New research released today by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte reveals that nearly two thirds of surveyed companies around the world find social business initiatives —including social media, social software and social networks - are positively impacting their business outcomes.
The report, Moving Beyond Marketing: Generating Social Business Value Across the Enterprise, based on a global survey of more than 4,800 business executives across 26 industries and 109 countries, found that the level of value companies achieve is related to their social business “maturity.”
Respondents who rated their companies further along the social maturity scale were more likely to report their companies practice the following:
- Apply social business data in the decision making process: Nearly 80 percent analyze social data, and 67 percent integrate it into systems and processes to improve business decisions.
- Employ a leadership vision that social can bring about fundamental changes: More than 90 percent of respondents say their leaders believe it can create powerful and positive change.
- Infuse social business into multiple functions across the enterprise: A total of 87 percent use social business to spur innovation.
“Sophisticated companies are increasingly integrating social across many aspects of the organization,” says David Kiron, Executive Editor for MIT Sloan Management Review. “Companies are taking a holistic view of how social can affect not only their marketing, but also internal communications, customer relations and business operations.”
On the leadership issue, the survey found a strong relationship between visible senior leadership support and social business maturity. Maturing organizations are led by executives who believe in the potential of social business: 86 percent of respondents who are board members or C-suite level executives at maturing companies agree or strongly agree that social business represents an opportunity to fundamentally change the way their organization works.
“Visible C-suite leadership is absolutely crucial,” said Doug Palmer, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and a co-author of the report. “But business leaders must be careful to balance top-down pressures with mechanisms that foster bottom-up creativity and ingenuity.”
Other study findings include:
- Social business is perceived as important both today and in the future. Seventy three percent of this year’s survey respondents say social business is important or somewhat important today. Nearly 90 percent see its importance on a three-year horizon.
- Social business is not just a B-to-C phenomenon. Nearly 60 percent of B-to-B companies agree or strongly agree that social business initiatives are positively impacting business outcomes. Among B-to-C respondents, the percentage is 68.
- Employees want to work for companies that excel at social business. Fifty seven percent of respondents say that social business sophistication is at least somewhat important in their choice of employer. That attitude is consistent among respondents aged 22 to 52.
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