25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders



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Table of ContentsChapter 1:Social Business:Shifting From Noun to Verb 5Chapter 2:A Pilot Project:25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders 15Chapter 3:The One-to-One Connection:How to Inspire Others to Tell Your Story 22Chapter 4:The Value in Partnerships:Working Together to Bring Your Story to Life 30Chapter 5:The Impact of Technology:Changing the Way We Engage 37Chapter 6:Putting It All Together:Where Do We Go From Here? 43

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersChapter 1:Social Business:Shifting From Noun to VerbSocial business is incredibly powerful, as it connects people with eachother to share knowledge, identify expertise, ignite innovation andultimately help drive the bottom line. Over a surprisingly brief period,the use of social networking technologies in the workplace has grownfrom limited experimentation to what’s now mainstream corporatepractice. As the line between traditional business and social businessblurs, people have moved from asking, “what is a social business” to“how do we conduct social business.” By weaving social into othertrends driving innovation right now – such as cloud, mobile, big dataand analytics – an organization can put people at the center of theconversation and create tighter engagement with customers.But to fully understand social business and its impacts, we need to shiftour thinking, and start thinking about it as a verb – rather than a noun.It goes much deeper than being a static object and instead morphsinto an action, a movement and ultimately the “how” in your businesswith many benefits, including a more engaged workforce and strongerrelationships with customers.5

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersThe fact is that social networks are facilitating huge numbers of peopleto share their ideas, beliefs, and stories – creating communities ofinfluence. Social is now the top Internet activity 1 and by 2017, theglobal social network audience will total 2.55 billion. 2Nick Blunden, Senior Vice President of Digital at The Economist Group,describes social business as a mindset or a culture. Social recognizesthat collaboration, particularly collaboration facilitated by technology,and the collective knowledge that results from that collaboration is alarge source of competitive advantage for businesses.Moreover, social business leadership comes in all shapes, forms andsizes, as it smashes down silos and fosters connectivity and new levelsof collaboration like never before.6

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersMoving Beyond Tweets and LikesThe social business phenomenon isn’t just about tweeting and likes– it’s about something far more powerful. As Bryan Kramer explainedin his book: “There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: #H2H”businesses are starting to behave and sound like real people dealingwith other people, rather than “business” to “consumer.”It’s about connecting people – employees, partners, and customers –with each other to share knowledge, identify expertise and better reachcustomers. Leaders are using social business strategies, technologiesand practices to make a significant impact on their businesses andcommunities. Using the power of personalized storytelling throughsocial business, impactful stories can be unleashed into themarketplace – and shared like never before.7

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersTake, for example, Nestlé. When the company hired Peter Blackshawin 2011 to be its Global Head of Digital and Social Media, the Swissfood-and-beverages giant was in the middle of a social mediafirestorm. Nestlé, whose products include baby food, dairy productsand chocolate, had been accused by environmentalists of using palmoil from companies that were decimating Indonesian rain forests.Its initial response to the criticism – asking YouTube to remove ananti-Nestlé video and warning some Facebook users against postingaltered Nestlé logos – only fanned the flames.As The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which is the research arm ofThe Economist Group, describes in its profile of Blackshaw, he quicklyshifted the company’s approach, creating a digital acceleration team,or DAT, to train Nestlé employees to make better use of digital toolsand use special software to monitor all social commentary about thecompany. The team is tasked with “listening, engaging, transformingand inspiring,” he told Reuters in October 2012. The DAT softwarecaptures millions of posts each day on topics of interest to Nestlé.“If there is a negative issue emerging, it turns red,” Mr. Blackshaw said. 3Leveraging digital technology fosters changes, including increasedconnectivity, collaboration and community. And it’s through thesechanges that internal and external engagement is improved positivelyfor everyone involved.Sharing Stories, Forging ConnectionsSocial networks are giving people a voice to share their stories – andultimately be heard. People now have a microphone to share theirexperiences with clients and partners that want to better understandhow to drive transformation, inspire innovation, build collaboration andcreate amazing, personalized customer experiences.8

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersAnd when you put people at the center of the conversation through socialbusiness, the audience begins to listen, co-creation and collaborationoccur, and equally important – the community becomes engaged.“Before social business, companies were very hierarchical, andinformation was shared hierarchically, and people’s contributions weredetermined partly by their geography and partly by their relationships,”says Blunden. “But what social business does, putting people at thecenter of conversations, allows you to create much greater levels ofengagement and participation at every level of the organization.”Through social initiatives, you can identify a whole new set ofinfluencers who are embracing and cultivating relationships across awide array of initiatives and campaigns. TD Bank Group’s Wendy Arnottadmitted to the EIU 3 that most people do not readily associate “bank”with “social business.”9

