Photo: Kim Bhasin, Business Insider
Last week we stopped by the Thomson Reuters building in Times Square for a panel called Winning The Marketing War, hosted by The Changing MO of the CMO author MaryLee Sachs. The CMO’s of General Electric, FedEx, Time Inc and CVS Caremark were there to share their views on what marketers need to do to succeed in today’s rapidly changing environment.Time CMO Stephanie George had some particularly interesting things to say:
“There’s no doubt that social media is forging our business ahead,” she said. “What’s happening now is that the social media connection is catapulting our business to greater heights than we ever expected.”
It makes sense. Few predicted the meteoric rise of social media, and along with all the risks that constantly hit media headlines, marketers can’t forget about all the incredible benefits.
But perhaps George is an exception. Less than half of CMO’s actually track what’s happening on Facebook and Twitter, according to a recent study from IBM. Most use traditional market research, which have traditional ways to calculate ROI — something marketers hold dear.
George called out those that aren’t willing to take risks with their analytics. “If you don’t trust your brands and your audiences, then why bother,” she said. “It’s a big brave bold world and we’re testing it all.”
And remember, managing social media isn’t something that can be done half-heartedly. There’s a complex bridge between your employees and your customers with countless variables in it.
By combining customer-employee teams, it becomes easier to take advantage of the content that you have, and scale it to all your key audiences. “We’re relying a lot with our conversations with consumers,” said George. “Social media is almost like a channel for us that we need to better understand.”
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