Social Media ROI and Enterprise 2.0

So many brilliant people are racking their brains, blogging, putting awesome presentations on slideshare, youtube (like the one above)  on how ROI of social media campaigns can be measured and how several companies are already benefitting from making social media a key part of their marketing efforts.

Some more links below,

The basics of Social Media ROI,

5 cases of growing businesses via Social Media

8 steps to show Social Media ROI

All this work makes one wonder why it is not more obvious to brand owners and why the move is still cautious. Till the people who have the power and cheque books  take the effort  to educate themselves on the subject, presentations from people who might be seen as having a vested interest will only move the needle a little bit. The  insistence on having outdated metrics like CPM, just because that is how it has been in the world of traditional media, is plain ignorance. The curious DIG, the ignorant COVER.

If people don’t GET IT, they will not SIGN IT (the cheque). So why are people not getting it. We are after all talking of intellectually gifted people working at blue-chip companies.

To me, it is less about individual intent, and more about corporate culture and processes. Embracing social media as a key focus area is more than just shifting marketing budgets from TV to digital. It is in someway also about the overall approach of running an organization and business. In simple terms, it is the difference between Enterprise 1.0 and Enterprise 2.0.


Enterprise 1.0 (E1.0) is where the majority of big companies are. Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0) is where some companies like ADIDAS are moving towards. See the ADIDAS case here

Even the big agency networks who are pushing social media marketing campaigns to clients are themselves operating in E1.0 mode. It is the smaller, leaner, meaner, hungrier outfits who are perhaps embracing what they are preaching. Amongst the bigger ones, BBH perhaps has been the most adventurous ( BBH labs, ZAG brand invention, working with Crowdspring on client projects etc being some examples).

Are we going to have a tipping point moment. Perhaps not. The momentum is building, more in some parts of the world (Western Europe, US) , less in others (Asia). McKinsey published a survey on web 2.0 usage in corporate world way back in 2007 and HBR has tons of stuff on the subject. This is what the CEOs, finance directors and corporate planning people read, not the marketing blogs. Maybe we need one of the gurus like Prahalad or Gary Hamel to write a book on the subject. Who knows ??

Lest this post sounds as if everyone should just jump in, a word of caution : WE SHOULD NOT UNDER ESTIMATE THE GOVERNANCE CHALLENGE.

In short, It is not easy, but frankly is there an option ??

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