IBM Benchmark Christmas season report

reveals the following trends:

December 2011 Compared to December 2010 (year/year)

  • Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up 5.4 percent over 2010.
  • Mobile Traffic: 15 percent of all online sessions on a retailer’s site were initiated from a mobile device, up from 5.6 percent over this same period in 2010—an increase of 169 percent.
  • Mobile Sales: Sales from mobile devices grew, reaching 12.9 percent versus 4.5 percent in December 2010—an increase of 186.5 percent.
  • The Apple Shopper: Apple’s iPhone and iPad ranked one and two for mobile device retail traffic (6.4 percent and 4.7 percent respectively). Android was third at 3.6 percent. Collectively iPhone and iPad accounted for 11.1 percent for the month.
  • The iPad Factor: Shoppers using the iPad also continued to drive more retail purchases than any other device with conversion rates reaching 6.1 percent compared to 3.8 percent for all mobile devices.

“This Christmas shopping season has been characterised by consumers looking for deals and increasingly using their mobiles to shop online,” said Andrew Jackson-Proes, Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) leader for UK & Ireland, IBM. “The report demonstrates that retailers can really benefit from Smarter Commerce initiatives by meeting their customers’ expectations for offers and service via any device.”

 

 

Source

These early Christmas season findings are based on data from IBM Coremetrics Benchmark, the only analytics-based, peer-level benchmarking solution that measures online marketing results, including real-time sales data. All of the data is aggregated and anonymous.

Coremetrics Benchmark uses IBM’s cloud-based digital analytics platform to rapidly collect and analyse intelligence on how consumers are responding to the products and services being offered to them, enabling clients to make accurate decisions on marketing expenditures. As a result, marketing teams can gain deeper insight about their consumers and present personalised recommendations, promotions and other sales incentives across the wide variety of channels—including social networks and mobile devices—where consumers interact with their brands.

More information on Smarter Commerce can be found at:

http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/uk/en/smarter_commerce/overview/index.html

UK Christmas Season Recap Report PDF

Category: Retail

50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business

We really can’t deny the fact that businesses are testing out Twitter as part of their steps into the social media landscape. You can say it’s a stupid application, that no business gets done there, but there are too many of us (including me) that can disagree and point out business value. I’m not going to address the naysayers much with this. Instead, I’m going to offer 50 thoughts for people looking to use Twitter for business. And by “business,” I mean anything from a solo act to a huge enterprise customer.

First Steps

  1. Build an account and immediate start using Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitor’s names, words that relate to your space. (Listening always comes first.)
  2. Add a picture. We want to see you.
  3. Talk to people about THEIR interests, too. I know this doesn’t sell more widgets, but it shows us you’re human.
  4. Point out interesting things in your space, not just about you.
  5. Share links to neat things in your community. ( @wholefoods does this well).
  6. Don’t get stuck in the apology loop. Be helpful instead. ( @jetblue gives travel tips.)
  7. Be wary of always pimping your stuff. Your fans will love it. Others will tune out.
  8. Promote your employees’ outside-of-work stories. ( @TheHomeDepot does it well.)
  9. Throw in a few humans, like BenIBM, green_goddess, etc.
  10. Talk about non-business, too, like @aaronstrout and @jimstorer.

Ideas About WHAT to Tweet

  1. Instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?”, answer the question, “What has your attention?”
  2. Have more than one twitterer at the company. People can quit. People take vacations. It’s nice to have a variety.
  3. When promoting a blog post, ask a question or explain what’s coming next, instead of just dumping a link.
  4. Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions.
  5. Follow interesting people. If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who she follows, and follow her.
  6. Tweet about other people’s stuff. Again, doesn’t directly impact your business, but makes us feel like you’re not “that guy.”
  7. When you DO talk about your stuff, make it useful. Give advice, blog posts, pictures, etc.
  8. Share the human side of your company. If you’re bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has value for human connections. Point us to pictures and other human things.
  9. Don’t toot your own horn too much. (Man, I can’t believe I’m saying this. I do it all the time. – Side note: I’ve gotta stop tooting my own horn).
  10. Or, if you do, try to balance it out by promoting the heck out of others, too.

