TechnoVision 2015 – Social Is The New Oil


Ron Tolido

December 12, 2014
We Collaborate #1 – Social Is The New Oil
The power of social is here in many obvious and some less obvious ways. The ‘always connected’ consumer shares not only what they may think, but also what they actually do. When these interactions are surrounded by increasingly smart ‘things’, sensors and machines become an integral and valuable part of the social exchange as well.
Getting closer to the needs and actions of customers – being ‘socially theirs’ on time, at the right time and every time – is just part of an enterprise strategy to leverage the power of the crowd. With numerous approaches to social platform improvement across internal enterprise operations in existence, a real social ‘step-change’ requires a much ‘wider’ business scope to determine where ultimate benefits reside and to ‘fuel’ new disruptive and mutually beneficial business models.
In the end ‘social oil’ could turn out to be the most important business asset of them all.

Being corporately sentimental
We care what people say in our personal lives. The question is, why don’t our enterprises care just as much?
Brand sentiment and customer intent are the new tools to win and retain consumer loyalty. If we can second guess the intent of an individual or demographic and tailor our customer experience quickly, that would be massive, wouldn’t it?
The heart of the 2015 boardroom needs to beat to the ‘tweet’ of consumer intent. With social sentiment now a key digital commodity, investment in tweets rather than seats (physical, channel-based interaction) should be a core focus for the enterprise. This needs a paradigm shift in perception of the strategic value of social data followed by a repositioning exercise across the entire customer experience, to truly assess where social could make that decisive difference.

From Social Oil Refinement to Crowd Power Alignment

If harnessed correctly, Social Oil is a ubiquitous fuel to power real business value from social customer relationships. Nowadays, this is more important than ever due to the massive increase in global event-based ‘fast data’ and the accelerating influence of the ever-connected Internet of Things.

Although social oil has its own intrinsic value for ‘remaining in touch’, this is no substitute in 2015 for sustained active participation in the now burgeoning crowd-based sharing economy. The ‘power of we’ is driving a new modus operandi as customers become part-time employees of a connected brand with communication, sharing, ideation and creation of new products and services a 24/7 cycle no longer solely within the organizational boundaries.

To transform social event data into meaningful customer experience intent and action requires the establishment of ‘social oil refineries’ powered by technologies such as Radian6 via frameworks such as Social Insight Into Action to deliver social differentiation in an increasingly digital brand economy.

Beyond the customer experience

Are you now feeling the power of social? If so, turn it into value beyond a simple customer experience improvement by tapping into the collective insights and brainpower of a connected workforce, crowdsourcing traditionally internal work and actively co-creating with progressive business partners. Once this social platform has been unleashed, there may be no limit to the scale and pace of enterprise growth delivered: the era of disruption is now running on social.
Being prepared

Whatever enterprise social assets you may possess, here are 3 tips for getting started whilst ensuring you are suitably prepared:
1) Create an external social oil refinery to gather brand, product and market sentiment
Focus on specific customer experience-led outcomes; start small and prepare a centralized store of clean and irrefutable customer – and possibly machine – event data on which to deliver social media monitoring needs. Think Salesforce, Brandwatch, Crimson Hexagon, GNIP, Google, Sysomos and Lithium.
2) Develop a workforce-to-customer interaction network to keep the enterprise in sync
Consider sharing platforms, cognitive computing and robotic process automation to accelerate the capture, interpretation and refinement of ‘sentiment change’ across the enterprise’s network of influence. This will create the foundation for conversion of ‘insight-to-action’ on a real-time basis. Think Shrebo, Watson and Blue Prism.

3) Build an always-on, real-time ‘Data Lake’ for 24/7 social analytics and insight
To ensure that you are constantly responsive, you will need to store everything at speed and analyze anything on demand against a set of actionable metrics across your key points of process interaction. This will require massively parallel ‘fast data’ capabilities. Think Data Apart Together and platforms such as PivotalCloudera, Couchbase and MarkLogic.

Harness ‘social oil’ and embrace social power as the channel for your organizational journey towards a mutually beneficial customer experience. And much more.
Contribution by Simon Gratton 

Part of Capgemini’s TechnoVision 2015 update series. See the overview here.

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