Oct 11 (Reuters) – 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
study found.

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

“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

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 computer programmes.

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.

Read more…

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