The majority of chief marketers admit they are not sufficiently aware of real-time conversations about their brands, according to an international study of more than 1,700 chief marketing officers (CMOs) by IBM.
The IBM research found that marketing chiefs from 64 countries and 19 industries recognised a shift in the way they engage with customers, but questioned whether their companies were prepared to manage the change.
Though 82% of CMOs said they plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years, only 26% are tracking blogs, 42% are tracking third-party reviews and 28% are tracking consumer reviews to help shape their strategies.
Carolyn Heller Baird, CRM research lead for the IBM Institute for Business Value, said: "The inflection point created by social media represents a permanent change in the nature of customer relationships.
"Approximately 90% of all the real-time information being created today is unstructured data.
"CMOs who successfully harness this new source of insight will be in a strong position to increase revenues, reinvent their customer relationships and build new brand value."
Though the business landscape is rapidly changing, the majority of CMOs lack the necessary influence to help their companies deal with the explosion in social media, IBM said.
Less than half of the CMOs surveyed have sway over key parts of the pricing process and a similar amount have impact on new product development and channel selection.
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