Bazaarvoice, the market and technology leader in transforming customer conversations into long-term business value, released the second-annual Bazaarvoice Social Marketing Survey conducted with The CMO Club. The new study charts the progress of CMOs against their 2010 social media goals and benchmarks projected social investments, challenges, and expectations for 2011. The survey shows that social media had become an essential component of executive marketing strategies by the end of 2010, with 90% of CMOs participating in three or more social media activities. CMOs still focus on measurability and ROI but are recognizing there’s even more business impact to uncover. Nearly all (96%) are beginning to look beyond sales goals and web metrics to focus on how social media can deliver strong insights that fuel improvements across the business. This is consistent with Forrester Research’s recent finding that more than 45% of all companies now use social media assets for product development in addition to customer engagement (83%), and indicates a sea change in the strategic value that CMOs place on social today.
The 2011 Survey points to a big shift in the power of social media and user-generated content, as brands begin to organize these voices into strong insights that serve as the launch pad for innovation and business change. In 2011, 93% of CMOs plan on using some form of user-generated content to inform product and service decisions. Top forms of user-generated content used in 2010 include customer stories (59%), product suggestions or ideas (54%), polling (49%), and customer reviews (47%).
CMOs were optimistic about tracking ROI for social in 2010 — 81% of those who participated in the 2010 Survey said they planned to track social media to revenues in 2010. However, standard ROI metrics proved difficult to measure for many social efforts; only 40% of CMOs surveyed in 2011 successfully tracked ROI on their social initiatives. Still, measurability remains a top executive priority, with sales conversion and revenue attribution standing out as the #1 and #2 growth opportunities in social measurement.
The 2011 Survey indicates that many CMOs still use social media tools without clear insight into the ROI that tool is delivering. More than half of CMOS still don’t know or don’t see ROI across many social media tools, in particular Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Bright spots include product ratings and reviews (59% see average or significant ROI); company / brand communities (56%); and company or brand blogs (48%).