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The Changing Face of Communication according to IBM

Following in the footsteps of their previous white paper on marketing trends (The End of Advertising as We Know It), IBM Global Business Services has developed another dandy for your reading pleasure called The Changing Face of Communication (download the PDF here). The report was designed specifically for telecommunication providers, but I feel it’s relevant for all marketers.

I recommend you take 30 minutes to really go through this, but I wanted to pull out some interested quotes that help tell their story about how buying decisions have changed, and the role of technology in marketing.

Big Picture

  • “The challenge is not just in understanding the technology, but also the unfolding fundamental shifts in human communication behavior.” (page 1)
  • We need a “broader definition of communication – one that encompasses everything from two-way conversations to many-to-many communications – and align the organization with this reality.” (page 2)
  • “Social networking…is…becoming an activity woven into the intrinsic fabric of the internet.” (page 3)
  • “By 2012, the number of unique monthly visitors to social networking sites will surpass 800 million.” (page 3)
  • “In the US, 80% of young adults, 60% of teens and 30% of adults use social networks.” (page 4)
  • “Social networks…have become a primary destination for online users.” (page 4)
  • “…a typical 21-year-old in the US entering the workforce today has played video games for 5,000 hours, exchanged 250,000 emails, instant messages and phone text messages, has 10,000 hours of cell phone use and has spent 3,500 hours online.” (page 7)
  • “For many of this generation, social networking is even supplanting email as the preferred method of communication.” (page 7)
  • They use social networks “for harnessing collective wisdom or opinion from trusted individuals.” (page 7)

On Content

  • “Social networks are…increasingly becoming channels for digital content distribution, using their network of relationships to push information to users.” (page 5)


  • “Communication patterns are shifting from point-to-point, two-way conversations to many-to-many, group communications and collaborations.” (page 6)
  • “Shift in communication control is transitioning from provider-controlled environments to open Internet platform service providers with greater opportunities for user participation.” (page 6)

Of course, there is much more, especially on business models and opportunities.  I encourage you to download this piece and shoot me your thoughts.

And, I can’t let this go without saying…this is an excellent example of a custom content strategy for IBM.

Download it here.