Some Sanity For You

  1. You don’t have to read every tweet.
  2. You don’t have to reply to every @ tweet directed to you (try to reply to some, but don’t feel guilty).
  3. Use direct messages for 1-to-1 conversations if you feel there’s no value to Twitter at large to hear the conversation ( got this from @pistachio).
  4. Use services like Twitter Search to make sure you see if someone’s talking about you. Try to participate where it makes sense.
  5. 3rd party clients like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck make it a lot easier to manage Twitter.
  6. If you tweet all day while your coworkers are busy, you’re going to hear about it.
  7. If you’re representing clients and billing hours, and tweeting all the time, you might hear about it.
  8. Learn quickly to use the URL shortening tools like TinyURL and all the variants. It helps tidy up your tweets.
  9. If someone says you’re using twitter wrong, forget it. It’s an opt out society. They can unfollow if they don’t like how you use it.
  10. Commenting on others’ tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.

The Negatives People Will Throw At You

  1. Twitter takes up time.
  2. Twitter takes you away from other productive work.
  3. Without a strategy, it’s just typing.
  4. There are other ways to do this.
  5. As Frank hears often, Twitter doesn’t replace customer service (Frank is @comcastcares and is a superhero for what he’s started.)
  6. Twitter is buggy and not enterprise-ready.
  7. Twitter is just for technonerds.
  8. Twitter’s only a few million people. (only)
  9. Twitter doesn’t replace direct email marketing.
  10. Twitter opens the company up to more criticism and griping.

Some Positives to Throw Back

  1. Twitter helps one organize great, instant meetups (tweetups).
  2. Twitter works swell as an opinion poll.
  3. Twitter can help direct people’s attention to good things.
  4. Twitter at events helps people build an instant “backchannel.”
  5. Twitter breaks news faster than other sources, often (especially if the news impacts online denizens).
  6. Twitter gives businesses a glimpse at what status messaging can do for an organization. Remember presence in the 1990s?
  7. Twitter brings great minds together, and gives you daily opportunities to learn (if you look for it, and/or if you follow the right folks).
  8. Twitter gives your critics a forum, but that means you can study them.
  9. Twitter helps with business development, if your prospects are online (mine are).
  10. Twitter can augment customer service. (but see above)

Thanks to Chris Brogan for this article

Outstanding technology + Innovative business plan = Winner of IBM SmartCamp London

Profitero has been named as the winner of the 2011 IBM (NYSE: IBM) SmartCamp London. They help retailers maximise profits by analysing online competitive information on thousands of products and dozens of competitors, helping to build smarter retail solutions. Profitero was selected from more than 80 entries and won due to its outstanding technology, innovative business plan and alignment with IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy. They will receive three months of mentoring from IBM and go on to square off against other SmartCamp winners from around the globe to compete for the title of “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Today, 83 percent of midmarket CIOs surveyed by IBM have identified analytics, the ability to extract actionable insights from “Big Data” as their top-priority investment area. Profitero represent a new generation of entrepreneurs who are entering the market with technology and business model designed to capitalise on this trend.

“We are delighted to have won the London IBM SmartCamp award for 2011 and are looking forward to working with IBM on delivering completive intelligence to retailers and manufacturers.” said Volodymyr Pigrukh, CEO and Co-Founder of Profitero.

Business Minister, Mark Prisk, said: “Congratulations to Profitero. Businesses continually tell us they want to get advice from other experienced business people and we know that those seeking support are more likely to succeed.

“Innovative projects such as this one are very encouraging because they bring together entrepreneurs wit h venture capitalists, academics and other industry leaders to provide coaching and critical industry support and advice. This will enable growing businesses to gain the mentoring and insight needed to continue to drive growth and innovation in their markets.

“Mentoring can deliver significant economic benefits from just a small commitment of time and resources. Building a relationship with a mentor can have a positive effect on your business, whether you are just starting up or are already established.”

“Entrepreneurs are critical to driving the next era of innovation and growth. I’ve been hugely impressed by the range and quality of startups we’ve seen entering the London IBM SmartCamp programme this year. Congratulations to Profitero and all the finalists. They’ve showcased solutions that seize major growth opportunities in the market to help make the world work smarter.” said Stephen Leonard, Chief Executive, IBM UK & Ireland.

