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IBM-CMOs-Unprepared-for-Big-Data-Social-Media-Oct2013Back in 2011, an IBM study made headlines for its finding that 71% of global CMOs felt unprepared for the explosion of data occurring in the marketplace. Fast forward 2 years, and have things improved? Not according to the latest IBM study, which surveyed more than 500 CMOs from around the world, finding this time that 82% feel underprepared for the “data explosion.” Something else remains a big problem: figuring out social media.

This year, 67% of respondents said they feel underprepared for social media, essentially flat from the 68% of CMOs who concurred 2 years ago. While CMOs are feeling overwhelmed by both social media and big data, they forecast increased investments in each, according to recent research.

CMOs believe that a variety of technological tools can better help them meet their goals, per the IBM study, ranging from advanced analytics (94%) and mobile applications (94%) to CRM (89%), collaboration tools (87%), content management (81%) and data security (72%).

Mobile applications and social media emerge as key priorities among the CMOs. Asked to rank the areas in which they want to focus their time and resources, CMOs put the design of customer experiences for applications at the top of the list, followed by the use of social media to engage customers. Beyond those top two priorities, CMOs are concentrating on using integrated suites to manage customers, conducting online/offline transaction analysis, measuring the ROI of digital technologies and monitoring the brand via social media.

Over the past two years, the important of conducting online/offline transaction analysis has grown, while CMOs are less concerned with social monitoring.

Meanwhile, CMOs harbor strong digital ambitions, despite only 1 in 5 or fewer have activated digital strategy components in their organization. For example, in the next 3-5 years, 87% plan to focus on the integration of cross-channel touchpoints. Similarly:

  • 83% will focus on analytics to capture customer insights;
  • 78% expect to focus on social networks to foster collaboration;
  • 73% will focus on a workforce aligned to opportunities; and
  • 69% will focus on a digitally-enabled supply chain.

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