“Nearly seven in ten CxOs recognize the new imperative – a shift to social and digital interaction.”
The IBM C-suite Study, “The Customer-Activated Enterprise” is a result of analyzing conversations with 4,183 leaders in 70 countries.
Three major themes emerged. Today’s C-suite must:
- Open up to customer influence
- Pioneer digital-physical innovation
- Craft engaging customer experiences.
Interestingly the CMOs feel even less prepared to cope with Big Data than they did in 2011 and are still coming to terms with the social media landscape.
They cited a lack of a cohesive social media plan and competing initiatives as the two biggest barriers preventing them from implementing their strategies in an increasingly connected world.
“Who has the most influence on your strategic vision and business strategy?” …55 percent of interviewed CEOs cited customers.
90% planning to collaborate more extensively with their customers in the next five years and around 60% plan to directly engage their customers and apply what they learn to guide their business strategies in the next three to five years.
Organizations have steadily shifted to embrace more open, collaborative and reciprocal models, said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services.
“Today, CEOs recognize that they can’t do it all alone. They’re opening up their organizations, breaking down barriers and actively engaging customer — providing customers a seat at the table to help shape their business model and strategy.” said van Kralingen
Being a customer-activated enterprise requires a deep understanding and focus on the customer as an individual, rather than as a category or a market segment.
“The emergence of social, mobile and digital networks has played a big part in democratizing the relationship between organizations and their customers. It’s also forcing them to rethink how they work.”
It seems such a short time ago that words like transparency and collaboration in the context of social media were the source of bemusement amongst many major companies. The companies that ‘got it’ and socially connected early are already reaping the rewards.