For some time now, companies have been wrestling with the strategic
issue of how to use their Web sites in positioning themselves in the
marketplace – whether to use their Web site just to disseminate product
information, or whether to operate an e-store to sell direct to online
shoppers (Thompson, Ch. 6). And nowadays one finds all sorts of “in the
moment,” mobile-commerce applications utilizing smartphones (iPhone,
Android, BlackBerry) and social networking services (Facebook, Twitter)
that can integrate m-commerce capability with the firm’s internal IT and
marketing systems. Welcome to social business.
Social business concerns monitoring, responding, amplifying and
leading consumer behavior in support of corporate brands and products.
It is fundamentally about building communities, fostering new ways of
collaborating, and guiding these efforts to achieve a purpose. (Social
business: why you can’t afford to ignore it, IBM Forward View, 2011.)
Apple, Google and Whole Foods Market create gravitational buzz that
attracts customers to their respective brands through finding shared
purposes, creating meaningful engagement platforms and encouraging
collaborative partnerships. Whole Foods Market for example works
toward healthy living through better food and nutrition utilizing its
educational platform and collaborative supply chain relationships.
Comment on a personal experience in e-commerce—were social business
principles exhibited? How might the experience have been improved?
Would you agree, managers need to “up their game” with social media? Explain.