Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘social network analysis’ Category

Live @ Information On Demand 2012: Think Big…Really Big

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Though David Copperfield may be keeping an eye out over the Las Vegas Strip, this year’s mantra to “Think Big” at IBM Information On Demand 2012 is no illusion. There are big issues to tackle, we’ve got more data than ever, being acquired at a pace unmatched in recorded history, and amidst all that information are insights that we all can use to better run our businesses — if we could just find them. Our time in Vegas this week should prove to be a great start.

Greetings from Viva Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s Sunday, and if it’s Sunday, it’s football…and, Information on Demand 2012.

It seems like I was only here a short year ago…and come to think of it, I was!

How time, and technology, flies…but, as the industry goes, so goes IOD.  This year, there are more issues to discuss, more folks to talk to, and more technologies to cover, even as all we IOD attendees are being asked to “Think Big.”

Which is a good thing, because there are some big issues on the information management table that need discussing.

We’ve got more data than ever, being acquired at a pace unmatched in recorded history, and amidst all that information are insights that we all can use to better run our businesses, our governments, even our lives, yet not necessarily with any clear boundaries about who can do what with who’s information and when and under what circumstances!

But boy, if only we could make sense out of it all.

It reminds me of the magic show I went to see yesterday afternoon at the MGM Grand here in Vegas, starring none other than the world-renowned illusionist, David Copperfield.

If you’ve never seen him perform, first of all, I highly recommend you taking in his show at the Hollywood Theatre there.

Copperfield is the genuine article, an illusionist whose humanity surpasses his skills as a magician.  An entertainner who made a Studebaker appear onstage from out of nowhere, the story behind which that explained the import of that car to Copperfield and his family nearly bringing tears to my eyes.

One minute I was laughing, one minute I was surprised and astonished, and the next minute I was crying…in my book, the mark of a superior entertainer who understands his audience.

And such is often the case in the realm of effective information management.  One minute, we have our handle on the situation, making sense of the information at our disposal…and the next, a new requirement, a new technology, a new methodology comes along and throws a wrench in our proverbial analytical fan.

But like Copperfield, we must always be thinking of our audience.  Who are they, what motivates them, what do they need from us, what do they NOT need.  Often it’s not what you say but what you don’t that most makes the point.

Which is why we’re here in Vegas, to Think Big. To put our big boy and girl thinking caps on to figure out how we can handle this additional onslaught of information effectively and efficiently, with grace under pressure.

As part and parcel of that, we’re here to attend the over 700 technical education sessions, the 110 hands on labs, and to hear the 300+ customer speakers who have been there, done that in Information On Demand 2012.

And finally, to also hopefully have a little fun along the way.  It is Vegas, after all.  And all that nonsense about what happens here, stays here??  You don’t really believe any of that bit, do you?

It IS 2012, after all.  What’s not picked up by a smartphone will be Tweeted by your colleagues and read by your boss back at the home office.  So behave yourself!

Because all of that, and much, much more is what constitutes the Information On Demand experience, and that’s what myself and our extended IOD 2012 social team will be here to cover for you.

So, check your IOD Smartsite or program guide in your badge, and get going, and please keep an eye on Twitter, hashtag #ibmiod, for all the latest.

New IBM Software Transforms the Digital Experience

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The IBM Intranet Experience Suite pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.

IBM today announced new software that helps CMOs and CIOs transform the digital experience for employees, customers and fans across a broad range of mobile devices.

The IBM Intranet Experience Suite pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.

By 2017, the CMO will have greater control of the IT budget than the CIO, according to Gartner. Marketing budgets will grow 7-8 percent over the next 12 months, which is 2-3 times that of IT budgets.

With the growing number of mobile devices, social networks and social media tools on the rise, CMOs struggle to reach their audiences. At the same time, CIOs are struggling to provide access to company data on every type of device for a geographically distributed workforce.

Given the business realignment between marketing and technology, the CMO and CIO can no longer afford to operate on separate stages. To succeed, they’ll have to forge a shared agenda to deliver business results through innovation and efficiency, working together to streamline their technology needs.

