Social Media – 5 Barriers to Corporate Adoption

This is an excerpt from a brilliant recent Buzzbin article by Geoff Livingston , following the Forrester Customer Experience Forum last week.

These five barriers should really be taken notice of by companies, as well as agencies pitching social media ideas to companies.

There are serious cultural barriers to adopting social media, and in general, customer feedback. Siloed corporate structures prevent companies from listening to and embracing their customers.

Forrester outlined a five stage process that organizations need to go through to foster the evolutionary change towards a customer-centric organization:

1) Interest – Discuss that there may be a problem with customer interaction and that the company may need to research its stakeholders

2) Invest – Upon realizing that there is a lack of understanding about customer needs, get the company to invest in a “voice of the customer” program

3) Commit – This is where getting C-Suite buy-in is absolutely necessary for success. The company must commit to responding to customer feedback.

4) Engage – Take the feedback from customers, and apply it across the line. Change the experience.

5) Embed – Make the customer experience feedback loop and product innovation part of the actual cultural lifeblood of the organization.

According to Forrester, most American companies are either in stage one or two of the five stages. I think part of the failure to adapt has to do with the tendency to use old ways to affect change. Consider the siloesque idea of a customer department or initiative, rather than realizing customer centric behavior affects a company across the line.


The challenge to becoming a customer-centric organization is not as easy as simply listening. It involves reinventing many an organization’s actual structure and workflow. Cultural barriers to success cannot be underestimated.

This article was found via Scott Monty’s blog


One thought on “Social Media – 5 Barriers to Corporate Adoption

  1. Pingback: Social Media Digest – A Summary of Recent Posts « Social Media Mashup – UK Social Media News

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