In this blog post, I am going to present two examples of companies utilising Enterprise 2.0 techniques in a significant way to meet corporate goals. Both examples will be analysed according to the Wikinomics business model (Peering, Being Open, Sharing and Acting Global).
Starting from 2008, BASF have made significant steps towards becoming a social business by creating the connect.BASF online business network. By 2013, the platform has become a huge success and more than 35,000 employees around the globe are collaborating and sharing information on it on a regular basis.
When starting the connect.BASF project, the primary aim of the company was to foster the creation of self-organising online communities that solve business problems by sharing knowledge, collaborating and participating in discussions. “We form the best team” – was the motto of the project, which acknowledges the fact isolated players cannot provide as much value as communities who act together as a global team.
Being Open & Sharing
The platform is completely open and all employees of the company have access to it. This facilitates the open sharing of ideas and has lead to numerous unexpected discoveries where teams that formerly were not even aware of the existence of each other have collaborated on the spot in an ad hoc fashion and created innovative solutions to difficult problems.
The company has 390 production sites across all continents. The enterprise social network has helped in bringing the companies workers closer together by creating a better connected organisation. As of April 2013, 35,000 users were registered to connect.BASF forming more than 3,700 online communities.
BeingGirl is a community site created by the consumer goods company Procter & Gamble site that targets adolescent girls in the 12-14 year age group. The main purpose of the website is to provide information to young girls facing the typical issues of puberty (dating, self-care, menstruation, eating disorders etc.). It serves as a community where girls can discuss their everyday problems with each other and can ask for expert advice. Needless to say, the site is also a marketing tool for Procter & Gamble’s hygiene products, but the company has taken a more subtle advertising approach this time: the primary focus is on building a community while the products are kept in the background. This subtle marketing strategy has proven to be extremely effective as the BeingGirl campaign is four times as effective as a similarly priced traditional marketing program.
The site’s visitors can engage in various discussions, enter contests and participate in polls, which all provide a very strong foundation for building a community around addressing the various problem adolescent girls are facing today. Another important aspect of peering is that the company continuously improves the site based on the results of the polls and forum discussions.
A key point of the success of the site is that the company does not hide the fact that it wants to advertise its products. However, it puts an emphasis on adding value first by building a community where young girls feel at ease and are happy the spend their time online. By putting their users first and their marketing agenda in the background, Proctor & Gamble has achieved what other companies using traditional advertising are only dreaming of.
At the initial launch of the site in 2000, the site only provided traditional educational materials which haven’t gained much interest. When the company decided to make the site more fun and social while being educational at the same time, things have really taken off. The site provides music downloads, video series, blog posts and various forums for the girls to participate in and share their feeling about going through adolescence.
The website is now available in 50 different languages and it has become a huge success worldwide. Clearly, the company has succeeded in addressing a global audience with their more than 2 million visitors per month worldwide.
To sum up, in both case studies Procter & Gamble and BASF have been able to put Enterprise 2.0 to excellent use with great success. The fact that such established corporations are taking Enterprise 2.0 seriously is a sure sign that this trend is only going to get stronger in the future.
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
How connect.BASF Helped BASF Become a Social Business
The growth of an enterprise social network at BASF
Enterprise 2.0 success: BASF
Procter & Gamble
Wikipedia – BeingGirl
“Best In Class” Marketing Using Social Media
P&G Does it Again with Beinggirl.com – 4x More Effective Than Traditional Media
Social media success story: Proctor & Gamble