All the finalists in the London SmartCamp are developing new technologies in critical areas such as healthcare, energy and environment, and other services that improve the life of citizens around the globe. IBM SmartCamps bring together innovative entrepreneurs with venture capitalists, academics and other industry leaders to provide coaching and critical industry support and advice.

Driving economic growth
Small and medium sized companies have long been the engines driving economic growth. They are responsible for nearly 65 percent of the global GDP – representing more than 90 percent of all businesses and employing over 90 percent of the world’s workforce. This group of entrepreneurial companies faces stiff competition, not only in their local markets, but also with larger enterprises across an increasingly global marketplace. (Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation). The IBM SmartCamps are designed to provide these entrepreneurs with the mentoring and insight needed to continue to drive growth and innovation in their markets.

In addition to Profitero, 2011 London SmartCamp Finalists included:

·    PageHub, a young and fast moving company based in Brighton. They have developed an easy to use, powerful analytics tool for brands to more effectively manage their presence on Facebook and other social media sites.
·    Radisens Diagnostics whose analytics device platform is helping to drive a step change towards a single device for point-of-care medical testing, helping to build smarter healthcare systems.
·    RSM, the creators of FITS, an analytical and traffic management software system for cities, helping to build smarter transport systems.
·    Visible Light Communications Ltd, a spin-out company from the University of Edinburgh. They are developing smart lighting driven by high efficiency LEDs, which delivers high speed data communications over visible light.

Visible Light Communications Ltd won the People’s Choice Award.

About IBM Global Entrepreneur Programme:
www.ibm.com/isv/startup

About Profitero:
www.profitero.com

About PageHub:
www.pagehub.co.uk

How social technologies are extending the organisation

The following article is my view on the best bits from the McKinsey Global Institute fifth annual survey. Full report can be found on my SlideShare.

Companies are realising that social technologies are changing the way clients interact. As a result they no MUST incorporate these to enhance and exploit opportunities. There are both opportunities to improve internal process’s and also to explore new markets.

Seventy two percent of respondents are deploying at least one technology and more than 40  percent are now incorporating blogs and networking tools.

86 percent of companies are in high tech and telecommunications.

Rising adoption rates

Adoption of social technologies across industries

Executives at internally networked organisations note the highest improvement in benefits from interactions from employees; those at externally networked organisations from interactions with customer, partners and suppliers.

Another key performance measure, self reported operating-margin improvements, correlated positively with the reported percentage of employees whose use of social technologies was integrated into their day-to-day work.

Looking Ahead

Senior executives should think strategically about how social technologies can support business processes. Integrating social technologies into the workflow and using them to optimise internal processes will provide additional competitive benefits

  • Don’t rest on your laurels: competition will increase as the adoption of social tools and
    technologies continues to rise and as progressive companies use them to improve their
    processes. Indeed, many companies we categorized as networked organizations last year
    slipped to a lower rung this year as the benefits their executives reported fell. Integrating
    Web technologies into the daily workflow, our results suggest, is the most effective way
    to maintain competitive position or become more networked.
  • Companies should prepare for more substantial disruptions. Since many executives believe that significant changes will occur as (or if) constraints on social tools and technologies are lifted, companies that can create change themselves—instead of reacting to it—are likely to benefit the most.
Category: Social Media

Glasgow’s leadership in the area of fuel poverty is to be commended

The Leader of Glasgow City Council has today launched a £1m affordable warmth initiative marking the start of efforts to eradicate fuel poverty in the city.

Councillor Gordon Matheson said £100 dividends would be paid to 11,000 of Glasgow’s most vulnerable elderly citizens.

It will help give every Glaswegian over 80 and who receives Pension Credit an extra hand as the city moves into the winter months.

The initiative was one of a number of new measures announced today aimed at helping to make Glasgow one of Europe’s most sustainable and green cities through the Sustainable Glasgow partnership.

Speaking at the BaseGlasgow sustainability conference, Councillor Matheson, who is also chair of Sustainable Glasgow, said: “This winter we will give a £100 affordable warmth dividend to every Glaswegian over 80 on Pension Credit. That’s 11,000 of our most vulnerable citizens.

“It’s money to help these people so they don’t have to worry about putting on heating and ensure they can keep healthy and warm during the winter.