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders“The first question we had to ask ourselves is, ‘Can a bank be a socialbusiness?’” the Toronto-based bank’s Vice President of Social Mediaand Digital Marketing said at a New York conference last year. “We’re aheavily regulated industry, and we take a very conservative approach.”But Arnott saw that TD Bank Group’s customers and employees werestarting to use social media, and around 2011, the bank decided,“we should be there, too.”She developed a two-pronged strategy for TD Bank designed tomake it a truly social business from the inside out, including both aninternal social network that connects all 85,000 employees in theU.S. and Canada in a very open way, and a social strategy for thebanks’ customers.“As we were ramping up on the inside, we also were listening to ourcustomers,” she says. “We were noticing that Facebook, Twitter andLinkedIn were becoming popular, so we developed a social mediaprogram focused on customer service.”Arnott put together a team that monitors all the different socialnetworks and responds quickly to any questions, complaints orsuggestions, seven days a week. The team has grown quickly, alongwith this new customer service channel, a group that started withthree people now numbers 25, with another 45 who contribute andprovide oversight.To further improve customer service, TD Bank also created forums onits website where customers and employees from across the bank caninteract. This example not only illustrates how influencers can embraceand cultivate relationships, but also how it promotes collaboration.10

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersPutting People at the CenterMany of the greatest inventions in history are connected to specificindividuals, such as Thomas Edison and the light bulb and Alexanderand penicillin,” explains Blunden. But the majority of these inventionsare the by-product of the work of many. Similar in nature is the benefitof putting people at the center of the conversation. It unlocks greaterlevels of innovation and ideation, and it is about the benefits ofinformation sharing.“People increasingly talk about big data and the digital world, with databeing a strategic asset,” says Blunden. “But data is a strategic assetonly when you expose it to the right people in an organization andexploit the ability to share information through digital technology, in aseamless way. And it’s clearly driving efficiency in the way businessis conducted, with a much greater ability to execute at speed.”11

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersTake, for example, Gilberto Garcia, Director of Innovation at Cemex.In the EIU’s profile story, Garcia explains that he’s always looking fordisruptive technologies that have an impact on business performance.He had a chance to put social technologies and principles to work in2009, when Cemex’s chairman asked him to develop a social businessstrategy to improve collaboration and innovation across geographies.At that point, the company mainly used conference calls and videoconferencing to connect its employees, who today number 43,090worldwide. That system was cumbersome because of the many timezones and languages employees had to accommodate. 3Garcia helped create Shift – as in “shift the way we work” – an onlineplatform for Cemex that provided open forums where employees couldcommunicate and share ideas about products and work processes.Shift offered forums for various areas of expertise, and employeesquickly started using them to solve problems, improve businesspractices and drive innovation.The platform also offered blogs, wikis – collaborative online documents–and videos to collect new ideas and demonstrate new ways ofdoing things.Being Heard, and the UnexpectedIBM and the EIU set out on a project that would select 25 inspiringsocial business leaders from around the world and make sure theirstories are heard. The project drove us to think about companies thatwere using social business outside the obvious norms, and what theterm “social business” really means to them. The selected individualscame from a cross section of companies and represented a variety ofinsights and strategies being applied.12

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersWe found that through this transformative initiative, a company’s socialbusiness journey isn’t always led by marketing, or one department –or even one role. The 25 inspiring global social business leaders area diverse group that included individuals in product innovation,communications and marketing, vice presidents, chief executiveofficers and many others serving in a variety of roles. All of themembodied individuals who are embracing social business in theirdaily work, and understand the value and power of putting people atthe center.Another interesting discovery was that companies really benefitingfrom social business have made considerable investments, and not justfinancial, in ensuring they have the infrastructure in place to enable theircommitment to collaboration and authentic engagement. And whatwas also clear is that social technologies can not only have a positiveimpact, but also create real value across every aspect of thevalue chain.13

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersResources1. Business Insider, “Social Media Engagement: The Surprising Facts AboutHow Much Time People Spend On The Major Social Networks,”September 26, 20142. eMarketer, “Social Networking Reaches Nearly One in Four Around theWorld,” June 18, 20133. Excerpts from the 25 global social business leaders profiles wereauthored by The Economist Intelligence Unit14

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersChapter 2:A Pilot Project:25 Inspiring GlobalSocial Business LeadersOver the past few years, social technology has shifted the way wedo business. In fact, 70 percent of executives believe that socialbusiness can fundamentally change the way their business works. 1People are now sharing original content, joining virtual communities,tapping into the advice and expertise of others, and sharing experiencesat an unprecedented pace.In addition, we’ve observed a shift of power in commercial relationshipsfrom producers and sellers to buyers – which has significantly changedthe marketplace. Leaders now envision greater collaboration withcustomers, partners, employees and other stakeholders. In fact,90 percent of chief executive officers plan to collaborate much moreextensively with customers over the next three to five years, accordingto the 2013 IBM Global C-Suite Survey. 2In this spirit of advancing IBM’s conversation about corporateleadership in this new age, IBM teamed up with the EconomistIntelligence Unit (EIU) on a project to identify the 25 inspiring globalsocial business leaders.15

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersThis type of initiative was new to IBM and the EIU, but both companiesunderstood the value of teaming and collaboration, especially when itcame to engaging influencers in sharing their stories.Forging the PartnershipThe EIU is the research arm of The Economist Group and is best knownfor its country analysts who follow developments all over the world.It also has a thought leadership group that conducts research projectson business trends, for a C-suite audience. The EIU has its own surveypanel of opinion leaders, about half of whom are executives at theC-suite level, and it conducts many surveys.However, the 25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders project wasdifferent from anything the organization had worked on in the past.The EIU would identify individuals inside organizations who are usingsocial business processes, practices, and technology to positivelyimpact their company or organization. They would then profile these16

