No doubt our RSS feeds will be awash with trends for 2013 any time soon however I would like us to think about something bigger that is happening in business...
Social media or social marketing have changed the way customers see the relationship with brands. Many companies still think that this is a fad but after steady growth over a decade I am not sure why the customer believing they should be valued and listened to - should be a fad!
The behavoural trend will spread....from customer interfaces to manufacturing, to creative - across the business. You see when people taste a bit of power...they normally start a revolution...social media was evolutionary.
We all have to match short term delivery of budget numbers with our long term value creation being sustained. When looking at the long term, it is worth thinking about how the relationship will evolve....to what I call the 'social business'.
As leaders we can either laugh at the idea of the customer logging on to our creations and printing them out at home or we can say...actually, it is moving there now, slowly...how do we turn this into a long term opportunity?
Because for business there is huge opportunities, just think...
- No more delivery costs with escalating fuel hikes.
- No more manufacturing and hoping the shipping container doesn't sink or attacked by pirates on the way to China
- Reduction in environmental footprint
- Closer relationship with customer
- The ability to truly customise with no extra cost
- The chance to do what Amazon did to books - reimagine the role of the business with the customer and the supply chain.
The tools will come and go, so don't get hung up on whether it's Pinterest, or whether it is Twitter or Facebook...they are the delivery mechanisms.
As the year finishes take a virtual helicopter tour above your company.....and think beyond the delivery mechanisms...and say...
"What will our supply chain be capable of in x years time? What are the customer behaviors which will drive this innovation? What opportunities could we start work on today to create the new social business model of the future?"