“All partners in the Sustainable Glasgow partnership are working for all the people living in our city. This new initiative is a measure of our commitment – a green future, social justice and leaving no one behind.

“The Warm Glasgow project will tap into savings and income generated by future sustainability projects to ensure that affordable warmth becomes a reality for all our citizens.”

Councillor Matheson also told delegates that the Sustainable Glasgow partnership was a key commitment of his administration.

He said he would be asking the Sustainable Glasgow partners to join the council in tackling the challenge of affordable warmth through the creation of a new taskforce on the issue.

This announcement comes just months after Glasgow was named as the UK’s first winner of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge. IBM experts were asked to help Glasgow with the issues around fuel poverty or affordable warmth and report back to the council on a way forward.

Councillor Matheson said: “I’m going to use the IBM report as a basis for a new affordable warmth strategy. I’m not prepared to see another winter of hardship for our people. Affordable warmth is my commitment. Sustainable Glasgow is the means by which we will deliver it.”

He also announced two major projects with a Sustainable Glasgow partner – SSE.
The council and SSE have now reached the final agreements on a wind farm in the south of Glasgow, and the second is the launch of a £2 million pilot to renew 1000 lighting columns in the city which will use “green” technology.

He added: “I’m also delighted to announce that my council will allocate our revenue share from the wind farm to an affordable warmth commitment. This money will be used to provide direct support to some of our most vulnerable communities.

“On lighting we have been exploring a public private partnership which will look at the renewal of the city’s lighting network. There are currently 69,000 lighting columns in Glasgow – almost half of which are over 30 years old. The pilot to renew 1000 lighting columns is a first step looking at using new technology to save energy and carbon.

“That is the Sustainable Glasgow dividend – green energy, strong partnerships and benefits for all Glaswegians.”

The Sustainable Glasgow partnership includes Glasgow City Council, the University of Strathclyde, Clyde Gateway, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Glasgow Housing Association, Scottish Enterprise, Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, IBM, BT, Honeywell, Siemens, ScottishPower, SSE, Scottish Water and the City of Glasgow College.

Through this ambitious city strategy, Glasgow has been positioned as a new centre of excellence in renewable-energy research and industry. Hundreds of new green jobs have been created in Glasgow by industry leaders including SSE, Mitsubishi and Iberdrola, the Spanish firm which owns ScottishPower.

Sustainable Glasgow partners are also supporting many hundreds of groups across the city which are running green community-led initiatives. These projects will be vital in helping the Sustainable Glasgow partnership hit its target to reduce Glasgow’s carbon emissions by 30% within 10 years.

Councillor Matheson told delegates that the city was well on track to meet this target. He said: “Our most recent results on this are just in and they show there has been almost a 9% reduction in Glasgow’s CO2 emissions. The trends show that Glasgow should meet our 2020 reduction targets.

“But I would challenge all the people who live and work in Glasgow to make a difference in their own lives so our city can beat this target.

“We’re on the cusp of a new and green industrial age in Glasgow. By everyone working together in partnership I am determined to let Sustainable Glasgow flourish.”

Mark Wakefield, IBM Corporate Citizenship Manager, said: “Glasgow’s leadership in the area of fuel poverty is to be commended – whilst it is demonstrably a priority issue for Glasgow, this is a universal and rapidly escalating challenge for us all.

“Glasgow’s response to our report demonstrates their aspiration to become the most energy literate city in the UK. We welcome Glasgow’s clear commitment to inclusion and the establishment of the task force to implement its recommendations. We hope that the 60 insights from our report can help others address fuel poverty in their cities.”

 

Category: Smarter Planet

6 Things You Must Know About Social Media and Your Workforce

By Eric B. Meye

Cisco just completed this study, which shows just how much social media, device freedom, and mobile work means to the next generation.

Thinking about banning social media in the workplace? Before you flip the kill switch, read this:

More than half of students (55 percent) and an even larger proportion of end users (62 percent) indicate they could not live without the Internet; and one-third of respondents in each subgroup consider the Internet to be as important as water, food, air, and shelter.
Half of those surveyed would rather lose their wallet or purse than their smart phone or mobile device.
More than two out of five 20-somethings would accept a lower-paying job that offered more choices in the device they use at work, social media access, and mobility compared with a higher-paying job with less flexibility.