The convergence of social and mobile is prompting organizations to revisit decades-old website to create exceptional web experiences to reach and engage with their audiences.

And despite their growing reliance on technology and their soaring budgets, CMOs readily admit they lack the skills that IT requires. According to the IBM CMO Study, while 79 percent of CMOs expect high levels of complexity in their job over the next five years, only 48 percent feel prepared to deal with it.

Building on these increased demands, IBM is delivering a new Customer Experience Suite giving millions of marketing professionals the power to manage and integrate all types of data on their web sites and then analyze it for deeper insight into customer buying patterns and sentiment.

Also delivered today, the new IBM Intranet Experience Suite pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.

The Power of Social, Mobile And Analytics

The new IBM Intranet Experience software brings together the power of social networking, analytics and mobile computing to front office operations and externally to clients, allowing companies to create exceptional Web experiences. As a result, organizations can gain faster insight on customer buying patterns and consumer sentiment allowing them to more quickly reach and engage their audiences.

At European industrial automation technology manufacturer Omron, employees are connecting knowledge and technical know-how through the organization’s Intranet, helping to meet the specific needs of their customers.

Omron delivers an exceptional Web experience through a single communication platform that embeds relevant social data into the daily workflow. Omron has sped knowledge sharing across boundaries and between departments, enabling employees to support customers better and faster.

Working with IBM and its partner Portico, Omron created an award-winning business intranet, called Ozone internally, helping to create a single-source communication and collaboration platform for all 1,700 European employees.

The IBM Intranet Experience Suite integrates with external social media, including Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, allowing employees to pick and choose which applications they want in their Intranet view. For example, a sales manager can leverage the Cognos software integration to ensure a clear view into monthly sales reports by region, as well as competitive background on new product updates and forecasts.

“The world is changing and is becoming increasingly connected and social,” said Michel Min, Head of Strategic Communication & eMarketing, Omron Europe B.V. “Because of this, we know our clients are changing as well, which is why it’s increasingly important to ensure our sales teams have the right information at the right time.”

Analytics to Help Marketers Engage Audiences 

From digital marketing and mobile commerce, to websites and social media, marketers are inundated — often paralyzed — by data amassed from consumers via searches, purchase histories, Facebook “likes” and comments on Twitter.

Combine that with data about in-store traffic, conversations with call centers and updates from suppliers, today’s marketers confront a daily deluge of data waiting to be sifted for nuggets of intelligence they can act upon to boost their business.

Because of this, it’s critical for CMOs to not only be aware of and monitor the social conversation, but to truly understand the sentiment and interact one-on-one with that customer. Taking it one step further would be to integrate these conversations directly into the organization’s web site, providing one place to both network and shop.

The new IBM Customer Experience Suite provides CMOs with the power to manage and integrate all types of data on their web sites and then analyze it for deeper insight into customer buying patterns and sentiment.

Web data has evolved today to include social media, videos, and web-based forms, as well as traditional enterprise data such as financial, customer and order data, and transactions. The software suite pulls together IBM’s market-leading enterprise portal, web content management, forms, and enterprise social networking software into a single view.

CIOs Creating Exceptional Intranets To Help Employees Gain Insight from Data Deluge

The new IBM software also helps business leaders extend their corporate intranet to a broad range of mobile devices in an effort to deepen employee collaboration and information sharing.

According to IDC, employees typically see up to a 30 percent increase in productivity using social tools internally to complete their work. With unlimited access to any type of information, consumers expect this same level of information availability in their professional lives, in order to work efficiently and reach business goals quickly.

The new IBM Intranet Experience software brings the power of social and analytics capabilities to CIOs and lines of business employees helping organizations innovate and evolve their internal operations and communications. The solution pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.

