This is a sphere of thinking, which too many companies still completely ignore, when putting together their communications strategy. Maybe, this is because it is beyond the lexicon of traditional marketing. However, in a digital, web enabled world, it is probably the single biggest aspect to contemplate.
Every business has now become a publishing company, whether they like it or not. Today, every company is responsible for providing content for the media channels which they own. Whether they commission material from partners, suppliers and industry experts or create their own, every business requires good content.
Marketing is no longer purely transactional. Historically, the major measure to assess whether a company's marketing was effective, or not, was Return On Investment (ROI). A company would undertake, for example, a direct mail campaign and the metrics they would look at were the number of responses and deals done.
At the moment, every business understands the requirement to have a website. That is, an address online where people can find you. What the 'Social Web' means for business is that today, every business needs to have a presence on a variety of Social Platforms, with the ability to allow customers to share that information. Failure to do this may simply mean that in a few years time, the business might as well not exist.