In fact, the second-annual Bazaarvoice Social Marketing Survey shows unequivocally that social media is now considered an essential component of executive marketing strategy. The vast majority (90 percent) of CMOs who took part in this study said they participate in three or more social media activities, and interestingly, nearly all of them (96 percent) are beginning to look beyond sales goals and web metrics to focus on how social media can deliver strong insights that fuel improvements across the business.
The survey, conducted with The CMO Club, also revealed that:
- Brands are beginning to use social media and user-generated content to drive innovation and business change. 93 percent of CMOs plan on using some form of user-generated content to inform product and service decisions. Top forms of user-generated content used in 2010 included customer stories (59 percent), product suggestions or ideas (54 percent), polling (49 percent) and customer reviews (47 percent).
- Measurability remains a top priority. Only 40 percent of CMOs surveyed successfully tracked ROI on their social initiatives. But, measurability is still a chief concern, with sales conversion and revenue attribution standing out as the #1 and #2 growth opportunities in social measurement.
- Product ratings and reviews remain one of the best understood tools with proven ROI. While more than half of CMOS still don’t know or don’t see ROI across most social media tools (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter), there are a few channels that offer better measurability. Bright spots include product ratings and reviews (59 percent see average or significant ROI); company / brand communities (56 percent); and company or brand blogs (48 percent).