It has been said many times that the number one business need is to get the right information to business decision makers so that they can make the right decisions. That is a challenge for IT and has lead to more than one Big Data project that is trying to tie together multiple sources of data and build better Business Intelligence. One of the cornerstones of that time of data collection though should be the effective use of Social Media both as a concrete way of communicating with your customers but also a way to focus on the long term innovation and building of demand for new products and services.
While survey after survey that I have read puts the blame on IT as not being sufficiently open to true innovation, I am lucky enough to work for a company that puts the concept of IT Innovation at the forefront and many of our new services have come from a dedicated focus on Innovation. When we look at the power of Social Media though, the challenge for most companies has been to simply “Engage” the customer and support them with buying decisions. As Social Media hits a maturity level that we are seeing today and the sophistication of the Social Media Users increasing, this is a perfect venue to help to reap the grand harvest of business innovation and extend the Social Media Conversation one step further.
One shining example of this has been the resurgence of Yahoo! in recent months. There has been a growing trend for Yahoo! to be in the center of the conversation and on several occasions recently I have seen traditional media use the term “trending on Yahoo! right now”.
This is made more impressive by the fact that there has been several leadership changes at Yahoo!, they survived a time when it looked like they would be parted out like a weekend fire sale at a department store and they have emerged stronger than they have been for years…how is this possible?
I would say the leadership of Marissa Mayer may have a little to do with the core changes to the culture at Yahoo! but it could be the underdog effect to.
In fact the innovation tactics have been quite impressive allowing Yahoo! to catch up to its chief rival Google in monthly screen time, but screen time does not necessarily translate to the only thing that investors care about…profit.
But there is not a Social Network that sits behind or on top of the resurgence of Yahoo! There is no Google Plus in the horizon for Yahoo! and no ill fated attempt at So.cl so how is it that Yahoo! which just three years ago looked like it would go the way of Netscape, AOL and other iconic innovators of the Internet’s early years.
They saw that Social Networking and Social Media was making a huge impact in how people, companies and brands were connecting an making a difference. They saw the opportunity to connect their existing services to the new Social World and recreated themselves in the new image. There was a time when Yahoo! was buying up every innovative and forward thinking concept and adding new products at a break next pace (I remember needing to support many of these during my time in Technical Support) but the real reality is…Innovation does not come from Acquisition…it comes from Integration!
For IT Leaders, CEOs and even the lowest level of staffer…look to what you are offering today to your customers…focus on making that better, easier and more social and then you will be able to take Social Media to the next Step.
Chris J Powell