Social Media Data: Time to Embrace it

There is not a day that goes by in the life of a marketer that doesn’t have a headline that reads, “marketers struggle to find the ROI of social.” It is as if marketers are chasing down a unicorn that exists only in their imaginations.

A 2011 MarketingSherpa study confirmed this with 62% of CMO’s believing that social media will pay off for them … eventually. Well that day was yesterday for many of the folks at Pivotcon where I debuted a presentation on the 12 Ways to Monitize Social Media which documents many approaches to ROI in social media more importantly half of them are ways to use social data to get a great return.

A different study by IBM announced that, “than 1,700 CMOs, 82% still rely on traditional market research to shape marketing strategy, while only 40% of chief marketing officers track any online communications.” Yet, there is an answer. And the answer is harnessing unstructured consumer data and finding insights into audiences is more valuable than waiting for the market research of tomorrow!

The fear in many marketers’ minds is based on breaking out of traditional modes of analysis as well as perhaps uncovering insights that a brand isn’t prepared to manage. But there is urgency in getting this data is that the consumer mindset is constantly changing, and to be competitive you need to move with them and not against them.

In other words, social media isn’t something you simply measure it is something you harness consumer insights from to be better at everything else in the business including product development, message/positioning, content development and being more efficient with overall media and marketing spends.  This is how the feedback loop becomes more in-sync with consumers and brands versus constantly guessing at what they need, what they are reading and watching and how they are living. You can amplify your message, because it is closer to the mindset of the consumer. You can improve awareness, because you aren’t just anywhere but aligned to your consumer.

You shouldn’t be “coping” with social media you should be diving into all of the vast consumer data in social media for discoveries about who your customers are today and not relying on survey data from six months ago.

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