Study: Increased customer expectations are driving corporate uptake of social media


Yesterday I spoke at a business leaders lunch event in Darwin on the Future of Business organized by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Optus.

Following my keynote John Paitaridis, Managing Director of Optus Business, shared some of the highlights of a recently released Optus Future of Business report, based on an extensive survey of corporate Australia.

One of the pointed themes that emerged from the study was that customer expectations are driving uptake of social media and digital intiatives. This happens to be highly aligned with my perspective that increased expectations are at the heart of social change, as expressed in my Transformation of Business framework.

Here is some of the interesting data from the report:

Source: Optus

Overwhelmingly organizations are adopting online, mobile, and social media simply because their customers expect the value and convenience of these channels. Undoubtedly a large proportion of companies would be more than happy to ignore social channels if they could. However that is not an option.

Source: Optus

There are differing responsibilities for digital initiatives across organizations. Marketing departments see themselves as understanding and responding to changes in customer expectations. IT quite naturally is focused on developing IT infrastructure, but disappointingly see themselves significantly more responsible for implementing than developing strategy for changing needs.

Source: Optus

It is particularly interesting to see differing perspectives on each department’s responsibilities. Marketing, IT, and Finance each sees itself as more important than the other functions in leading strategy to respond to changing customer expectations, though only marketing believes it is more important than senior leadership.

In relation to this, one of the questions I get asked the most frequently is who should lead social strategies inside organizations. The answer depends completely on the organization and the available talent pool, but however it is structured, it is critical to build effective collaboration across critical departments. The rare ability to command respect and credibility across different functions is at the heart of being able to drive effective organizational uptake of social initiatives, both internal and external.