CMO’s studies: Yes, Social Media is key! – Can someone gimme a plan on „Social“…?

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CMO’s and marketers all over the world and across industries understand the increasing value of Social Media in (their) business. However, I sometimes wonder whether they really recognize how to use Social Capital and Social Business effectively.

How did I get this view…?

Well, studies show me the reality… and many seminars and webinars open eyes. Today, I came across two studies which might illustrate what marketers and CMO’s need to get their heads around. If they are good, they create brand advocate programs, if they act badly consumers will see brands as boring, poor, and even worse… not obeying the rules of social business. And today brands cannot miss out on „Social“. That is a fact, CMO’s understand…

Market Research vs. Social Research
In one of the latest IBM studies of 1,700 chief marketing officers from 64 countries and across 19 industries, 82% of CMOs stated that they will increase their use (or budgets?) of Social Media over the next three to five years. The flipside is that just 26% are currently tracking blogs, 42% are tracking third-party reviews and 48% are tracking the consumer reviews which might help change their market positioning, their marketing insights, their marketing programs. Let’s take the qualitative aspect of Social Research first.

From a quantitative research perspective, 80% rely on market research and corporate benchmarking to rely on as their primary sources for market insights. Obviously, most companies also obey other „non-social“ monitoring tools to value the development of their business: 68% use sales campaign analysis for strategic decision making.

In the end, it comes down to numbers. 63% of CMOs believe the ROI on their marketing invest will be the primary measure of effectiveness by 2015. However, almost half of respondents don’t feel prepared to satisfy those business figure aspects. The reason is obvious: CMOs often don’t have enough influence on radical company-wide change processes. Over half of responding CMOs stated they have no impact on pricing process and even less have any impact on new product development or retail channel selection.

Community and Brand Reputation
On the other hand, another new Weber Shandwick study found out how companies understand and plan their social efforts. So, why are some marketers more social than others?

The challenge is to find the key tactics with best possible metric efficiency. Most marketers know about the impact of the 3 „r’s“… reviews, ratings, recommendations on their business efforts. 52% attribute their brand reputation to their online social presence. And even more, 65% project online sociability will boost their reputation in the next three years. However, I would doubt if they act accordingly.

Today, Social Media is part of CMOs marketing mix. The question is, why only 16% consider their efforts as „world class“. This study also makes clear that marketers have trouble establishing clear goals for their social media strategy. Finding the right KPIs is essential. No wonder, companies state they are not well-prepared for the social future in terms of effectiveness. Most o fhtese companies don’t really integrate their social engagement into their enterprise processes.

Spot On!
CMO’s and marketers need to get insights beyond traditional market sources like page impresions, click-throughs and superficial numbers like fans and follower. The good spot is that 54% of global executives experience rewards to outweigh risks – versus 23% the other way round, and some European bosses even focus their attention preferably on Twitter. Although, C-level often does not know how to leverage Social efficiency. The community gives input on the value of products, services and preferrences. When did we have that years ago?

Somehow, marketers are in a poor position as they are working in the transition period. Top down target-group thinking is out, community centric thinking is the future. In some day, we will publish a new strategic theory on this at the IBM JamCamp. Nice coincidence…

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  1. 2012: Think Social Business, live Community Centric Strategy am 23.12.2011 08:15 

    […] aspects are still key for Social Business performance. Nevertheless CMO’s were often lacking the right plan even for their Social Media efforts – and often CEO’s doubt their […]

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