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leadersleaders and elevate them as thought leaders, sharing their stories andteaching lessons to a wider audience.Before embarking on the process, however, the EIU created a frameworkfor identifying the leaders and selecting who would be featured.It actively sought out individuals who are considered visionaries,culture shapers, strategic thinkers, storytellers and entrepreneurs.Using traditional research, recommendations from a specially convenedadvisory board, crowd sourcing and an open nomination process, theEIU received nominees from all over the world. The advisory board,which included an IBM representative, then selected the awe-inspiringfinal 25.All these leaders used social business strategies, technologies andpractices to make a significant impact on their business and community.Leveraging the power of personalized storytelling, the EIU andIBM unleashed their stories and videos into the market using a17

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leadersphased-amplification launch plan supported by crowd chats and blogsand tied it to the broader strategic themes. They accomplished thisthrough a very detailed and strategic process that included deliveringthis content to the market in bite-sized and snackable ways. The resultwas tremendous impact, which included 34 million impressions, 3,667social mentions, 1,402 unique users and a nomination for the Ad AgeBtoB Award.Advisory Board, Nomination Processand CriteriaBoth IBM and EIU take a rigorous research approach to these type ofinitiatives, so, to start off the project, they created an advisory boardto assist with identifying the criteria of what makes a social businessleader. This advisory board not only identified social business leadersbut also figured out why they were the most inspiring. Members of theboard included:• Nick Blunden, Senior Vice President of Digital at The EconomistGroup and global publisher of Intelligent Life and The Worldin 2015• Cheryl Burgess, Chief Executive Officer and Chief MarketingOfficer at Blue Focus Marketing, author of The Social Employee(McGraw-Hill)• Lisa Gansky, Chief Instigator at Mesh Labs• Brian Solis, Principal at Altimeter Group and author of What’s theFuture of Business (WTF)• Maria Winans, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President ofMarketing for Commerce, Social, and Mobile at IBM (with advisorEric Lesser, National Director of IBM Institute of Business Value)Brian Solis explains: “My role on the advisory board was to add whatwas described as an expert voice in addressing the state of the industry18

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leadersand also offer insight into who the leaders were in the evolution ofsocial business. Additionally, I was asked to identify those pushing foracceleration and advancement of the industry as a whole, not justthe companies that they were working for…those looking beyondthe technology.”The EIU created a process that used its survey platform to gathernominations through an online form from the public. The EIU, IBM andthe advisory board did a social media push, reaching out through Twitterand other social channels to get nominations of social business leaders.The EIU reviewed each nomination and conducted research to identifyadditional people for the board to consider. They then presented a shortlist of 40 to the advisory board, which came to a consensus on 25 toprofile and the top five individuals to also highlight in videos, selectingthose who had really great stories to tell.Some were pretty well known in their fields, while others wereup-and-comers. The goal was to spotlight a broad range of people witha variety of outlooks and strategies, rather than a few household names.Those Named to the List:The Personal ImpactBeing selected to participate in the 25 Inspiring Global Social BusinessLeaders project was a game changer for many of the chosen individuals.For some, it validated what they were already doing in social business,and, for others, it launched their careers to new levels. While we didn’tset out with this as an original goal of the project, both the EIU andIBM were pleased to have been able to provide the catalyst for bringingtheir stories to the world. Here are a few of the most powerful personalimpacts from the 25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders project:19

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersValidation of social business credibility.One recipient explained that a specific project gained increasedawareness as a result of the individual being selected to participate inthe 25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders project.New opportunities to explore social business initiatives.One of the youngest members chosen found that when providingadvice and direction on new initiatives, it was given greater importance.This enabled growth and the ability to try many new things from a socialbusiness angle.New speaking engagement and interview opportunities.After being selected for the project, one awardee was offered fourdifferent speaking engagements, and another said it led to manyinterview opportunities. An additional by-product of this recognitionwas the employees’ renewed belief that they were engaged and activelyhelping deliver the companies’ brands.Brian Fanzo, who was selected to participate in the project, explainedthat being featured gave him access to people in the industry that wouldhave otherwise been difficult to connect with. Like many social businessleaders, before being named to the 25 Inspiring Global Social BusinessLeaders list, he often ran into obstacles validating social media utilizationbecause he wasn’t in the “marketing silo.”But he was able to leverage other social business leaders’ stories asproof points to say: “Hey, what I’m doing isn’t just a worthless waste oftime. I promise I’m increasing productivity. I’m not adding extra steps.”20

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersEngagement ResultsThe results of the project were significant, with 34 million-plusimpressions, 3,667 mentions and the engagement of 1,402 uniqueusers. In fact, it was a top-performing social campaign for both the EIU’sthought leadership group and IBM Social Business and was recentlynominated for an Ad Age BtoB award. Beyond the numbers, though,perhaps the most significant result was the building of new relationshipswith these 25 inspiring global social business leaders, resulting in awhole new level of engagement.Moreover, the companies could promote the sharing of stories withclients and partners who wanted to better understand how to drivetransformation, inspire innovation, build collaboration and createamazing customer experiences.References1. MIT Sloan Management Review, “Social Business Study: Shifting Out ofFirst Gear,” July 16, 20132. IBM, “2013 IBM Global C-Suite Survey,” 201321

