The influence of social

New views from the 2014 IBM Global Telecommunications Consumer Survey

The key findings from our most recent global telecommunications survey can be summed up in two words: Social disruption. The study clearly validates the population of social networking, instant messaging, microblogs, Internet video and other over-the-top (OTT) communication applications and the associated challenges new conversation channels create for communication service providers (CSPs). However, it also reveals important information about consumers’ spending priorities, how they make provider-related decisions, their loyalty triggers and more. CSPs can use this information to drive brand passion and develop new strategies for top-notch customer service – including more self-service options. In addition, CSPs can take advantage of consumers’ willingness to collaborate on product and service improvements – and use the rising popularity of social media to do so.

The IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a survey of close to 22,000 consumers in 35 countries in both mature and emerging markets: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. The survey covered a wide variety of topics, including consumers’ expected spending priorities for the next two years, daily use of various communication services, adoption of communication products, information sources for products and services, attitudes toward communications service providers (CSPs), customer experience/loyalty issues and attitudes about privacy.

Study results reveal that the rapid spread of social conversation channels from giants such as Facebook and Google are not only offering alternative communication options, but also providing consumers with a way to seize control of CSPs’ reputations – and even some business decisions. These channels have put even more power into the hands of consumers who not only make empowered choices, but also influence others and strongly shape brand perceptions.

In this summary report, we provide a glimpse of the plethora of information consumers revealed about their communications-related experiences, attitudes and behavior patterns.

Download the full IBM Institute for Business Value Study

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