Monday, February 27, 2012

Celebrating Social Business Week by Connecting CMOs and CIOs

I was recently asked for my 2012 digital predictions and here is what I shared:
We will start seeing marketing and IT come together on key initiatives to drive significantly higher ROI of both marketing and IT budgets. Marketing and IT will go into business together and the successful alliances in the market will financially enable more strategic risk taking by CMOs. Both roles will collectively wield more influence in the boardroom, than individually and if played well, they will become the left and right hands of the CEO and define the long term business strategy for the company. CMOs will become the voice of the customer; will come out looking like heroes; because IT initiatives with strong business alignment and sponsorship are inevitably successful!

After spending several days last week at ad:tech New Delhi listening to and spending time with peers CMOs, I am more and more convinced that Desi CMOs will lead this trend globally.

I believe one of these initiatives that will be first out of the gate is Social Business. Simple put, a Social Business optimizes interactions among people to gain competitive advantage. It is the application of social networking tools and culture to business roles and processes that can change the way companies do business today. By removing barriers, a social business allows people to apply expertise and insights that improve and accelerate results across business functions, not just marketing. Social Business has proven ROI according to CMOs and CIOs (Source: The rise of the networked enterprise. Web 2.0 finds its payday” – McKinsey Global Survey Results 2010):
  • CMOs: 20% increase in awareness, 15% increase in revenue, 10% increase in conversions
  • Customer Service Heads: 30% faster access to internal experts, 30% faster access to internal knowledge, 15% reduction in communications expenses
  • CIOs: 25% faster access to external experts, 20% faster time to market for new products/services, 20% increase in successful innovations
In my last blogpost I talked about Smarter Commerce. There is very strong synergy between Smarter Commerce and Social Business in the area of customer care and insight. Marketing, sales and customer service can enable growth by understanding, reaching, attracting and retaining more customers through their online channel. Some people call this Social Commerce and here are some of the benefits:
  • Driving revenue and increase brand loyalty through enhanced web experiences personalized to each customer, dynamically adapting content and offers
  • Raising customer satisfaction by connecting customers to the experts and information they need, when they need it
  • Enabling fact based decisions through analytics to test, adjust and optimize messaging to ensure maximum impact

Social Business and Smarter Commerce work in concert to deepen engagement with customers, partners and employees. Together, they enable an enterprise to be a truly social business and put the empowered customer to the center of your business to improve revenues and have greater customer loyalty.

To find out more, and participate in a dialogue about Social Business, you should register and attend Lotusphere 2012 on March 1st in Mumbai.

If you are a CMO or a CIO you should definitely RSVP for Connect 2012, the exclusive evening session at Lotusphere where we will talk about how CMOs and CIOs can collaborate and make Social Business work within their organization. See you there!


  1. This is the way forward for the organisations!

    When we look at "Desi" organisations many of them are not open/social internally, opening social channel effectively for customers is a challenge.
    Yes, CIOs and CMOs if they are open to listen, learn and implement/execute their customers will become partners in success but before this both parties need to have expertise in making right choice while evaluating tools and solutions and knit them effectively with in the organisation to optimize ROI. One loose end may topple the entire effort..
    Resources is a challenge but if CMOs and CIOs are clear in what they want for the organisation then they can definitely create Social organisation to work!