Guest Post by: Jo Stratmann

According to IBM‘s new, inaugural Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Study, 68% of CMOs are underprepared to manage the impact of key changes in the marketing arena that relate to social media.

The survey, based on face-to-face conversations with more than 1,700 CMOs worldwide, highlighted that CMOs see four challenges as pervasive, universal game-changers in the world of marketing:

1. The explosion of data

2. Social media

3. The proliferation of channels and devices

4. Shifting consumer demographics.

When it comes to social media, CMOs are acutely aware that social media is challenging older, mass-marketing assumptions, skill sets and approaches, and while the most proactive CMOs are mining new digital data sources to discover what individual customers want, relatively few CMOs are exploiting the full power of the digital or social media.  In fact, only three-quarters use customer analytics to mine data, only 26% track blogs, only 42% track third-party reviews and only 48% are tracking consumer reviews. The reasons behind this are attributed to the fact that the tools, processes and metrics that CMOs are using are not designed to capture and evaluate the unstructured data produced by social platforms.

More than half of all CMOs think social media is a key channel for engaging with customers and four-fifths of respondents plan to use customer analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), social media and mobile applications more extensively over the next three to five years.

Of the top 10 priorities for managing the shift to digital technologies, 4 relate directly to social media, with another 3 potentially being impacted by social media. It’s also interesting to note that social media metrics appear as one  of seven important measures for gauging marketing success – two years ago this would never have been the case.

The fact that so many global CMOs are concerned about the impact of social media, and how they are going to resource, manage, analyse and measure it, highlights that social media is finally moving beyond the numbers of views or fans on various channels. CMOs are starting to realise that social media can help achieve strategic objectives and transform their business if they invest in the right resource and planning and set metrics that match their key business goals.

Original Post: http://www.freshnetworks.com/blog/2011/10/68-of-global-cmos-underprepared-to-manage-social-media/