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersChapter 3:The One-to-One Connection:How to Inspire Others toTell Your StoryCustomers today are demanding a more personalized experience thanever before, which leaves businesses working harder to meet theserising expectations. When used effectively, the rewards of personalizationcan be enormous – increasing sales and revenue, enhancing onlineconversion rates, boosting average order value, driving cross-sell andupsell initiatives, and strengthening customer loyalty and retention.But even more powerful than personalization is a concept that marketershave been familiar with for years: real-time personalization. It’s not justmaking advance decisions about what message customers will see thenext time you interact with them – it’s also being prepared to makefact-based decisions about personalized messages to create real-time,meaningful interactions.And while most companies are beginning to understand personalizationand even real-time personalization, others are taking this concept astep further to include personalized engagement, which, in social,is a two-way conversation.22

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersThey are leveraging personal connections and giving people a platformto tell their stories through social networks – exposing large numbers ofpeople to other’s ideas, culture, beliefs and technologies, and creatingcommunities of influence. The initiative to select the 25 inspiring globalsocial business leaders was one such project. Through it, we took thisidea of personalization – and the one-to-one connection – and gavepeople a microphone for telling their stories in a very meaningful way.Amplifying ConnectionsCustomers have grown increasingly overwhelmed with outboundmarketing offers, and consequently the effectiveness of traditionaloutbound marketing campaigns has significantly declined. The abilityto connect with customers on their own terms, at any time, with anydevice can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your marketingefforts. We already know that real-time personalization allows youto successfully:• Increase response rates of inbound channels by maximizing therelevance of messages presented in real time• Improve each customer’s experience by personalizing his or herinteraction with your company• Maintain a consistent dialogue with customers across all channels• Achieve better overall marketing results, including increased salesand revenue, improved online conversion rates, and strengthenedcustomer loyalty and retentionBut social business takes all the benefits of personalization and bringsthem into a very public forum. It gives people a way to share theirinsights with others – on a massive scale – and creates overwhelmingvalue for everyone.23

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersIn general, engagement and collaboration trends are on the rise, andleveraging these one-on-one connections – through social business –offers a creative outlet. For example, 57 percent of CEOs expect digitalchannels to be a key way to engage customers 1 in the future.Creating these personally relevant experiences and knowing eachcustomer in the right context transcends to a whole new level whengiving them an opportunity to share their stories and insights. The resultis more meaningful interactions and tighter customer engagement.For example, 36 percent of companies that use social tools have reportedhigher customer service ratings. 2 And many business leaders are comingto realize that social business, combined with giving customers a voice,changes everything.In fact, 70 percent of executives believe that social business canfundamentally change the way their businesses actually work. 324

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersB. Bonin Bough told the EIU that he has seen the results firsthand.The 36-year-old New York native is Vice President of Global Media andConsumer Engagement at Mondelez International, which sells suchwell-known brands as Oreo, Cadbury, Ritz, Wheat Thins and Trident,and he has been closely watching technology upstarts for ideas thatcan give his social business strategy extra energy. 425

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersLately, Bough has had his eye on product personalization and3-D printing. Faced with these potential disruptions in the food industry,he urges his colleagues to be proactive. “I’ve been passionate to makesure that people own their destinies.”Sherri Maxson, former Head of Social Business at W.W. Grainger,explained in her EIU profile that everything is about relationships.Maxson arrived early to the social revolution. “For me, it started in 2005and 2006, when blogging was a new medium for companies,” she says.She built her career on being Internet savvy, first building websites forfine art photographers and then moving into digital marketing. “I cameto life when the Internet was born,” she said at a conference a fewyears ago. 4It soon became clear that the practice of social business in abusiness-to-business environment is not so different from thebusiness-to-consumer world. In both contexts, “It’s about relationships,”Maxson says.She explains that putting customers at the center is still the key tosuccess; in the 21st century, this requires listening to them on socialnetworks. “My goal is helping companies understand the value of socialmedia and how it can help your business.”Through inspiring others to tell their story and by forging mutuallybeneficial partnerships, companies gain a tremendous opportunity toreach others as never before — and make relationships much deeperand more valuable.26

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersInspire Others, Tell the StoryInspiring others to tell your story is all about keeping people at thecenter of the conversation by generating dialogue that adds valuethrough co-creation. At the WeFirst Leadership Summit 2014, HeatherWajer, VP of Marketing with the Livestrong Foundation, shared insightson social business, collaboration and co-creating to scale innovation.She developed new solutions with the community and wove thosesolutions into the cloth of the organization to make a larger impact onthe lives of cancer survivors.27

