Despite recurring indications that some marketers are having difficulty measuring the ROI of their social media activities, and that these activities might not be benefiting them from a sales standpoint, roughly 3 in 4 CMOs are at least somewhat confident that their social efforts are having a measurable impact on sales, according to [download page] a Bazaarvoice survey of 100 members of The CMO Club. Previous research has shown that most marketers believe social media benefits them in terms of brand awareness, and 82.3% of respondents to the Bazaarvoice survey are at least somewhat confident that their social efforts have a measurable impact on this indicator. Additionally, 81.5% show some confidence in social’s ability to have an impact on brand loyalty.
Social Data Believed to Indicate Key Consumer Trends
Data from Bazaarvoice’s “Chief customer advocate: How social data elevates CMOs” indicates that roughly 4 in 5 CMOs believe that social data is at least somewhat effective in indicating: discernible trends or patterns that may impact the business (83.3%); consumer demographics and/or psychographics (80.7%); consumer sentiment towards individual products or product lines (79.7%); and influence of individuals or groups on the purchase decisions (77.9%). Slightly more than 7 in 10 also agree that social data is at least somewhat effective in indicating consumer sentiment towards a brand or company.
For the purposes of the study, “social data” is defined as any data collected based on consumer use of social media.
Social Data Drives Decisions
Given their attitudes towards social media’s impact on marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) and the ability for social data to indicate trends, it’s not surprising that CMOs are using social data in their decision-making. In fact, 89.4% of the CMOs surveyed said that social data has impacted at least some of their decisions, and 21.3% say social data impacts at least 1 in every 5 decisions they make. Close to half have also used social data for forecasting purposes, most commonly for sales projections.
Social Data Collected and Shared by Various Teams
Further details from the report indicate that a variety of partners provide social data to CMOs, including agencies (50.9%), marketing research teams (45.6%), and marketing communications (45.6%). A significant proportion of CMOs are sharing social data with a diverse array of teams, including brand management (59.6%), sales (36.8%), customer experience/web design (36%), product management/development (35.1%), and HR/recruiting (34.2%).
These discussions also make their way into the C-suite, with virtually all of the respondents saying they share their findings from social data with other C-level executives. Two-thirds report on social insights to this group at least monthly, and one-quarter do so on a weekly basis.
About the Data: The Bazaarvoice data is based on an online survey of members of The CMO Club, comprised entirely of CMOs. For purposes of this survey, “social data” is any data collected based on consumer use of social. This includes interactions, connections, posts, comments, likes, retweets, and mentions by consumers via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social platforms, as well as demographic, influence, and psychographic data from user profiles, behaviors, and network analyses. Social data also includes user-generated content including submitting product feedback, asking or answering questions in online forums, or participating in any online community.
56.1% of the brands represented have more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Another 36% show $100-999 million in annual revenue, and 7.9% have annual revenue of $0-100 million. These brands are headquartered mostly in North America, and operate in the B2C (52.6%) and B2B (38.6%) spaces, with some CMOs identifying their brand as both B2C and B2B (8.8%).