Bazaarvoice & The CMO Club Survey: Social Data Impacts CMO Decisions, Predictions & Forecasts

Austin, Texas – July 25, 2012 – Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV) today released the results of a new chief marketing officer (CMO) study conducted in partnership with The CMO Club that details how marketing executives are using social data across their organizations.

The survey, which represents brands with more than $1 billion in annual revenue (56%) as well as smaller business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, finds that almost half of CMOs have used social data to make predictions or forecasts, and nearly nine in 10 say this data has influenced their decisions. CMOs also drive this data beyond marketing, sharing data with other C-level executives (97.3%) and with functions, including sales (36.8%) and product management and development (35.1%).

The CMO Landscape

Customer centricity has become a priority for CMOs and CEOs alike – 61% of CEOs now say that as a CEO, 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."

As the business world re-centers around new ways to serve and delight consumers, the Bazaarvoice and The CMO Club study finds that CMOs are seizing the opportunity to use social data to transform their role and organizations.

Bazaarvoice and The CMO Club Survey Key Takeaways:

Social data impacts decisions for nearly all CMOs. CMOs are turning to social data for insights into consumers, products, and brands that traditional market research and focus groups can’t.

  • Nearly all CMOs (89.4%) say social data has impacted at least some of their decisions. This includes 21.3% of CMOs who say social data affects at least one in every five decisions they make.
  • Social data can also hint at future consumer sentiment and campaign success. Nearly half (47.3%) of all CMOs have used social data to make predictions or forecasts, most commonly to project sales.

CMOs use social data to drive smarter decisions beyond marketing. While marketing teams and agencies most often extract the data, insights from it are used in product development, customer experience, sales, and C-level discussions.

  • Agencies are most commonly responsible for reporting to CMOs on social data (according to 50.9%), followed by marketing research (45.6%), and marketing communications (45.6%) teams.
  • Brand management teams make the most use of social data, according to 59.6% of CMOs. Other teams that access the data marketing collects include sales (36.8%), customer experience and web design (36%), and product management and development (35.1%).
  • Almost all CMOs (97.3%) share findings from social data with other C-level executives at least annually, and most (67%) report to the C-level on social insights at least monthly.

CMOs believe social data reveals consumer sentiment and improves brand awareness. CMOs believe social data reflects business trends and use it to identify consumer traits and patterns that impact brand loyalty and awareness.

  • CMOs are most confident in social data’s effectiveness in analyzing consumer sentiment toward individual products and product lines, rating their confidence level 6.4 out of 10, on average.
  • As a whole, 83.3% of CMOs believe social data is at least somewhat effective in indicating discernible trends or patterns that may impact the business. And 77.9% find social data at least somewhat effective in analyzing the influence of individuals or groups.
  • Most CMOs (82.3%) are at least somewhat confident that their brands’ social efforts have a measurable impact on brand awareness, while 81.5% are at least somewhat confident that their social initiatives have a measurable effect on brand loyalty.

Comments on the News

  • "The best big data story to be told is how social data impacts the organization to transform business. CMOs have historically been the closest to the customer, and they are now the ones who are leading the charge to use this data to evolve and elevate their brands and business. With word of mouth being digital for the first time in human history, they can listen to their customers like never before and bring that learning to their entire company, not just in marketing. This is tremendously exciting for any marketer, and really any executive, and it will change business forever – creating more customer-centric processes, organizations, and companies." – Brett Hurt, founder and CEO, Bazaarvoice
  • "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-centers 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." – Erin Mulligan Nelson, CMO, Bazaarvoice

Additional Resources

About Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice brings the voice of customers to the center of business strategy, transforming business performance for nearly 1,800 clients globally. Bazaarvoice social software helps clients like Best Buy, Costco, Dell, Macy’s, P&G, Panasonic, QVC, and USAA create social communities on their brand websites and Facebook pages where customers can engage in conversations. These conversations can be syndicated across Bazaarvoice’s global network of client websites and mobile devices, which allows manufacturers to connect directly with customers. The social data derived from online word of mouth translates into actionable insights that improve marketing, sales, customer service, and product development. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice has offices in Amsterdam, London, Munich, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Stockholm, and Sydney. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com, read the blog at www.bazaarvoice.com/blog, and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bazaarvoice.

About The CMO Club

The CMO Club (TheCMOclub.com) was created for the unique purpose of bringing chief marketing officers together in a private, exclusive environment of openness, and contribution that enables them to become better leaders, marketers, officers, and deal makers. Tailored exclusively to top marketing executives, this club hosts dinners and events, shares reports and research from leaders in the marketing industry, videos and CMO shows at www.cmoclub.tv, and leverages the first online community for "Heads of Marketing only" for sharing ideas, helping each other, and serving as a resource for CMO career opportunities. The CMO Club was founded in 2007 by seasoned marketing executive Pete Krainik and currently has more than 600 members worldwide. Follow @TheCMOClub on Twitter or visit www.thecmoclub.com.