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersBut in addition to keeping people at the center of the conversation, it’salso important to focus on the “we” through engaged communities andpersonalized engagement. Liz Heller, Director of Business Developmentat TOMS, shared insights on this, as her company focused ontransforming internal and external collaboration through social platformsand scaling through collaboration. Through this approach, they drovecampaigns through social business and leveraged social to listen tofeedback and give people the voice that they crave.Being Personally RelevantCreating that one-to-one connection is ultimately about being personallyrelevant – inspiring others and giving them an opportunity to sharetheir valuable insights and vision – which positively impacts everyone.Building these connections and partnerships, however, requires peopleto be open to examining all potential possibilities, even the ones that areslightly unexpected. Because in the end, it’s sometimes the unexpectedconnections that yield the most significant, and at times unexpected,results.28

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersReferences1. IBM, “IBM Global C-Suite Survey,” 20132. ESG Research Report, “Social Enterprise Adoption Trends,” June 20123. David Kiron and others, “Social Business Study: Shifting Out of FirstGear,” MIT Sloan Management Review, July 16, 20134. Excerpts from the 25 global social business leaders profiles wereauthored by The Economist Intelligence Unit29

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersChapter 4:The Value in Partnerships:Working Together to BringYour Story to LifeSocial is bringing new possibilities to business through both expected andunexpected partnerships. The statistics are telling – an unprecedented78 percent of people are sharing knowledge through social. 1But perhaps even more telling is the fact that 49 percent of people30

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leadersare using social to engage experts. 1 In addition, consider the fact thatpeople’s activities are far more accessible, with many talking aboutissues – and specific brands – in greater detail, and 81 percent of peopleengaging in brand conversations. 2The 25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders project encompassedtwo partnerships. The first was between IBM and The EconomistIntelligence Unit (EIU). However, a second group of partnershipsemerged, and that was between IBM and the individuals selected.Together, these two partnerships represent thinking outside-the-boxand bringing the power of storytelling to the conversation to forge moremeaningful connections.Elevating the Voices of OthersTelling stories brings an element of “openness” to social business.Through the project with the EIU, IBM forged a connection with XiaomiCo-founder Lin Bin, who is focused on bringing this element of31

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leadersopenness to social business. His company is breaking the moldfor technology companies – especially when it comes to internalcustomers: the employees. 3Xiaomi is giving employees a voice through social media and throughthe elimination of the top-down structure of most Chinese companiesin favor of a flat management structure. The company has only threemanagement levels, and employees are using social media to talkto one another – to announce lunch events, form work groups andmore. Xiaomi employees talk to suppliers via MiTalk, the company’ssmartphone messaging and chat app.The company takes this a step further, soliciting open feedback fromusers – even inviting them to vote product features in or out – throughonline forums, MiTalk and other social media. It has 20 million registeredusers on its forums and a staff of 20 to sort through the comments.In addition, Xiaomi has some 50,000 “VIP users” who regularly test newprototypes and products.Xiaomi is leveraging those internal connections to form partnerships,tell stories and make internal customers feel valued. Social media,in fact, is becoming part of the company’s DNA.32

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersRethinking Relationships in theContext of SocialChris Crummey, Worldwide Director of Sales for Social Business forIBM, recently shared some recommendations for organizations whowant to inspire a more collaborative workplace culture – one that is trulypeople-centric. Chris emphasizes the importance of starting witha well-defined strategy, recognizing the importance of engagingemployees, reinventing business processes through social, and drivingcollaboration through the wisdom of the crowd.He also highlighted key findings from the recent IBM Study on SocialBusiness, which are shared here.By applying these strategies to build connections, you can accelerateyour business, enhance collaboration and build engagement on a largerand more impactful scale.33

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersDigital Partnerships,Driving Industry GrowthWhen thinking about forming partnerships, many look to the communityto find people who are seeking a way to tell their stories and havevaluable insights to share. At the WeFirst Leadership Summit 2014,John Roulac, CEO and Founder of Nutiva, shares his insights on socialbusiness and talks about how Nutiva has engaged their community togrow their business. Their strategy is remarkably successful, with thecompany landing the sixth spot on Inc. magazine’s list of fastest-growingcompanies for six consecutive years.He suggested that companies solicit the community’s input on howto amplify the dialogue. He also stresses the importance of workforceculture and knowledge sharing, and the benefits of driving e-commerceon the Web through social.34

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersOverall, the use of social not only extends to customers but also createsrelationships within a community, with a focus on dialogue, sharing andadding value – ultimately, providing a powerful foundation for sharingstories, that otherwise may never be told.The Right Partnerships,Meaningful ConnectionsSelecting strategic partnerships allows you to generate content creationto reach a specific audience, Scott Rouesch, SVP, Takepart, explainedrecently while attending the WeFirst Leadership Summit 2014.But in addition, you can change the conversation on key issues.So when selecting partnerships, it’s important to be intentional withyour focus and to influence the partnerships – and the conversations onkey issues. This ex-tends not only to external partnerships, but also toemployees as ambassadors for your company.Rouesch explains that social business and partnerships have a formulathat influences many, including the bottom line. And that formula is:doing well + doing good = your bottom line, doubled.35

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersReferences1. PRWeb, http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/7/prweb9705916.htm,July 19, 20122. ClickZ, “Social E-Commerce and the Customer Network,” Aug. 27, 20133. Excerpts from the 25 global social business leaders profiles wereauthored by The Economist Intelligence Unit36