Can you handle a productivity hit?

So it would appear that your young workforce seemingly can’t live without a Facebook fix. But can you handle the productivity hit? Consider these numbers:

Nearly three quarters of your young college-educated workforce indicate accessing their Facebook page at least once a day or more frequently. 1 in 10 have their Facebook pages up all day.
Seven in ten young college-educated employees have friended a co-worker, manager, or both on Facebook.
Approximately 43 percent of college students admit being distracted or interrupted by social media, IM, phone, or a desire to check Facebook, at least three times per hour.

For a good summary of the Cisco survey, click on the infographic below or click here for a summary of these surprising numbers

.

Whatever your position on social media in the workplace, address it at the job interview.

The reality is that even if you restrict network access to social media, employees — young and old — are going to whip out their smartphones and hit up Facebook, Twitter and the Internet.
A question for the job interview

Obviously, each company has to decide for itself, whether employee use of social media is a good thing for business, a bad thing for business, or no thing at all. For those who consider it a bad thing, consider asking about social-media usage during the job interview. If you don’t bring it up, expect that college-grad candidate to broach the subject. The Cisco study indicates that two-thirds of college grads ask about social-media policies in job interviews.

When the topic of social media comes up, don’t ask candidates for their social-media logins and passwords to access to their private sites. That shows a complete lack of trust and, frankly, a candidate who takes precautions to protect what they post on the Internet from your eyes shows good judgment.

But, much like candidates will want to know whether Facebook at the office is feasible or firewalled, you should ask questions about the quantity — not quality — of social-media use. This will help you to determine whether these candidates, if hired, will devote more time in the office to work versus commenting on Facebook from work about workr

Category: Social Media

Over a third of Britain’s want to do more for the planet but don’t know how

A YouGov survey of more than 2000 GB adults shows that although 73 per cent of British citizens consider sustainable living to be important to them, more than a third (36 per cent) admit being confused about what they should or shouldn’t do to do more for the planet. In response to the growing need to change consumer behaviour, and specifically the role businesses can play in inspiring people to do more with less, an IBM (IBM:NYSE) summit is bringing together some of the biggest brands in the UK on 1 November to discuss new ways that businesses can empower consumers to achieve sustainable behaviour change.

This event follows the success of last year’s IBM Summit at Start held in association with Start, a charitable initiative by HRH The Prince of Wales to inspire people with simple steps for sustainable living. Last year’s summit saw 1000 British business leaders collaborate over nine days to discuss some of the key business, economic, societal and environmental issues of the 21st century.

“We believe the imperative for sustainable action is strong and businesses have a real hunger to make a difference. No one organisation can do this alone and collaborative approaches are now needed to discover new ways for businesses to empower consumers to create a new era of innovation and growth” said Stephen Leonard, Chief Executive, IBM UK and Ireland. “To help make the planet smarter IBM is uniting powerful brands and some of Britain’s leading business figures to identify how they can play their part in driving social change by encouraging customers across the UK to think, act and live more sustainably.”

This year’s summit – START Now START Today! – has been organised by IBM, The Marketing Society, and Start. The summit will see some of the UK’s best-known brands including P&G, M&S, Asda and British Gas join forces to discuss how to engage consumers on sustainability issues, while providing real value back to business, with the ultimate goal of driving social change and encouraging the British public to live more sustainably.

“Start Today aims to unite powerful brands to inspire behaviour change in the UK public towards more sustainable living. The IBM Summit is central to this mission as it brings together some of the UK’s leading brands to examine the role of businesses in driving change for a sustainable future.” said Joey Tabone, CEO of Start. “Small changes in behaviour when multiplied by millions of consumers can make a real difference and show that marketing and marketers can be a force for good.”

The research, commissioned by Start, also found that although just under half (49 per cent) of those surveyed believe they themselves (i.e. the general public) are ultimately the most responsible for encouraging others in the UK to live more sustainably, a quarter (25 per cent) feel this is the responsibility of the Government, and one in six say it should be the role of British businesses (17 per cent).