You can learn more about the IBM Intranet Experience Suite here.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Jose Luis-Iribarren On Social Network Diffusion

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Jose Luis-Iribarren is a 25-year veteran of IBM who led the Olympics Web projects for the Atlanta Summer games in 1996, Nagano in 1998 and the Sydney games in 2000, where he received the IBM Chairman Award for his work. At the Institute of Knowledge Engineering, Jose Luis has most recently been applying Social Network Analysis techniques to e-marketing. His goal with that effort is to develop a quantitative model of information diffusion through online social networks.

The strangest things happen when you find yourself walking out of an elevator (or, as they call it here in Europe, a “lift”) in hotels halfway around the world.

In my case, I stumbled upon an old friend this morning, Jose Luis-Iribarren, a former IBMer and now social networks innovation manager with the Institute of Knowledge Engineering here in Madrid.

Jose Luis spent 25 years at IBM, where he led the creation of the first official Web Site for an Olympic Games for Atlanta in 1996.

I also had the opportunity to hear firsthand some of his experiences in “pathfinding” the early digital marketing milieu, as well as some fascinating stories about his experiences helping manage the Web (including learning about the “Bento Box” effect in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games).

It was a far-ranging discussion about the cutting edge of digital marketing, and a great opportunity to renew the acquaintance of old friend.

And all because of the serendipity of an elevator, and the real-world network effect!

TurboTech: A Humorous Look At 2011 Technology Trends In Review

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It’s not many people who have the opportunity to be able to say that they’ve worked with a true broadcasting professional like Scott Laningham.

Blogger's Note: No dolphins were harmed during the making of this video. Green pigs who stole bird's eggs, well, that's a whole other story!

It’s even less people who would take the opportunity to actually come clean and admit to having done so, especially on more than one occasion.

Because I’m neither a true professional nor someone who likes to allow the skeletons in his closet to begin to accumulate, instead of facing as many of them as I can take head on like some egregious out-of-control episode of “Walking Dead,” or, worse, a full-on “Angry Birds” like assault come to life (but only if it’s the ad-supported version, as we’re too cheap to actually buy a copy), it is with great pleasure that I feature for you my readers the latest episode of “TurboTech,” another fine example supporting the postulation by Gartner and others that broadband video is here to stay…even if Scott and I are not destined to be ourselves.

The following is video documentary evidence of what happens when nature cannot simply abhor a vacuum, but instead must attempt to fill it with technology forecasting tripe at the end of another grand year of massive technological disruption.  In our case, the year 2011, which was filled with much technological wonder and wonderment, not the least of which included fabric-based computing.

It shall also not go unnoticed by somewhat regular (assuming there are any of you) viewers that Scott continues to look and sound much, much better than me in these episodes, indicating once again that Scott continues to have better technology than me.

This, too, must change.

An Epic Game

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Never mind the fact that I’m a Texas Rangers fan.

Never mind that I grew up in north Texas playing the game of baseball, first as a pitcher, then later as an outfielder, a short stop, and finally a catcher.

Never mind that baseball in north Texas was almost a religion, and that for young boys growing up on its plains there was nothing like those lights surrounding the diamond at night.

Also, never mind the fact that for nearly 50 years, the Rangers could never seem to pull it all together at the same time — the hitting, the fielding, and the pitching.

Certainly not the pitching.

Never mind that I lived in and around New York City during the Yankees late 1990s heyday, even attending a World Series game against the Atlanta Braves, a nail biter in and of its own right.

Put all that aside. Last night’s game between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals was simply epic.

It was dramatic, it was heart-stopping, it was nerve-wracking…it was even heart-breaking at times.

But it was also all what baseball in October should be about.

Even though my team came out on the losing side, it’s a game I will never forget.

And apparently, this series is one that the fans won’t forget anytime soon as well.

I mentioned in a post a week or so ago that IBM had partnered with the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab to mine social sentiment for this year’s World Series.

In the last report, which covered games 3 and 4, the number of tweets increased from game 2 to game 3 as fans turned to Twitter to share the baseball experience.  I expect the Tweets in game 6 will be off the charts.

There are some other interesting highlights which you can read in the Smarter Planet blog post here.

