Earlier this year, the MIT Sloan Management Review published a
research report summarizing the findings of its global executive
study on social business. The study canvassed 2,545 respondents
from 25 industries and 99 countries, all of whom were involved in
corporate development decisions at their respective organizations.
The aim of the study was to determine how new technologies have
taken hold, where such technologies are going, and how such
technologies may impact M&A in the coming years.
In an interview for the report, Gerald Kane, professor at the
Carroll School of Management at Boston College, had the following
to say about the current social business landscape:
Any new technology experiences a
faddish hype cycle where people adopt it because they feel they
have to. With social, we are passing the peak of faddishness.
Companies are starting to crack social's code and turning to it
for business advantage, intelligence and insight.
While the prevalence of social media in M&A was virtually
unheard of a decade ago, using social media in M&A is not only
becoming commonplace, but is becoming necessary. Indeed, in its
report Corporate Development 2013: Pushing Boundaries in M&A,
Deloitte noted that:
Although the long-term view of how
technology may transform M&A is still emerging, the
transformative power of technology and how it can be applied to dig
for trends and insights, influence customer decisions, improve
brand perception, foster communications and collaboration and
enhance productivity is undeniable.
New technologies are proliferating, and while there is no clear
consensus on the best way to capitalize on social media in M&A,
it's time to jump on board. In an independent survey of
corporate development executives in April, Deloitte released the
41% of executives use social media data analytics to analyze
prospective M&A transactions; an additional 17% are considering
34% of executives use social media at various stages throughout
the M&A lifecycle, ranging from the preliminary stage of
identifying targets to the final stage of post-closing
56% of executives use social media in M&A mainly for target
identification; 30% use it primarily for due diligence.
What is 100% certain, however, is that businesses must avail
themselves of all possible means of establishing a competitive edge
in M&A, including thinking creatively about how to use
technology and social media to get deals done.
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