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The Variance In the Social Experience

The CMO Council, in partnership with Lithium Technologies, will undertake an eight-week authority leadership initiative to highlight the role social media is playing in developing, shaping and advancing today’s customer experience. As the new CtoB paradigm evolves, consumers are enjoining their own personal networks for advice, product selection, service validation and after-market assistance. Social media and trusted business networks have evolved into dynamic self-help communities, peer-to-peer referral channels, and group purchasing ecosystems that are growing economic factors and forces in the market.

How well are marketers embracing social media in their quest to uncover market opportunities, respond to unmet needs, pre-empt potential issues, and further brand advocacy and affinity? To what degree are they using social media feedback, intelligence, insight and analytics to map intentions, build richer buyer profiles, understand lifestyle needs, refine segmentation and targeting, track trends, preview and test product concepts, as well as co-innovate with customers?

Understanding the variance in social experience has become a critical marketing imperative as the voice, velocity and value of communications among connected audiences plays a greater role in customer purchasing behavior, product adoption rates, as well as brand interaction and reputation levels.

Social Media has become one of the fastest growing engagement channels in marketing today. According to the CMO Council’s 2011 State of Marketing report, 69 percent of senior marketers anticipate an increase in social media spend, with 35 percent of marketers indicating that the increase will be in excess of 5 percent. Additionally, 37 percent of respondents indicate that social media channel integration and alignment will be a major transformational project for their organizations in 2011. More are looking to apply process, operational rigor and measurement to this emerging channel of engagement. Some 34 percent of marketers say they will deploy some form of social media monitoring or data mining platform, while 35 percent say they are evaluating the use of private social networks or community building platforms.

Social media’s greater share of marketing spend is justified by a bevy of new statistics that point to the influence and impact of social media on the consumer. According to research, over 50% of Facebook fans and Twitter followers say they are more likely to buy or recommend a specific brand or product than before they followed or liked that brand.

And, customers who engage with a brand via social media believe they have a stronger connection to the brand and often feel better served and embraced. Research also indicates that customers are using social media to problem solve (43 percent), solicit feedback (41%), or are looking for new ways to interact with brand (37 percent).

But are today’s social media investments and exchanges rewarding customers and meeting expectations? Are social media experiences reinforcing brand perceptions, enabling richer conversations, and promoting the sharing of positive brand experiences?

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of surveyed marketers say they are actively monitoring social media via paid or free tools, but less than one-quarter (24%) among them are extremely satisfied with their social monitoring tools, according to a survey from Web Liquid and RSW/US. -

Some 77% of U.S. adults are members of social networks -- 67% in Facebook alone. -

Recent studies cite that 33% of all online content is user generated and six out of the top 10 websites in the world are social. Social is how we are increasingly learning about brands: 25% of search results for the world's top 20 largest brands are now links to user generated content. -

In a Harris Poll released in 2010, 34 percent of adults who use social media said they have employed them "as an outlet to rant or rave about a company, brand or product." Among those who use social media, 50 percent of 18-34-year-olds, vs. 37 percent of 55-plusers, said "reviews from friends or people I follow on social networking sites" sway their interaction with companies, brands and products. -

McCann Worldgroup’s newly completed global survey “The Truth About Youth,” which polled 16-to-30-year-olds, found that respondents in Brazil, China, and India, where emerging consumers are forging fledgling brand loyalties, feel most strongly about telling friends about brands they like. -

Nearly half (42%) of businesses indicated that if they've already allocated a portion of their marketing spend to social media, they would increase this spend over the course of the year. Only 8% of those surveyed indicated that they would decrease social media spend. -

A study of 24,000 consumers across the 16 largest countries found that those who are most connected, living on the cutting edge of social media tend to be more 'prosocial' than average, being more likely to do volunteer work, offer their seats in crowded places, lend possessions to others and give directions. -

12-Jan-12 - Big Hotel Brands get Personal on Social Media -

15-Sep-11 - 3 'Oh, Duh' Social CRM Lessons -

30-Aug-11 - How Social Media has Helped to Reshape Marketing -

30-Aug-11 - How Cosmetics Giant Estee Lauder Leverages Social Media on a Global Scale -

24-Aug-11 - Marketers Prepare for Social Media Without Effective Measurement in Place -

19-Aug-11 - Social media customer experience management: The next big trend? -

18-Aug-11 - Most Marketers Monitor Social Media, Few Fully Satisfied -

17-Aug-11 - The Evolving Use of Social Media for Political Campaigns -

16-Aug-11 - 6 Social Marketing Truths Executives Must Understand -

16-Aug-11 - 14 Best Practices for Brands to Grow Their Audiences in Social Media -

2-Aug-11 - New York Life: Allowing Negative Comments on Social Networks Will Positively Build Your Brand -

29-Jul-11 - Why You Need to Monitor and Measure Your Brand on Social Media -

18-Jul-11 - Social Media in Business: The Do's and Don'ts of Social Media Engagement -

13-Jul-11 - 5 Best Practice Tips: Use Social Media to Engage, Not Enrage -

15-Jun-11 - Social Media Is a Venue, Not a Strategy -

8-Jun-11 - McCann on Millenials, Social Media, and Brands -

6-Jun-11 - Social Media Experts Still Fighting for Credibility -

1-Jun-11 - From "Me First" to "We First": Five Tips for Social-Media Marketing -

31-May-11 - How to Control Your Brand in the Age of Social Media -

25-May-11 - The State of Corporate Social Media 2011 -

19-May-11 - Networks Display Social Media Savvy at Upfronts -

12-May-11 - Why Some Brands May Need to Rethink Their Social Media Strategy -

14-Apr-11 - Is Social Media Customer Service too Challenging? -

22-Mar-11 - 5 Tips for Maintaining Brand Consistency Across Social Media -

22-Feb-11 - How to Integrate Customer Service into Social Media Marketing -

8-Feb-11 - Case Study: Social Media Customers Are More Valuable Customers -

10-Jan-11 - 5 Key Tips for a Successful Social Media Content Strategy -

10-Jan-11 - Social Media Will Usher in Golden Age of Branding--If Marketers Get Message Right -

4-Jan-11 - 2011 Social Media Predictions: Now Social Media Marketing Gets Tough -

2-Jan-11 - How to Use Social Media to Create Better Customer Experiences -

16-Nov-10 - 5 Social Media Trends for 2011 -

8-Sep-10 - What's Your Brand's Social ID? -

10-Aug-10 - What Are Social Media Good For? Putting a Face to a Brand -

4-Jun-10 - Using Social Media to Rant or Rave About Brands -

21-May-10 - Why Your Company Needs to Embrace Social CRM -

12-Feb-10 - Social Media Tactics Help Drive Brand Searches -

24-Aug-09 - How to Extend Your Customer Experience Through Social Media -

28-Oct-09 - 10 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips -

Best Practices in Social Media 2011 -

State of Corporate Social Media in 2011 -

Social Media Marketing Report 2011 -

Marketers and Social Media Monotoring Survey 2011 -

Mobile Factbook 2011 - Portio Research

Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business - Ann Handley and CC Chapman

Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World - Peter Shankman

Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships -Katie Delahaye

Plain Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks) - Dave Kerpen

The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success - Lon Safko

Social Media Blog 

Customer Experience Blog 

Social Media Marketing Blog 

Customer Service Blog

Social Media Explorer

Customer Experience Matters 

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Donovan Neale-May
Executive Director
408-677-5300 x5333

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