First, I’d like to apologize for posting about this so after-the-fact. This white paper, from the Economist Intelligence Unit, actually came out in April. I’ve been sharing some of the content with clients since then, but have just not had a moment to post about it.

  • Nearly 60% of big companies surveyed (avg revenue $2.5b) say they already are, or are planning to in the next two years, allowing consumers to contribute content that (they hope) explains, supports, promotes or enhances their products
  • 47% are planning to include customers in product testing and co-development
  • 58% recognize that using the web to partner with their customers will have a pretty big impact on their business
  • 30% expect that social media tools will help them trim customer service costs
  • Here’s a look at what social media tools early adopters are using/planning to use:

    smg_eiu_earlyadopters.jpg(Definition of a mash up)

    And here’s a look at where everyone else is planning to apply these tools and platforms in the next couple of years:


    I would have really like to see an apples-to-apples comparison of either of these two charts, just to see if (roughly) the late adopters were on the same track across the various types of Web 2.0 tools. The study did find that 71% of those surveyed were planning to invest in community building in the next two years, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s where it’s at.

    Here’s the money quote from Tim O’Reilly:

    Corporate winners and losers will be designated by “who figures out how to use the network.”