Technology has fundamentally changed how people interact, how relationships form and how business is conducted. Whether we consider how the Internet has enabled like-minded individuals across the globe to interact, or how social networks have the power to make or break brands, there is no putting the genie back in the bottle when it comes to information transparency and velocity. And as the year draws to a close, 2012 provides further evidence that no industry has been more transformed by the digital phenomena than Retail.
However, collecting ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers’ is only the first step in the journey to becoming a Social Business. For our industry, learning to connect and engage with ‘Digital Natives’ is emerging as a competitive competency. The number of digital natives coming of age continues to grow, and by 2025 they are expected to comprise 75% of the workforce. The migration in economic power from Boomers to Millenials is manifested through a new set of values when it comes to the brands they promote and buy, as well as new priorities when it comes to the employment contract.
A new IBM Institute for Business Value Study: “The Business of Social Business”, suggest that social approaches will fundamentally transform how work done in the digital era. Most of the companies who participated in our study are already thinking beyond brand-building, marketing activities to apply social tools and media to engage customers through the entire sales and service lifecycle. However the numbers are much smaller when it comes to applying social inside the four walls to improve workforce productivity and effectiveness. In an industry characterized by high turnover, social can mean a step change in ‘time to competence’ for all employees. Perhaps even more significant social business has the power to transform the work involved in delivering rich customer experiences and innovating the brand promise in the era of the digital denizen.
I invite you to join the dialog on creating spaces to engage customers, build loyalty with the workforce of tomorrow and unlock business value through a new way of working. Please visit: www.ibm.com/socialbusiness