I tried to keep an eye on the Twitterstream last night, recognizing that game 6 was something special. But I wasn’t alone, as the Twitterstream moved by so quickly, it was difficult to even read the individual posts.

I expect game 7 will be no different.

I’ll be firmly planted on the edge of my couch for its entirety.

Written by turbotodd

October 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Information On Demand 2011: Steve Mills On Big Data

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Greetings from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center in Viva Las Vegas, Nevada.

Steve Mills explains to the Information On Demand 2011 audience why "Big Data" will require new ways of working but also bring organizations new and valuable insights.

I’m pretty sure I saw Elvis in the hallway yesterday, joined by Marilyn Monroe, and they were taking pictures with IODers.

My mom would have been proud (Elvis used to write on her arm after shows at the Louisiana Hayride), but I was too busy getting my fill of big data.

Speaking of which, BBC presenter Katty Cay returned in this morning’s general session to remind us of some big data statistics, including this one: There are now over 34K Google searches per second!

And in our Information On Demand polling overnight, the most popular name at IOD 2011 was tomorrow’s keynote speaker and Moneyball author, Michael Lewis.  We’re all looking forward to his discussion with Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane.

And I, of course, will continue to root on my Texas Rangers as they go 3-2 in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Now, enter Steve Mills on the big stage at IOD to tell us more about Big Data.

In his keynote session, Mills explained that we’re all living in a world where the reality is that the art of the possible has only been improving with the advent of new technologies.

Scott Laningham and I interviewed IBM senior vice president and group executive, Steve Mills, on a range of info management related topics, including Watson and "Moneyball." You can view this and other interviews from IOD 2011 at http://www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware

Mills recalled the days when he had to pick up extra RAM — all 128KB of it — to pick up from Endicott, NY, to deliver to IBM customers in Albany.

Nobody talks about data or RAM in terms of “Ks” anymore — these days, we’re talking petabytes.

The challenge, Mills suggested, is that we can now turn all that additional data into useful information, to hone in to identify patterns and relationships and what the data could be telling us.

It’s like mining for gold, Mills went on, but there’s a lot of dirt and rock you have to remove to get to get to the “vein.”

Mills explained that though data is increasing in volume, it’s also metamorphosing in a way: Data is no longer a static thing, but that increasingly we’re dealing with “data in motion.”  Think about traffic data, or sensor outputs from pipelines — the stream is never-ending, so the data is always moving.

There’s also the issue of variety we have to contend with, Mills explained: We’re dealing in all kinds of data types, from audio to video, and certainly no longer just numbers and text.

The big data challenge, then, is how to take advantage of all the possibilities, including high performance hardware and rich bandwidth, and pull together comprehensive solutions to enable governments and businesses to deal effectively with this new volume.

Watson, the IBM computing system that won the “Jeopardy!” match earlier in the year, is a good example of how all these different capabilities can come together. It included big data technologies like Hadoop, as well as DB2, language understanding, and an alert system that allowed Watson to iterate and improve. It was a system of elements brought together to target a specific problem.

Which is exactly what we’re doing with our customers, Mills explained.

Take Catalina Marketing, a supermarket chain that deployed real-time analysis of current transactions and past purchasing history to trigger printouts of customer specific offers — that’s some 300 million retail transactions per week, and some 195 million shipper households and 400+ billion market-based records!

The solution: IBM Netezza, which allows them to do real-time database analytics.

Or Banco Bilvao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), which deployed IBM Cognos Consumer Insight based on IBM InfoSphere BigInsights and Apache Hadoop to analyze internet and social media sentiment (5.8 terabytes of data) about the bank.

Mills went through several more examples, and his message was this: No problem is the same.

There is a constant need for customization, which IBM solutions can provide.

But, patterns do emerge and you can deal with them creatively, and it does require a very broad range of technical capability up and down the line.

“Let’s have a great big data day,” Mills concluded.

Blogger’s Note: Read this blog post by Steve Mills to learn more about the opportunities and challenges presented by Big Data.