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersChapter 5:The Impact of Technology:Changing the Way We EngageTechnology is changing the way that people communicate, learn, workand play. In fact, by 2015 there will be over a billion smartphones in theworld. 1 In addition, Apple users have an average of 48 apps on theirdevices and Android users average 35 apps, according to the NielsenCompany. 2 But the mobile experience, as well as technology as a whole,37

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leadersgoes so much deeper than before, explains Brian Solis, who servedon the EIU advisory board that helped to select the 25 inspiring globalsocial business leaders.“When you say the word mobile, you think tablet, you think phone,but you don’t think of the context in which you use those devices,”says Solis.Technologies, including the context in which those devices are used,have forever shifted the perception of relationships, engagement andfair exchange of value. In the context of social business, this technologyis being leveraged to give people voices, which positively impactseveryone.Rethinking Customer NeedsHigh-performing businesses are leveraging technology to servecustomers in many different ways. First, they are focusing on customervalue and rethinking operations in order to profit while delivering valueto customers. Second, they are capturing customer insight, while gaininga deeper understanding of customer needs and behaviors throughreal-time analytics – extracting meaning from the massive amounts oftext, video, and audio content that people create and share daily.And finally, businesses are focusing on customer engagement, connectingwith customers in a meaningful way using a variety of means, and offeringa valuable customer experience.Leveraging new capabilities and transforming your engagement strategyto give customers a voice is powerful. Think about what customers arewilling to give up for the ability to be “known” and understood.For example, 80 percent of individuals are willing to share their personalinformation in exchange for personalized offers.38

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersIn addition to wanting companies to know and understand them, peopleare connected in ways that are unprecedented in history – and they areforever tethered to a variety of devices. In fact, smartphone users checktheir phones an estimated 150 times a day. 3 Eighty-four percent ofmillennials and 70 percent of boomers say that social and user-generatedcontent has an influence on what they buy. 3 And all this, of course, tiesinto social business.To compound matters further, customer expectations are steadilyincreasing. For example, customers expect a five-minute responsetime when connecting with brands via social media. 3 And as a result,brands are now playing by new rules of engagement. They must knoweach customer in context, deliver personally relevant and rewardingexperiences, and learn the value of co-creating with customers,employees and partners.39

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersKnowing and Engaging With CustomersThrough TechnologyEstablishing true customer engagement is similar to perfecting a recipe.You have to try new combinations, see how the mix works and adjustuntil it is right. Just ask Marco Magnaghi, who until recently servedas Business Innovation Manager at Amadori. He pioneered the Italianfood company’s online outreach to customers, serving up everythingfrom bake-offs and recipe guides to microsites aimed at younger users,according to his EIU profile. 4Back in 2010, a major challenge for creating a budding socialbusiness lay in evaluating whether social initiatives were successful.Few benchmarks were available by which to judge them; no one knewwhether, say, adding 5,000 Facebook followers in a site’s first week wasan encouraging or a discouraging result.So Magnaghi focused on creating a voice for the company that wouldconnect with social media users and ran tests to see what content hithome and what missed. The goal was to be “able to understand whatconsumers and users wanted to know” so Amadori could give it to them,says Magnaghi, who is now Chief Digital Officer at Maxus Italy, a mediaagency of GroupM, which is a unit of the global advertising agency WPP.Success, he believed, would come from knowing and engagingcustomers and differentiating Amadori from rivals.This is a prime example of how the methods by which customersengage with technology, such as mobile and social, are changingeverything for business.40

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersThe Technology and Storytelling ConnectionWith customer expectations changing so quickly, businesses havemore opportunities to leverage rapidly emerging technology to tellstories – and ultimately connect. At the WeFirst Leadership Summit 2014,Andy McKeon, Global Customer Marketing Lead at Facebook, sharedperspectives on social business creating the most relevant contentfor communities and individuals. He explained that storytelling, theshift to mobile, mobile video, and removing “social” and “digital” frommarketing are key to businesses.He also highlighted the importance of using digital to inform yourcreative from the start, connecting with people with relevance andfocusing on business outcomes rather than social metrics. He explainedthat future success is tied to:1. The shift to mobile2. Content relevance3. Focus on business outcomes4. Personalized engagement41

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersBy creating collaborations through storytelling, all businesses areable to integrate technology to create real value for both internal andexternal customers.Tying It All TogetherIn the end, it’s about social, mobile and real-time connections – andhow those pieces work together to enable stronger connections amongpeople. They can share more easily than ever, right in the moment,at any given time. Through the 25 Inspiring Global Social BusinessLeaders project we learned some valuable lessons and gleaned someinteresting insights on where this is all going in the future.References1. Computer World, “Most will access Internet via mobile devices by 2015,IDC says,” Sept. 12, 20112. Watershed Publishing, “In addition to share leadership, Android and iOSusers have the most apps and use them the most,” 20143. IBM, “Customers Rewrite the Rules of Engagement,” 20144. Excerpts from the 25 global social business leaders profiles were authoredby The Economist Intelligence Unit42

