A new IBM study of more than 1,700 chief marketing officers from 64 countries and 19 industries reveals that the majority of the world’s top marketing executives recognize a critical and permanent shift occurring in the way they engage with their customers, but question whether their marketing organizations are prepared to manage the change.
The IBM study found that while 82 percent of CMOs say they plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years, only 26 percent are currently tracking blogs, 42 percent are tracking third party reviews and 48 percent are tracking consumer reviews to help shape their marketing strategies.
The results of this study both confirm and validate the research I've been doing. While I've referred to local approaches to Internet marketing as "ostrich marketing," it seems clear that all marketing campaigns will ignore social media at their own peril. I believe that this study points to the acceleration of social media as a obligatory element of any marketing campaign.
“The inflection point created by social media represents a permanent change in the nature of customer relationships,”said Carolyn Heller Baird, CRM research lead for the IBM Institute for Business Value and the global director of the study.
Baird compares marketers who underestimate the impact of social media to those who were slow to view the Internet as a new and powerful platform for commerce. Like the rise of e-business more than a decade ago, the radical embrace of social media by all customer demographic categories represents an opportunity for marketers to drive increased revenue, brand value and to reinvent the nature of the relationship between enterprises and the buyers of their offerings. Marketers who establish a culture receptive to deriving insight from social media will be far better prepared to anticipate future shifts in markets and technology.