68% of CMOs Underprepared For Social Media

A new study from IBM looks at how prepared CMOs are for the future, including an increased focus on social media.  The majority – 52% – of CMOs do not feel prepared to deal with the high level of complexity developing in the marketplace, largely from the “empowerment of the consumer” due to “increased connectivity.” The study examines the challenges faced by public and private sector CMOs in the next five years.

Percent of CMOs Reporting Social Media Underpreparedness via IBM StudyOut of 13 key market factors, social media is just behind data explosion as the factor CMOs feel least prepared to deal with. Over two-thirds (68%) of CMOs feel underprepared to deal with social media over the next 5 years.

Respondents were also asked to rank each factor in terms of its expected impact on the marketing function over the next three to five years.  Charted along with the level of preparedness, social media emerged among the top four areas of concern, which also included data explosion, growth of channel and device choices and shifting consumer demographics.

Other highlights from the study:

  • 82% of respondents plan to increase the use of social media
  • while two-thirds believe that ROI will be the primary measure of effectiveness by 2015, only 38% believe that social media metrics are an important measure to gauge marketing success
  • there was only a small gap between the level of social media unpreparedness of outperforming organizations (66%) and underperforming organizations (70%)
  • only 25% of CMOs believe social media expertise is necessary to be personally successful over the next 3-5 years

The study concludes that “The vast majority of CMOs believe there are three key areas for improvement. They must understand and deliver value to empowered customers; create lasting relationships with those customers; and measure marketing’s contribution to the business in relevant, quantifiable terms.”

The 2011 IBM Global CMO Study includes research from over 1700 top marketing executives, covering 19 industries in 64 countries.