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersChapter 6:Putting It All Together:Where Do We Go From Here?When IBM teamed with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), it wasn’tjust about creating a mutually beneficial relationship through the 25inspiring global social business leaders project. It was also aboutgiving people a voice to share their stories. And in the future, thepower of true engagement, facilitated by social and mobile technologies,will no doubt be more tightly integrated into regular business as socialpermeates across all different departments within business and silos arebroken down.More than ever, productive and profitable relationships with customerswill be rooted in a company’s ability to interact with them in ways thatare meaningful and relevant. This poses two distinct challenges: theability to understand exactly what an individual customer needs, andthe ability to address that need at the correct point in time.The integration with social business makes this possible throughproviding an openness that hasn’t been available in the past.Britta Meyer, Chief Marketing Officer at WageWorks, explained in herEIU profile: “You have to let go of the fear. You can’t just post Tweetsand go on Facebook. That’s not going to do anything for you anymore.43

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersWhat companies need to do is live and breathe what the principle ofsocial stands for – which is being open and listening.” 1Understanding how customers want to interact in the future – andmeeting them there – will become increasingly important when it comesto interactions, and truly creating a sense of personalized engagement.Uncovering the Needs of the FutureTo better understand people and customers, we need to use theinsights gleaned from data to help us better establish personalizedtouchpoints and engagement. This requires a comprehensiveunderstanding of multiple types of data that reveals who the customerreally is and what they care about.Predictive analytics can help reveal individual motivations for actions– instead of relying on assumptions about such motivations based onsurface data. This type of analytics uncovers true individual needs44

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leadersand preferences based on complete, comprehensive data, and, thenpredicts individual behaviors. Ultimately, this means organizations canactively manage both the content of the interaction and the timing of it,ensuring that it is relevant and meaningful to the customer – and, in turn,profitable for the organization.The Forefront of Cognitive ComputingIn addition to leading in predictive analytics, IBM’s Watson will also playan important role in the future. Watson processes a question throughan approach similar to one that humans use. It starts by analyzing thequestion (or case) as input and generates a set of features, thenhypotheses. Using hundreds of reasoning algorithms embedded in thesystem, Watson does a comparison of the language of the questionitself, as well as that of each of the candidate answers. Statistical modelsare then used to determine how relevant the answers are, producing apercent of confidence for each answer.It’s technology like this that in the future will help us understandcustomers in ways we haven’t been able to in the past. Leveragingthese insights will drive engagement, create stronger relationships anddrive meaningful interactions with customers. And it’s through thesehigh-quality, ongoing interactions that the company can serveindividuals’ needs not only as customers but also as people – whichultimately is the goal of any relationship.Social Business: The Next 10 YearsIn addition to exploring technology like predictive analytics and cognitivecomputing, we spoke with the 25 inspiring global social businessleaders to get insight on what the next 10 years hold. Brian Fanzo,one of the leaders profiled by the EIU, believes that in the next decadesocial won’t be an employee community, and it won’t be a customer45

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaderscommunity, but instead it will be a social business community, whereall who are involved work together to solve problems. Other socialbusiness leaders identified a few common themes moving forward.It’s no longer “social business.” It’s simply business.Social is a business environment that recognizes the continuum ofopportunities and challenges that “life” puts forward for us. Technologywill be more mature, which will enable social relationships in morenatural ways, and some of the serendipity that is lost in the virtualinteractions today will be made possible once again with tools likeWatson – which will be able to infer connections and create opportunitiesfor intentional serendipity.The future of work focuses on the individual, and the community.Social technologies have a major impact on how we work, and howwe become more productive. 94 percent of surveyed workers have feltoverwhelmed by information to the point of incapacity. 246

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersWe are overwhelmed with information overload in the workplace,and today’s tools are not adequate for the workplace of the future.Especially email – a particular source of frustration when it comes downto today’s worker. People are looking for an easier way to collaboratewith the people who matter to us most – one that centers on theindividual and brings a sense of community to our virtual workplace.Like what IBM Verse offers – a shift from “me” to “we” withcommunication and collaboration that understands you throughpersonalization.A proliferation of new devices and networks will allow us toconnect in all-new ways.The tools and technologies will be more advanced and integrated.However, the fundamentals of relationship development will remain thesame. Bidirectional engagement will be just as important in the physicalworld, as it will be in the virtual world. Ten years from now, we’ll be lookingat a much more interconnected world, and tools like instant translation47

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaderswill be widely used to connect social business leaders from all aroundthe world and remove what will then be archaic language barriers.Community will be the focus.Employees and customers will be treated and valued as the mostimportant aspects of a business. Better market and customer insightwill drive outstanding customer experience, which will lead to revenueand shareholder growth.Social will no longer be limited to specific departments.It won’t be confined to marketing or customer service; or to levels, suchas “lower ranks”; or to industries, such as media or advertising – it willbe pervasive from all roles within the organization. For example,social might be integrated within procurement, supply and logistics orhuman resources.Fanzo further explains that in the future when businesses embracesocial business, they’ll make their employees “rock stars” empoweringthem to act as ambassadors and talk with the community – instead of atthem from the brand level.Moving ForwardWhile it’s true that businesses in the future will know more than everabout their customers, the ways that interactions take place betweenthem and their customers will also change. Juliana Rotich, Co-founderand Executive Director at Ushahidi, warns businesses to focus onutility over appearance. “It’s not just about what looks pretty,”Ms. Rotich told the EIU. “Software needs to work for each situation andsolve a problem.” 148

