The final Summit in our global series, convened in Singapore, was also our first in the Asian region. Notwithstanding the cultural diversity of the region, the high levels of social media usage in personal computing could not be undervalued when preparing the agenda for the Summit, while engaging business with the range of opportunities that could be afforded by integrating these behaviours.
Our selected venue – the award winning Boathouse (part of the Fullerton group) – was the perfect setting to create an environment that moved away from the traditional conference room and created an atmosphere of participation and conversation. The lunch was sensational, a three course sit-down gourmet delight – not something typically experienced in traditional conferences settings.
Opening the day, Dachis Group Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Dachis shared his passion for the future of Social Business by contextualising the landscape through a retrospective of the digital era and his journey with Razorfish, to current trends where technology, work, and society overlap – a situation business can no longer escape.
Setting the scene, Jeff introduced the Social Business design framework by highlighting where current opportunities lie and preparing the context and discussions for the following presentations.
Our next regional stopover, was from China, with Sam Fleming from CIC (based in Shanghai) sharing insights on a market that demonstrated the power of many. For those of us who situate our social media experiences in the English language experiences of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the likes, Sam took us on a deep dive into the lives of Chinese ‘netizens’ and the unique nature of the internet in China. The degree of business intelligence being leveraged by brands demonstrated an undeniable market maturity that we are yet to experience in the western social media world. We also came away with some new terminology: grabbing the sofa (being the first to comment on a blog post), human flesh search engines (when people are used to find answers), and CPR (conversion participation rate).
Keeping the brand experience in the region, Sam was followed by Simone Pregellio from JetStar Asia who openly shared the airlines’ experiences and the implications to their business of integrating social media into their customer experience framework. Simone emphasised an essential ingredient of their approach: social media is about conversations, they were not entering those conversations with the intention to dominate (or use push marketing), they were very conscious of their position as participants in those conversations and the need to build and earn trust as a brand.
Taking a focused look at Facebook campaigns through a marketing lens, Kevin Tate from Dachis Group North America, highlighted that Facebook is a symbiotic relationship between media and experiences, where brands are competing with friends for your attention. The emphasis on understanding what Facebook is good for, and what it’s not good for – supported through case studies – positioned the integration of social media, firmly in the strategic marketing mix for any organisation who believes the effectiveness of a campaign is measured only by the number of fans on their page. Kevin also expanded our vocabulary with “mouse parties” where you throw out some pieces of cheese and wait for the mice to arrive.
In a region where use of social media in their personal lives is some of the highest in the world, where brands can boast hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans, the questions from the audience were distinctly focused on how to leverage their brand through a social advantage.
Post lunch, Social Business within the organisation became the focus for the next set of presentations. Ted Stanton, from IBM, described how IBM has successfully developed collaboration to enhance their internal workforce capabilities. In fact, 90% of their internal communications are via social media platforms. He outlined many of the initiatives that IBM has adopted to become a fully integrated Social Business, including the use of communities, blogging, and the value of the personal profile as a powerful connection across their global business.
Dion Hinchcliffe, from Dachis Group North America, extended the scope from Ted’s IBM example to share other high impact case studies – what Dion refers to as: The Big Shift. Typically, this is where Social Business practices within the organisation have radically reduced the cost of doing business, including the use of mobile internet access occurring at rates five times faster than the uptake of desktop internet use. Dion’s cited case studies reported ROI findings such as: more innovative products and services; more effective marketing and customer care; better access to knowledge; and a lower cost of business. Compelling figures that are difficult to ignore.
Nicholas Gruen, Chairman of Kaggle and Chairman of the Australian Government 2.0 Taskforce, took us on a journey through the data revolution and revealed ways business, government, and the public could leverage the enormous quantities of data distributed through publicly available web-based resources. Nicholas illustrated these concepts with some examples enabled by the Kaggle data prediction platform, where challenges are crowd-sourced and competitions provide incentives for solutions.
Closing the day, a panel with Janelle Amet, IBM, and Alex Ford, Institute of Executive Coaching, shared their approaches to developing creative leadership. Acknowledging that traditional models of leadership development do not enable creative leaders in current, complex environments. Both described their approaches of leveraging social network platforms and creating social learning communities that create dialogues to support cross-cultural diversity (their examples were situated in the ASEAN region). The outcomes from both programs included higher levels of engagement, increased completion rates, greater sense of community between peers, and evidence of refreshed approaches to re-organising into new Social Business ways of approaching work.
Reflecting on the conversations and questions throughout the day, instead of differences, the similarity to topics being raised in our Sydney event were closely aligned.
How can we leverage the value provided by Social Business practices to increase productivity, efficiency, and gain our share of the customer engagement?
How do we turn our customers into advocates? What are the risks of participation? How do we resource our efforts?
What’s the significance of these observations?
There are many, however, the dominant image connects to each business unit, selecting their palette of colours, styling their strategic implementation with their won brush strokes, creating a representation that combines collaborative processes, social intelligence, and engagement – a true masterpiece – and an image of organisations of the future.
Jeff’s slides can be found here.
Sam’s slides can be found here.
Ted’s slides can be found here.
Dion’s slides can be found here.
Nicholas’ slides can be found here.
The panel’s slides can be found here.