The World Series Of Social Media

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Baseball is like church.  Many attend but few understand.  — Wes Westrum

I cannot tell a lie.

I’m extremely excited that my Texas Rangers made it to the World Series for the second year in a row.

Growing up in north Texas, the Rangers were a team we loved to hate…or is that hated to love?  They had no pitching.  They rarely had winning seasons.  But they were our team.

IBM and USC Annenberg have partnered to use analytics technology to catch Major League Baseball fan sentiment via the social media for this year's MLB World Series matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers beginning tonight in St. Louis, Missouri.

And they still are. Tonight, in Saint Louis, they’ll be playing the Cardinals in the first game of this year’s World Series.

Which is why it’s also exciting to note that today, IBM and the University of South California Annenberg Innovation Lab announced a new social media analysis project focused on Major League Baseball during the World Series.

The USC Annenberg Social Sentiment Index is being compiled by students and relies on IBM Social Analytics technology to analyze millions of Tweets in order to assess public social media engagement and opinion from sports and film to retail and fashion.

Students from USC have done an initial analysis of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and will now broaden the index to follow the World Series games beginning today to determine “social media MVPs.”

The goal is to uncover hidden insights from Twitter followers that could help better understand player and team sentiment, and illustrate how advanced analytics technologies can help identify important trends.

The students have used the technology for an initial test of more than 1.5 million public baseball-related tweets during the National League Championship Series, gauging positive and negative nuances and establishing overall sentiment rankings among a sampling of NLCS players.

Initial index findings show:

  • The Cardinals’ Chris Carpenter garnered the highest number of tweets indicating sentiment at 1,573 — 61.4 percent positive and 21.6 percent negative.
  • However, fellow Cardinal David Freese, a fan favorite and official NLCS MVP of the pennant race, garnered 768 tweets; 89.3 percent of his tweets were positive and only 15.4 percent negative; securing one of the highest “T’” scores — winner of the most uniformly positive tweets.
  • The Texas Rangers are winning the Twitter buzz battle: the American League’s social media champion was the focus of more than 56,600 tweetsfive times more than the St. Louis Cardinals — with 79 percent of the tweets being positive. While the Cardinals are behind in the number of postings, they have matched the Rangers’ level of enthusiasm in their tweets. St. Louis garnered 11,500 tweets, 80 percent of which were upbeat.

For baseball fans everywhere, social media is now as integral a part of the game experience as keeping score or enjoying hot dogs and peanuts.

In fact, during the post season, a banner behind home plate has been encouraging spectators to connect using the hashtag #postseason, giving fans an opportunity to both share and learn from others instantly, and providing researchers with an unfiltered voice of the fan that is ripe for analysis.

USC and IBM are collaborating to broaden student skills in analytics and demonstrate how Watson-inspired technologies, such as sophisticated semantic and linguistic analysis software, can provide new insights into public opinion by crunching complex data in real-time.

Analyzing Data Is Not A Game

“Analyzing data is not a game – it’s an important way to understand different constituencies and gain competitive advantage,” said Rod Smith, Vice President of Emerging Technology, IBM. “Whether it’s analyzing fan sentiment during a sports event, hospital patient data for personalized treatment programs, or the latest fashion trends for more targeted marketing campaigns, organizations are realizing the value of analytics to better respond to customer needs.”

The ability to glean insights into viewpoints from Big Data — structured and unstructured information — carries value across all aspects of baseball, from the media outlets covering reactions to the game and players, to businesses marketing to the fans, and most importantly, to the players and coaches themselves.

In fact, analyzing data to generate actionable insights in the baseball world has already afforded major league teams better decision-making to create productive ball clubs year after year. For example, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane has become famous for his [explain what he did for people like me that don’t know] through the use of analytics, made famous by Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game, the best-selling book and motion picture.

IBM’s collaboration with the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab is part of its continued efforts to advance student skills in analytics across academia. IBM is working with more than 6,000 universities around the world to develop curricula and provide training, resources and support for business analytics.

