose and unique interests.consumers move seamlessly from one a new vision for high performance.interaction point to the next is a new Here’s what they can do to embrace There’s no reason other companies can’tdemand of the digital age. The imperative ocial media’s potential. use the power and reach of social media infor consumer relevance requires a brand to a similar fashion to harness insights, create Industrialize engagementharness deep contextual knowledge about relevance, hone relationships and target In addition to enabling breathtakingeach consumer and apply it intelligently to stakeholders in more meaningful ways. numbers of simultaneous interactions,create persuasive experiences at every While every company can’t become social media allows users to drawtouchpoint. This ability to be “relevant at another Amazon, every company can move unprecedented volumes of content andscale”, will determine which brands win beyond using social media simply as a tool ideas from trusted sources. News is oneand which brands get lost in the for monitoring their customers’ example. Not long ago, people relied onwar for consumer attention. preferences. There is no shortage television to provide them with what local of data or opportunities to “listen”, but stations believed was relevant information.To deliver relevant experiences at scale how many actionable insights are driving Today consumers are as likely to pull newscompanies need to be able to tap into change? As outlined in Accenture from the Twitter feeds and Facebook pagesthe wealth of data sources that provide Technology Vision 20121, the potential for of people in their networks, or set up “like”valuable signals on what can attract and providing context-based connections for preferences, Google+ or RSS feeds tohold consumer attention at any moment both existing and new customers is fast personalize their news. News consumptionin time—not just data about geo-location, becoming a reality, making the has, in a sense, become a “curated” activitygender and age, product preference or opportunities to engage stakeholders as that is ultimately under one’s own control.purchase, but also more importantly likes, pervasive as social media itself. Companiesinterests and who they talk and listen to. Shopping has evolved in a similar way. that clearly articulate their social purposeWith the explosive growth in the use Consumers control more of the experience and harness the potential of the dataof social media, social networks provide by being able to quickly compare prices captured by aligning their actionsa richness of data that can help build more online to find the best deals. They use accordingly, stand to benefit most.precise insights into consumer context devices in multiple ways—from scanning Supercharge collaborationand will allow companies to tailor brand barcodes for additional information, Workplace access to information hasexperiences making them more compelling, to photographing items for further historically been dictated by hierarchicalmore persuasive and more relevant. consideration, to completing transactions organizational structures. In this with the swipe of their phone. Perhaps paradigm—and under the watchful eye ofTapping the social media opportunity most important, they can use social media the IT organization—senior executives areThat social media allows us to connect to shape or confirm their preferences. trusted with sensitive data and insights,with others in new and meaningful ways Who has not sought out reviews and while lower-ranking employees generallyis evident to anyone with a Facebook, recommendations or asked friends for must secure various permissions first. It’sTwitter or LinkedIn account. Importantly, feedback when making a purchase—from no surprise that employees routinely lookit’s not just the hundreds of millions of apparel, to home appliances, financial for ways to circumvent barriers to access.individual users who are lured to the investments or insurance policies? Social If their company won’t grant access to thealways-on, always-connected world. networks enable this on a scale previously data that will help them perform their jobsCompanies, too, are recognizing that social not possible.
more effectively and efficiently, they will For companies that don’t have a social around a common purpose. And allfind it elsewhere—namely, in the vast media presence, those comments go employees must support the creation of aknowledge and data repositories of their unheeded. Even when companies do relevance-driven business in a social world.social networks. monitor social networking sites—a task that typically falls to the marketing Building social scaleRather than fearing the use of social media The social media phenomenon has not just department—the comments often don’tin their organizations, business and IT created a new channel to communicate; reach the group that can resolve the issue.leaders should manage and encourage it has fundamentally changed the ways This is because many organizations stillit as a way to service customers more in which people interact. As companies operate as a series of unconnected silos.effectively. A number of companies have expand their focus from being relevant toshown what is possible when key For social media to contribute to an being relevant at scale, they would be wisestakeholders from within and outside the organization’s pursuit of relevance at scale, to consider the role that social media couldorganization are allowed to generate and information can no longer remain packed play in enabling that transition. Justshare ideas in an open, unfettered away in different functional areas. as Google has adapted its rankingenvironment. Dell’s Social Media and Companies increasingly need to integrate prioritization algorithm to include socialCommunity Teams strengthen the multiple sources of customer data using context, companies that harness socialcompany’s social innovation capabilities real-time analytics, and then make sure the media will have the ability to deliverby engaging a number of stakeholders right people are able to use the knowledge up-to-the-second customer preferences,via blogs, wikis and networking groups.2 generated to support ongoing relationships greater levels of trust, a mechanismIn another example, a global communications and more personalized products and for direct and dynamic interaction, andcompany built an internal social sales services.4 Companies that want to get more—and more usable—data upon whichcapability for 3,000 sales and marketing serious about delivering a precise and business decisions can be made. Armedprofessionals. The company saw relevant experience to their customers with these advantages, social media canimprovements in both sales performance need to create a social media-ready allow any company to not only engage,and employee engagement after organization. This could mean: collaborate and operate in entirely newimplementing the capability and was ways, but also achieve high performance • stablishing customer relevance as the Epositioned as an innovator in workforce in a networked world. business function that matters—andcollaboration.3 organizing the enterprise to scale aroundThese and many other companies have that. Options might include combining To learn more about how socialrecognized that social media can change marketing and IT activities to create a media can enable relevance atthe traditional ecosystem of the workplace comprehensive approach to customer scale, contact:and can allow employees to work better management, or integrating traditional Jason Breedand smarter. The key is to incent, empower customer data systems with social media firstname.lastname@example.org encourage employees so they can platforms such as Facebook, which hasbecome the listening posts for consumer arguably become the largest customer Tel: signals to ensure a precise and timely preference database in the world. U.S. +1 877 609 8723experience is provided at every brand International +1 312 842 5337 • reaking down barriers that exist Btouchpoint. between functional areas. The goal isTransform operations to create new ways of working basedSocial media is making one thing crystal on alliances with previously isolatedclear: Customers do not care how a parts of the organization such as sales,business is organized. It doesn’t matter service or R&D. 1 A ccenture Technology Vision 2012: Emerging Technology Trends for IT Leadersto them that their negative shopping The chief marketing officer is often theexperience is due to a logistics problem, 2 www.slideshare.net/billjohnston/keynote-from-social- right person to take the lead in making business-forum-2011a production hitch or an R&D issue. these changes. But he or she can’t do itWhat matters is that the company 3 Accenture. “Social sales: Collaborating for high alone. CEOs must be engaged in driving performance,” 2011responds appropriately. Increasingly, change, empowering cross-functionalcustomers air their complaints (and, to be 4 Accenture. “Melding marketing and IT: Are you ready collaboration and aligning incentivesfair, their praise) via social media channels. for the digital revolution?” Outlook, February 2011