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersLauren Vargas, Head of Social Media and Community at Aetna, saysthat more change is on the way. According to her EIU profile, bettersocial listening has already driven significant change in her company’swebsite, which has been cleansed of the legalese that customersdespised. As more employees get more social, more change will come,she said. 1Through our work and collaboration with the EIU on the 25 InspiringGlobal Social Business Leaders project, we found that it’s about morethan “engagement,” as these connections extend outward to not justsocial but mobile and digital – and at a global level. It’s about being an“open business” and how we leverage knowledge to foster innovationin the future.Brian Solis explains that what the EIU and IBM tackled with the 25inspiring global social business leaders project was just the beginningof what’s referred to as digital transformation. As a business becomessocial, it also opens doors to new ways of working. Business models,49

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leadersworkflows, systems, will undergo digital transformation to compete fora new generation of customers and employees he believes. And thatwas his point all along. “Forget social media,” he exclaimed. “Thinkabout what social media means to how people connect, communicateand discover. Becoming a social business is an act of becoming morehuman and meaningful in a digital economy.”But in the end, when thinking about what social business means, manypeople are stuck between wondering if it’s a business that’s engagedin social – or if social business is linked to a company’s “point of view.”But it’s actually both. To truly put people at the center of the conversation,and engage with them authentically, you have to better understandthem. And by using technology, such as analytics and cognitivecomputing, you can better understand those social interactions acrossall different types of social networks, to not only better understandpeople, but ultimately have more meaningful interactions.References1. Excerpts from the 25 global social business leaders profiles were authoredby The Economist Intelligence Unit2. Basex, “The Knowledge Worker’s Day: Our Findings,” 201150

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersAcknowledgementsWe wish to thank and acknowledge the following individuals whocontributed and supported the 25 Inspiring Global Social BusinessLeaders project and the writing and production of this eBook.25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders Project Lead &Contributing Author:• Maria Huntalas, Sr. Marketing Manager, IBM Social Business,Strategy & SolutionsExecutive Sponsors:• Maria Winans, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President ofMarketing for Commerce, Social, and Mobile at IBM• Ed Brill, Vice President of Social Business Transformation at IBM• Eric Lesser, National Director of IBM Institute of Business Value• Michelle Killebrew, Program Director, Strategy and Solutions,IBM Social Business• Nick Blunden, Senior Vice President of Digital at The EconomistGroup and publisher of Intelligent Life and The World in 2015The 25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders Project’sAdvisory Board:• Nick Blunden, Senior Vice President of Digital at The EconomistGroup and publisher of Intelligent Life and The World in 2015• Cheryl Burgess, Chief Executive Officer and Chief MarketingOfficer at Blue Focus Marketing• Lis Gansky, Chief Instigator at Mesh Labs• Brian Solis, Principal at Altimeter Group• Maria Winans, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President ofMarketing for Commerce, Social, and Mobile at IBM51

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersThe Economist Intelligent Unit:• Riva Richmond, Senior Editor of Economic Insights at TheEconomist Intelligence Unit• Frieda Klotz, Deputy Editor of Economic Insights at The EconomistIntelligent Unit52

25 Inspiring Global Social Business Leaders25INSPIRING GLOBALSOCIAL BUSINESS LEADERSWendy ArnottVice President of Social Mediaand Digital Marketing,TD Bank GroupJon BidwellChief Innovation Officer,Chubb Group of Insurance Cos,unit of Chubb CorpLin BinCo-founder,XiaomiPeter BlackshawGlobal Head of Digital andSocial Media, NestléB. Bonin BoughVice President of Global Mediaand Consumer Engagement,Mondelez InternationalNathan BricklinHead of Collaboration and SocialStrategy for Wholesale Services,Wells FargoMartyn EtheringtonChief Marketing Officer,MitelBrian FanzoFormer Digital TechnologyEvangelist, IO Data CentersGilberto GarciaDirector of Innovation,Cemex53

Tony HsiehChief Executive,Zappos.comRicky HudiChief Engineer for Electrics/Electronics Development,Audi AGChris LapingSenior Vice President forBusiness Transformation,Red Robin Gourmet BurgersMarco MagnaghiChief Digital Officer,Maxus ItalySherri MaxsonHead of Social Business,W. W. GraingerBritta MeyerChief Marketing Officer,WageWorksScott MontyFormer Chief of Global DigitalCommunications, Ford Motor CoSimon PoultonManager of Inbound MarketingProgrammes, LaserficheMichelle RegnerFounder and Chief Executive,Near MeJuliana RotichCo-founder and ExecutiveDirector, UshahidiJohn StepperManaging Director,Deutsche BankBill StrawdermanSenior Director of DigitalMarketing and Social Media,Siemens USA

25 Inspiring Global Social Business LeadersMarisa ThalbergVice President forCorporate Digital Marketing,Estée Lauder CosDoug UlmanPresident and Chief Executive,Livestrong FoundationLauren VargasHead of Social Media andCommunity, AetnaKristina VernerDirector of IntelligentCommunities, Waterfront Toronto55

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