Commonly used social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Renren and Weibo in China, have been used for some time for marketing and PR activities. They are now being used to support and enable a much wider range of business processes. For example, more wealth management advice is now delivered using Facebook than by any other means. Both Twitter and LinkedIn are now becoming standard tools for recruitment. 2012 will see this trend continue and develop. In fact, in 2012, organisations will increasingly focus on integrating social media with its other customer and stakeholder touch points. Social media will be the fourth channel, augmenting face-to-face contact, voice interaction though contact centres, and interaction through websites.
Social buying, also known as group buying, has become common in Asia and businesses have rushed to work with both local and international group buying companies to increase sales, acquire new customers and manage inventory. This trend will continue in 2012 and become integrated into overall sales and marketing strategies for a lot of businesses.
In summary, the inversion of the relationship between technology and business will become clear in 2012. Cloud computing, mobility and social media will drive this trend. Each of these trends is a major disruptive force in all industries.
Other notable developments in 2012 will be centred around the growing importance of 'big data' and the tools needed to analyse it, mobile payments becoming more common, increased corporate involvement in the burgeoning gaming industry, machine to machine technologies impacting multiple industries and the adoption of Smart TV.
This article was authored by Andrew Milroy, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific.
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