Additionally, just over a third (34 per cent) said a simple idea to help them live more sustainably from a company whose products they already buy would make them more inclined to try the idea than if the Government suggested it. However, if multiple companies came together with a set of ideas, this number rose to almost three in five (57 per cent), highlighting the power of collaboration and working together to tackle this important issue.

During the course of the day attendees will discuss how businesses can reach out and influence consumers, ultimately driving social change to start building a smarter planet. They will be addressed by inspiring keynote speakers including Stephen Leonard of IBM and David Green, CEO of Ecolsland. Delegates will then break into smaller groups to debate key issues such as ‘how to engage and empower customers’, and what ‘incentives will be effective in accelerating behavioral change’.

At the end of the conference each delegate will be given a summary of the actions and decisions taken to help put these ideas into practice and make the UK smarter and more sustainable.

For further information please visit: www.ibm.com/uk/start/

Join the conversation : Click Here

Notes to Editors  

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2107 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th – 12th October 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Category: Smarter Planet

UK Retailers must prepare for mobile and social media Christmas rush

Sales driven by social media, and mobile retail are both set to play a bigger role in this year’s Christmas shopping season according to the IBM Coremetrics 2011 UK Christmas Season Readiness Report.

Using data gathered from more than 150 contributing UK retailers, IBM predicts that mobile traffic as a percentage of all retail site visits will hit double figures by Christmas 2011, having grown from just over 4 per cent to 7.2 per cent between November 2010 and May 2011. In the same time period, the contribution of mobile as a per cent of all online site sales nearly doubled, from 3.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent, which suggests further growth for mobile as a sales channel is likely in the run-up to Christmas.

The benchmark also found that mobile users exhibit a trend for fewer page views (5.8 compared with an average of 8.4, across all means of going online), spend less time on websites (4 minutes and 13 seconds, versus 6 minutes and 24 seconds across all means of going online) and display higher bounce rates to other sites (39.6 per cent compared with 32.8 per cent).

“Despite the attractiveness of engaging with customers on the move, mobile brings with it unique considerations and challenges,” said Marcel Holsheimer, global marketing executive for Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) for IBM. “Using a mobile device to browse, compare prices, check availability and store locations or make a purchase is convenient for the consumer, which can translate into significant conversion opportunities – but only if the etailer delivers a compelling mobile experience. Etailers therefore need to monitor and optimise the mobile browsing experience to counteract mobile users’ tendency for short and erratic periods online.”

Social media contribution to retailer site traffic also grew consistently during the 7 months covered by the report.

From a social media perspective, users behave in a more efficient manner in terms of sales conversion. They are twice as likely to convert, at an average rate of 11 per cent versus 6 per cent overall. This conversion rate, when viewed in conjunction with other behaviour, also suggests social users are more receptive to offers. Their high bounce rate of nearly 62 per cent, coupled with a low average time spent  on the websites of just over 3 minutes, suggests they are responding to social media-only offers – such as Facebook coupons or exclusive offers advertised on Twitter.

“With the recession still very much front of mind, many savvy e-shopper are buying surgically,” said Holsheimer, “They know what they want and can hone in on it with far less browsing than in previous years. Smart etailers still have time to step up and expand their mobile and social networking platforms in time for this year’s festive season, as way to deepen engagement with their prized customers, strengthen their long-term loyalty – and, convert sales via the customer’s personal channel of choice.”

The IBM Coremetrics 2011 UK Christmas Readiness Report is available to download in full here http://measure.coremetrics.com/corem/getform/reguk/holiday2011-wp

About IBM Coremetrics Benchmark

The findings in this press release is based on data collected by Coremetrics Benchmark between November 2010 and May 2011. Coremetrics Benchamrk captures online marketing results and commerce data from more than 150 contributing UK retailers.

IBM study: 68% of global CMOs are ‘under prepared’ to manage social media

According to IBM‘s new, inaugural Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Study, 68% of CMO’s are under prepared 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, CMO’s are acutely aware that social media is challenging older, mass-marketing assumptions, skill sets and approaches, and while the most proactive CMO’s are mining new digital data sources to discover what individual customers want, relatively few CMO’s 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 CMO’s are using are not designed to capture and evaluate the unstructured data produced by social platforms.

More than half of all CMO’s 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 CMO’s 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. CMO’s 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.

Click Here For the Full Study