The two go together like love and marriage.
Or rather, they should. Because the social web provides direct insights into markets and customers, and many of the elements that influence and shape the thinking of both.
We’re seeing business consultancies and strategic management start to wrestle with how the social web can be brought into the highest level of strategy planning, and we’re seeing it ourselves with some of our own clients.
Organizations are running pilots to test concepts such as social selling, not in small teams but across entire departments and even companies.
New service products are being considered, researched, scoped and planned using hard data from the social web to test assumptions, and discard them if necessary.
In all these examples (and many more besides) hard data, derived from the social web, analysed, set into context, and then mapped to existing data, are the key. The strategic thinking is possible because big data and the social web can now be mapped with CRM systems in real time, and it’s only possible for these reasons.
(Yes, you can do strategy without social, and not every organization has stakeholders who influence through the social web, but it’s a little like trying to go hiking with random bits of the map missing.)