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Customer Centricity: Business Must Get Social According To Gartner

Gartner analysts Susan Landry and Nikos Drakos discuss the critical need for businesses to embrace social media in the video which you can find on this page. Landry refers to the 500MM+ Facebook members and the 10 billion tweets which indicates an increasing and continuous socialization of the Web.

Drakos mentions three reasons what social media achieves in the business context:

  • Extracting intelligence from Social Networks;
  • Attracting and retaining new employees and
  • Engaging with others, perhaps with people outside the company to build better products and services.

The video doesn’t bring new awareness, but the emphasis on the critical need to embrace and incorporate social media in the organization is an extra alert to work on the transformation to a social business.

Additional reasons next to Drakos’ ones to what social media brings, are:

  • Social technologies offer the ability to deliver collaborative action in a scalable and more cost efficient way than ever before;
  • By opening your business and its activities, from product and service development to marketing and customer care, the consumer becomes more deeply engaged;
  • Consumers become involved in the decisions that matter to them. They care more about the outcomes – and have more invested in making the outcomes a success: whether a new product choice, a marketing campaign or a new service experience;
  • It delivers cheaper and more effective solutions as well as deeper consumer loyalty and
  • Consumer loyalty becomes more important than ever in a world in which we look to our friends – not the press or ads – for advice and recommendations.

Customer centric social business

The essence is that by collaborating with the consumer you co-create your best-fit business outputs with them. Because people are the most powerful media (Social Media) by opening up the process through co-creation you guarantee a highly targeted buzz at pre-launch. This brings along reduced cost-to-market and advertising costs.

Best-fit business outputs are achieved by the consumer feedback in the different stages of the marketing process, aligning it where it can.

External factors that advocate for a social business are increased competition, shorter and faster occuring PLC’s. When looking at changes in consumers there are two. The first is the “New Consumer” as defined by Lewis and Bridger, seeking authenticity, is individualistic, independent and well-informed. In the near-future business will be confronted by Generation C, which is defined as:

connected, communicating, content-centric, computerized, community-oriented, always clicking. As a rule, they were born after 1990 and lived their adolescent years after 2000. It’s the first generation that has never known any reality other than that defined and enabled by the Internet, mobile devices, and social networking.

Combining the two results in an individualistic ubiquitous digital consumer seeking authenticity and independency. This well fuels the culture of (online) co-creation.

Social media and co-creation enables consumers to be a means and an end. For businesses it’s the opportunity to become truly customer-centric where the business serves as a platform.

Originally published on BusinessInsider.com by Gianluigi Cuccureddu.