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Social Platform Developers Sell!

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About a month ago, I wrote that social technologies are becoming one of the main trends of the decade. I was inspired by McKinsey’s fundamental report, The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity Through Social Technologies.

McKinsey & Company became the first management consulting firm that not only declared that the world is moving toward social economy, but has begun restructuring its business along social lines. Now, NM Incite, a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey, in addition to a conventional range of advisory services has its own social insight platform to listen and measure social media, API to access the data obtained, and even a set of standard industry solutions for such industries as high-tech, telecommunications, healthcare, financial services, and consumer goods.

But McKinsey is not the only large consulting company that has placed their bets on the promising social business.

In some aspects, Deloitte has surpassed McKinsey in the field of social business. McKinsey has been focused only on social media marketing so far, whereas Deloitte has gambled on social innovations. The program Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers embraces 30 British companies already. Admittedly, Deloitte’s approach is significantly broader that social marketing and goes to the very heart of business – increasing productivity (“Social Business is a concept that goes beyond the buzz of social media networks; it’s a practice that can enable more efficient, effective and net-new connections inside and outside your organization to drive performance”).

Other management consulting companies, for instance PwC and KPMG, are also trying to keep up to date, relying on a combination of social media and collaboration (read Making the case for social media governance about KPMG and Transforming collaboration with social tools about PwC).

However, consulting companies do not limit themselves to the development of proprietary practices and new social business cases. Michael Brito, a well-known expert in social business and Senior VP of Social Business Planning at Edelman Digital, observes that there are two new developments in the social business space.

First, the acquisition of companies specializing in social business development has begun. PwC has just announced the acquisition of Ants Eye View, a social media strategy firm.

Secondly, PR consulting firms are invading the field of social business. Eastwick, a California based PR firm, has just announced the launch of a new independent consulting firm called SocialXDesign. According to a press release, the new company will combine expertise in strategic marketing and public engagement with behavior research. The CEO, Giovanni Rodriguez is a former Deloitte consultant and CMO of the company that developed BroadVision, an enterprise social networking platform. The chief strategy officer will be Toby Chaudhuri, aWashingtonD.C. public affairs consultant.

This second development is a very fundamental phenomenon: PR monsters are rushing in droves into social business, announcing their strategic media programs (Edelman, Weber, Ogilvy and Eastwick).

To sum up, management consulting firms and PR consulters are flocking to the green pastures of social business. Why not? They have plenty of experience working with customers and a lot of money.
So, social platform developers sell!

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Sergey Karelov

Соучредитель и CTO Witology