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. - Marketingprofs.com
Some 77% of U.S. adults are members of social networks -- 67% in Facebook alone. - Adage.com
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. - Adage.com
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. - Adweek.com
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. - Adweek.com
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. - Adage.com
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. - Thenextweb.com
Best Practices in Social Media 2011 - Case.org
State of Corporate Social Media in 2011 - Usefulsocialmedia.com
Social Media Marketing Report 2011 - Socialmediaexaminer.com
Marketers and Social Media Monotoring Survey 2011 - Brandchannel.com
Mobile Factbook 2011 - Portio Research
Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World - Peter Shankman