Study: Only 20% Of CMOs Use Social Media For Customer Engagement

social-media-conversation-featuredIn its series of reports surveying C-level executives, IBM’s latest study revealed only 20 percent of the chief marketing officers polled leveraged social networks to engage with customers as part of their digital marketing efforts, and a growing number feel overwhelmed with the amount of available data.

Interviewing 524 CMOs from around the world and in various industries, IBM’s study found the number of CMOs who feel ill-equipped to interpret available data has grown in the last three years:

In 2011, 71 percent of the CMOs we interviewed told us they felt under-prepared to deal with data explosion. Today, a full 82 percent feel that way.

While only 20 percent of the CMOs surveyed used social networks to engage and collaborate with customers, even fewer (13 percent) claimed to have implemented advanced analytics to capture customer insight across all touch points.

Digital Initiatives Implemented by CMOs:

IBM CMO study digital implementations

“We know what we want to do,” said one CMO in the insurance industry from New Zealand, “Our biggest challenge is creating the data infrastructure.”

IBM claims there is a sizable gap between CMO aspirations and their actions. According to the report, “It’s questionable whether CMOs are moving fast enough to keep up with the speed at which the commercial landscape is evolving.”

The study results showed more than 90 percent of the CMOs surveyed intend to use advanced (predictive) analytics in the next three to five years. The same goes for mobile applications.

Digital Technologies CMOs Intend to Use in the Next 3 to 5 Years:

IBM CMO study Intended use of digital technologies

The study divided its pool of survey participants into three groups: “Traditionalist” who are doing very little in terms of digital strategies, “Social Strategists” who have “recognized social media’s potential” but are not leveraging advanced analytics, and “Digital Pacesetters” who are at the top of their game.

IBM claimed enterprises with a deep understanding of their customers – those with Digital Pacesetters leading their marketing efforts – are 60 percent more likely to be financial “Outperformers”  (organizations that excel at revenue-growth and profitability compared to industry peers).

The study also found companies with a CMO and CIO who “work well together” are 76 percent more likely to outperform in revenue and profitability.

The full IBM CMO study can be found here: Stepping up to the challenge: How CMOs can start to close the aspirational gap.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Social Media Marketing | Statistics: General | Statistics: Social Media | Top News


About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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