CMOs: Social Media Key, But We Are Clueless

Social media and big data will be key to the future success of business, most chief marketing officers believe. But most also have doubts about their companies’ ability to make effective use of the information obtained from these sources.

That’s according to a new IBM study, “Stepping up the challenge: How CMOs can start to close the aspirational gap,” based on a survey of over 500 CMOs from in 19 industries around the world.
Overall, 94% of CMOs surveyed believe big data analytics will be crucial to their companies’ performance, but 82% believe their companies still don’t know how to analyze big data; that figure is actually higher than 2011, when 71% said they felt unprepared.

In addition, 66% of CMOs surveyed said their companies are unprepared to handle social media, where the “rate of change seems faster than many can cope with.” That’s a slight improvement over 68% in 2011.
The uncertainty comes as CMOs are getting more responsibility, with 63% of CEOs involving CMOs in business strategy planning. Asked about their plans over the next five years, 94% of CMOs expect to introduce advance predictive analytics, 94% mobile applications and 89% more digital customer relationship management tools.
This is just the latest in a series of studies showing that while execs recognize social media’s tremendous potential, they are unsure what to do with it, or even who should be responsible for it.

Last year, a survey by the Creative Group found 39% of advertising and marketing executives said they think social media belongs in the public relations/communications wheelhouse, compared to 35% who said it should be the responsibility of the marketing department. Also, 15% said it should be delegated to customer service, and 5% said it should be the direct responsibility of the company’s CEO. (6% said they don’t know.)
Another survey by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business found that CMOs don’t think social media is sufficiently coordinated with other marketing efforts. Only 9.9% of CMOs surveyed said they think social media is “very integrated” with their firm’s overall marketing strategy, and 15.2% said they don’t believe it is integrated at all.

1 comment about "CMOs: Social Media Key, But We Are Clueless".
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  1. Angela Connor from Capstrat, March 20, 2014 at 9:56 a.m.

    The conversation about where social belongs in the organization should no longer be happening. Social touches every corner of a company and "owning" it is an old battle. Integrating it across the organization is the answer. I get that it has to live somewhere in the organizational structure but it's more about the attitude and approach than whether it's in PR or marketing and that has to be shared ownership. The power to solve this exists internally. It requires a mindset shift. This is something I hear all the time and after I hosted a webinar last year about the social silo, the stories that poured into my inbox afterward demonstrated that this struggle is real and that people feel powerless to fix it. If companies took a minute to just zero-base where they are today - forget what you've done so far and just think about what needs to be done to achieve this integration and work towards that, this can work and it can work well.

    Angela Connor

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