Chief Marketing Officers See True Value in Social Media

CMOs are using social data to drive discussion in the C-suite, which is enhancing their influence and personal brand. Result: Social data is providing an unexpected new source of CMO legitimacy.

Are there hidden gems in your data? CMOs are using social data to drive discussion in the C-suite, which in turn is enhancing their influence and personal brand.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Kim-bodia.

How do Chief Marketing Officers value the potential of social data?

Apparently, quite highly.

That’s the conclusion of a survey of 100 CMOs, conducted this past summer by Bazaarvoice, a producer of social software.

Some of the survey's most interesting statistics and findings:

Making predictions: Nearly half of CMOs have used social data to make predictions or forecasts.

Discerning trends: The areas where Chief Marketing Officers believe social data is most effective is in indicating “discernible trends or patterns that may impact the business” (83%) followed by “consumer demographics and/or psychographics” (81%).

Brand awareness: Over 82% of CMOs believe social data has a measurable impact on brand awareness.

Decision making: Over 89% say that social data has influenced their decisions and 21% of those surveyed say social data affects at least one in five decisions they make.

The authors of the study offered one particularly intriguing conclusion: CMOs are using social data to drive discussion in the C-suite, and thereby elevate themselves “as owners of the brand-consumer relationship.” This suggests that CMOs are using social data to enhance their influence and improve their personal brand within the organization. That social data can do more than just facilitate collaboration or improve brand awareness is not merely an added bonus, it is an unexpected and potentially new source of legitimacy in the C-suite.

The interviewees were members of the CMO Club, an organization founded in 2007 with over 600 members. It serves as a forum for top marketing executives to share ideas and resources. Its composition is primarily North American, including executives in both B2B and B2C companies, with over 80% of members representing brands valued at over $50 million.