SMBs Lack Cohesive Digital Strategy, IBM Says
December 3, 2013 Alex Woodie
If you thought that bigger companies have a leg up on their smaller cohorts when it comes to having a cohesive digital strategy, you’d be right, according to a new survey from IBM.
IBM says its global study of midmarket C-Suite leaders uncovers a “surprising” fact about most small and midsize companies: “They may not be as digitally savvy as they’d like.”
Apparently, not only do SMBs not have as much revenue as large companies, but the small fry also lack the social media savvy of the big dogs in any particular industry. According to IBM’s survey, 65 percent of respondents think that the lack of a cohesive social media plan is the biggest barrier to doing more in the digital space.
But there is hope at the end of the SMB tunnel: Smaller firms that have “successfully fused the digital and physical” when it comes to big data analytics, social networking, mobile, and cloud are 26 percent more likely to outperform their rivals, IBM says. In other words, businesses that are good at social media make more money.
Of course, “successfully fusing the digital and physical” is kind of vague, so how, exactly, are SMBs to rise? In terms of specifics, IBM encourages its SMB customers to work on integrating cross channel touchpoints, using analytics to capture customer insights, using social networks to foster collaboration, and using cloud and mobile to do, well, cloud and mobile.
“Smaller companies [that] use their agility to place customers front and center in their ecosystem, embrace cloud, social and engagement marketing strategies could end up huge winners,” said John Mason, the general manager of IBM’s Midmarket Business, in a press release.
If you find it bizarre that IBM is putting such a heavy emphasis on social, mobile, and cloud, and big data analytic–even in the IBM i space, where companies actually make and move the stuff that underlies the real economy and the physical world–then you haven’t been paying attention.
“We now focus on what we call category marketing,” IBM’s vice president of worldwide marketing for Power Systems, Lisa Johnston, told IT Jungle in October. “What that means is cloud, mobile, big data and analytics, and social. Those are areas that clients are trying to solve.”