As marketers, we often talk about the advantages of social media for marketing. If you look back over the history of this blog, we regularly talk about the ways social media can help your business. For a lot of businesses, marketing executives have been making similar pitches to CMOs over the past few years.
The growth of social media marketing shows that the CMOs were listening. Now, a survey by Bazaarvoice breaks down CMOs’ opinion on social media and it’s impact in marketing. The results show that three advantages of social media stand out above others for CMOs.
Closing The Loop
Closed loop marketing is all about sharing information. It’s the sharing of vital customer information between marketing and sales. Sales can then use that information to have informed sales conversations and give themselves the best chance of converting. One of the advantages of social media is the amount of information it generates about users. By monitoring how people engage with your social presence, you can build strong profiles on your customers’ interests as well as better understanding your own content.
It’s clear from the research that CMOs see this as one of the main advantages of social media. According to the results, 36.8% reported that sales teams access their social marketing data. That was higher than other areas where customer understanding is vital, like product development and customer support. The only area that scored higher than sales was brand management.
Building a Brand
That result shows just how highly CMOs rate the brand building advantages of social media. Considering the size of the potential market on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, it’s an obvious brand opportunity. Brand building was the original reason for businesses to join social media. The maths are basic but they produce favorable results; 900 million people on Facebook, even accessing 0.001% of that would provide a huge opportunity.
Even though businesses have identified other advantages of social media, brand building is still a key part of the plan. The research provided further evidence of this as over 80% of CMOs agree that social marketing can have a measurable impact on brand awareness and brand loyalty.
Planning for Future Marketing Trends
Marketers always have one eye on the future. For an industry that’s so heavily based on strategy, it’s difficult not to focus on what might happen in the future. In the past that meant market research, surveys and focus groups. These tools are till useful but social media has given marketers access to a much larger database of opinions. Twitter and Facebook can be used as enormous focus groups or survey samples by directly asking questions, as well as offering huge amounts of data on the daily behavior of your market.
Understanding what your market thinks and using that to predict future trends may be the most important advantage of social media. According to around 80% of CMOs social media is effective in indicating consumer trends, demographics, sentiment and influence.
This research confirms a lot of what we already knew about the advantages of social media. Anyone with a passing interest in the medium is aware of the potential brand building and market understanding benefits of social networks. But this research does tell us that those at the very top are focused on social media as a marketing tool.
Via Mike Rozelle