Social data has become one of the most important parts of the decision making process for CMOs and CEOs, according to the results of a new study by Bazaarvoice. Almost half of CMOs have used social data to make predictions or forecasts, and some nine in ten say that their decisions were strongly influenced by the data.Social data is generally defined as any data given up by individuals that is anonymous in nature and only adds color to a company, a trend, or certain topics. It’s mainly derived form the web and its popular social networking hubs, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. As the business world re-centres around new ways to serve and interact with consumers, CMOs are seizing the opportunity to use social data to transform their role and organisations, the study finds. Social data reflects business trends and using it correctly can help to identify consumer traits and patterns that impact brand loyalty and awareness. CMOs seem most confident in social data?s effectiveness in analysing consumer sentiment toward individual products and product lines, rating their confidence level 6.4 out of ten, on average. As a whole, most CMOs believe social data is at least effective in indicating evident trends or patterns that may impact the business. Some 82.3 per cent of CMOs assume that their social efforts have a measurable impact on brand awareness, while 81.5 per cent are confident that they have a measurable effect on brand loyalty. It’s not only CMOs who have made customer centricity a priority ? some 61 per cent of CEOs now say that they must exhibit ?customer obsession?, according to the 2012 Global IBM CEO Study. At the same time, CMOs continue to rapidly invest in new technologies to achieve this goal. Gartner reported in a January 2012 Webinar that ?by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.? Erin Mulligan, CMO of Bazaarvoice, commented on the data. ?In a consumer-obsessed C-suite, the CMOs are the chief customer advocates and social data is their ultimate weapon. Social data lets CMOs truly know their customers and predict consumers? future needs before they even have them.? ?Nearly all CMOs now use this data to drive decisions. As the business world re-centres around serving and delighting consumers, social data is turning CMOs into customer champions ? and heroes within the C-suite. And as an industry, we have just started to tap into the potential of social data.?
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