LONDON Oct 11 Marketing chiefs feel overwhelmed
by the growing volume of customer data on websites like Facebook
and Twitter, and while they realise its potential value they
consider themselves ill-equipped to harness it, an IBM
Only 26 percent of chief marketing officers track blogs and
just 40 percent track any online communications, while 82
percent still rely on traditional market research to shape
marketing strategies, according to the study.
A few top consumer brands, such as Coca-Cola , Nike
and Starbucks -- are using high-profile social
media campaigns to great effect to find out what their customers
want and to communicate with them.
But most CMOs are struggling to prove that investments in
social media marketing would yield returns, according to the
survey of more than 1,700 CMOs published on Tuesday and carried
out in face-to-face interviews from February to June.
"The perfect solution is to serve each consumer
individually. The problem? There are 7 billion of them," said
one CMO at a consumer-products firm in the survey.
Some 82 percent said they planned to increase their use of
social media over the next 3-5 years.
IBM, along with other technology firms and big advertising
agencies, is seeking to capitalise on the need of marketers to
analyse data being created and shared on sites like Twitter and
YouTube or by email.
Facebook has more than 800 million active users, while
Twitter users send about 200 million tweets per day.
Such unstructured data, which are not collected in databases
or documents, are difficult to understand using traditional
IBM estimated that more than 90 percent of all real-time
information being created today are unstructured -- and has
spent $14 billion in the past five years on acquisitions of
analytics companies to fulfil that new demand.
"We have entered the age of the smarter consumer," IBM
marketing executive Marcel Holsheimer told journalists at a
briefing in London.
"Marketing is going to become much more an automated and
software play than it was in the past. This is why IBM is now
making the investment in this space."
Hewlett-Packard this month bought Britisih software
firm Autonomy, a market leader in unstructured data search, for