The USC Annenberg Social Sentiment Index on baseball is being conducted as part of the 2011 IBM Information on Demand and Business Analytics Forum taking place next week in Las Vegas, October 23-27. (Blogger’s Note: I’ll be in attendance blogging the general sessions, and Scott Laningham and I will be LiveStreaming from the IOD Expo floor.)

The index on baseball will be updated during the World Series on asmarterplanet.com to illustrate the ongoing shifts in fan sentiment throughout the series.

For more information about IBM and analytics, visit www.ibm.com/analytics.

IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study: From Prime Time To Real Time

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As a marketer for IBM who specializes in the digital realm, I was excited to hear about the pending IBM 2011 Global Chief Marketing Officer study, a study of more than 1,700 chief marketing officers from 64 countries and 19 industries, and couldn’t wait to see the results.

The wait is over.

Today, IBM released the results of this important study, one that reveals that the majority of the world’s top marketing executives recognize there’s a critical and permanent shift occurring in the way they engage with their customers, but who also question whether their marketing organizations are prepared to manage the change.

Click to enlarge. The vast majority of CMOs surveyed in the IBM 2011 CMO Study indicated that they are underprepared to manage the impact of key changes in the marketing arena.

Some other initial headlines: The study reveals that the measures used to evaluate marketing are changing. Nearly two-thirds of CMOs think return on marketing investment will be the primary measure of the marketing function’s effectiveness by 2015.

But even among the most successful enterprises, half of all CMOs feel insufficiently prepared to provide hard numbers.

Most of these executives — responsible for the integrated marketing of their organization’s products, services and brand reputations –- say they lack significant influence in key areas such as product development, pricing and selection of sales channels.

The IBM study found that only 26 percent of CMOs are tracking blogs, 42 percent are tracking third party reviews and 48 percent are tracking consumer reviews to help shape their marketing strategies.

“The inflection point created by social media represents a permanent change in the nature of customer relationships,” said Carolyn Heller Baird, CRM research lead for the IBM Institute for Business Value and the global director of the study.  “Approximately 90 percent of all the real-time information being created today is unstructured data. CMO’s who successfully harness this new source of insight will be in  a strong position to increase revenues, reinvent their customer relationships and build new brand value.”

An Ever-Changing Marketing Landscape, An Empowered Consumer

Customers are sharing their experiences widely online, giving them more control and influence over brands.

This shift in the balance of power from organizations to their customers requires new marketing approaches, tools and skills in order to stay competitive.  CMOs are aware of this changing landscape, but are struggling to respond.  Four out of five CMOs expect that they will have to make fundamental changes to traditional methods of brand and product marketing.

Baird likened marketers who underestimate the impact of social media to those who were slow to view the Internet as a new and powerful platform for commerce.

Like the rise of e-business more than a decade ago, the radical embrace of social media by all customer demographic categories represents an opportunity for marketers to drive increased revenue, brand value and to reinvent the nature of the relationship between enterprises and the buyers of their offerings.  Marketers who establish a culture receptive to deriving insight from social media will be far better prepared to anticipate future shifts in markets and technology.

As someone who has been intimately involved in helping IBM make a successful transition into providing enhanced social intelligence for marketers here inside Big Blue, this is music to my ears.

While CMOs identify customer intimacy as a top priority, and recognize the impact of real-time data supplementing traditional methods of channel marketing and gathering market feedback, most CMOs say they remain mired in 20th century approaches.

Eighty-percent or more of the CMOs surveyed are still focusing primarily on traditional sources of information such as market research and competitive benchmarking, and 68 percent rely on sales campaign analysis to make strategic decisions.

Click to enlarge. CMOs surveyed in the study indicated they are overwhelmingly underprepared for the data explosion and recognize need to invest in and integrate technology and analytics.

Managing the Four Challenges

Collectively, the study findings point to four key challenges that CMOs everywhere are confronting. The explosion of data, social media, channel and device choices and shifting demographics will be pervasive, universal game changers for their marketing organizations over the next three to five years.  But a large majority of CMOs feel unprepared to manage their impact.

