Social influences business outcomes

21 July 2014
CAMBRIDGE, MA: Social business initiatives positively affect the business outcomes of two-thirds of companies, according to a new global survey which also found the level of value achieved is related to their social business sophistication.

This opinion is held by nearly 60% of B2B and 68% of B2C participants in the Moving Beyond Marketing: Generating Social Business Value Across the Enterprise report from the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, the consultancy.

The survey polled more than 4,800 business executives across 26 industries and 109 countries and found a high degree of support for social business maturity.

Of respondents who rated their companies as having a sophisticated approach to social media, software and networks, a full 80% analyse social data and two-thirds (67%) integrate it to improve the decision-making process.

Furthermore, more than 90% said their company leadership believes social can create powerful and positive change for the organisation while a similar proportion (87%) use social business to spur innovation.

"Sophisticated companies are increasingly integrating social across many aspects of the organisation," said David Kiron, executive editor at the MIT Sloan Management Review.

"Companies are taking a holistic view of how social can affect not only their marketing, but also international communications, customer relations and business operations," he added.

As an example, the report pointed to how the American Red Cross had successfully integrated social tools across all its activities rather than leaving them just within its communications division.

This meant that the company's digital command centre in Washington D.C. was in a position to respond rapidly to tweets from members of the public seeking advice about an approaching tornado.

Elsewhere, the survey found that 90% of respondents believe social business will be important over the next three years while over half (57%) say an organisation's social business maturity is at least somewhat important in their choice of employer.

Leadership is important too, as 86% of C-suite or board-level respondents agree or strongly agree that social business represents an opportunity for fundamental change to their organisations.

Data sourced from MIT Sloan Management Review, Deloitte; additional content by Warc
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