  • Data explosion:  Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90 percent of the world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone.  The increasing volume, variety and velocity of data available from new digital sources like social networks, in addition to traditional sources such as sales data and market research, tops the list of CMO challenges.  The difficulty is how to analyze these vast quantities of data to extract the meaningful insights, and use them effectively to improve products, services and the customer experience.
  • Social platforms:  Social media enables anyone to become a publisher, broadcaster and critic.  Facebook has more than 750 million active users, with the average user posting 90 pieces of content a month.  Twitter users send about 140 million tweets a day.  And YouTube’s 490 million users upload more video content in a 60-day period than the three major U.S. television networks created in 60 years.  Marketers are using social platforms to communicate – with 56 percent of CMOs viewing social media as a key engagement channel – but they still struggle with capturing valuable customer insight from the unstructured data that customers and potential customers produce.
  • Channel and device choices:  The growing number of new marketing channels and devices, from smart phones to tablets, is quickly becoming a priority for CMOs.  Mobile commerce is expected to reach $31 billion by 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent from 2011 to 2016.  Meanwhile, the tablet market is expected to reach nearly 70 million units worldwide by the end of this year, growing to 294 million units by 2015.
  • Shifting demographics:  New global markets and the influx of younger generations with different patterns of information access and consumption are changing the face of the marketplace.  In India, as one example, the middle class is expected to soar from roughly 5 percent of the population to more than 40 percent in the next two decades.  Marketers who have historically focused on affluent Indian consumers must adapt their strategies to market to this emerging middle class.  In the United States, marketing executives must respond to the aging baby boomer generation and growing Hispanic population.

Lack of Influence

Today’s CMOs have to cover more ground than ever before.  They have to manage more data from disparate sources, understand and engage with more empowered customers, adopt and adapt to more sophisticated tools and technologies – while being more financially accountable to their organizations.

Click to enlarge. CMOs surveyed believe that they can expand their personal influence by shifting to new capabilities that focus on technology, social media and ROI.

In fact, 63 percent of CMOs believe return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend will be the most important measure of their success by 2015.  However, only 44 percent feel fully prepared to be held accountable for marketing ROI.

Most CMOs have not traditionally been expected to provide hard financial evidence of their ROI.

But given the current economic volatility and pressure to be profitable, organizations can no longer afford to write a blank check for their marketing initiatives. CMOs recognize they now need to quantify the value they bring to the business, be it from investing in advertising, new technologies or any other activity.

This increasing emphasis on ROI also reflects the scrutiny the marketing function is currently attracting, itself a reflection of the function’s growing prominence.  Today’s CMOs are in much the same position as chief financial officers (CFOs) were a decade ago, when their role was evolving from guardian of the purse strings to strategic business adviser.

If CMOs are to be held responsible for the marketing returns they deliver, they must also have significant influence over all “Four Ps”: promotion, products, place and price.  The study found that this is often not the case.

CMOs say they exert a strong influence over promotional activities such as advertising, external communications and social media initiatives.  But, in general, they play a smaller role in shaping the other three PsLess than half of the CMOs surveyed have much sway over key parts of the pricing process, and less than half have much impact on new product development or channel selection.

To meet these new challenges, CMOs must boost their own digital, technological and financial proficiency –- but many seem surprisingly reticent in this respect.  When asked which attributes they will need to be personally successful over the next three to five years, only 28 percent said technological competence, 25 percent said social media expertise and 16 percent said financial acumen.

About the Global CMO Study

The 2011 IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study is IBM’s first study of CMOs — and the fifteenth in the ongoing series of C-suite Studies developed by the IBM Institute for Business Value.

Between February and June 2011, IBM met face to face with 1,734 CMOs in 19 industries and 64 countries to better understand their goals and the challenges they confront.  The respondents came from a wide variety of organizations, ranging from 48 of the top 100 brands listed in the 2010 Interbrand rankings to enterprises with a primarily local profile.

Click here to register and receive your copy of the IBM 2011 Global Chief Marketing Officer study.

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