When we first developed our social media management application in 2009, our product development team benefitted from the insights of well over one hundred companies that were clients of our grassroots communication service. These clients included national real estate companies, automobile companies and a broad cross-section of the franchise industry. All wereasking us the same question: “What should we do about social media?” We heard that question so often that we decided to invest a substantial sum and many hours of hard work on the development of Engage121.
A few years have now passed. Engage121 has launched – and so have hundreds of other companies and products also focused on helping companies manage their social media presence.
Every once in a while, we get an objective glimpse of whether we – as a company and an industry – are meeting the needs of our clients.
In both cases, our work is far from done.
At the suggestion of a client, I recently read IBM’s October 2011 survey of Chief Marketing Officers, “From Stretched to Strengthened.” I recommend the survey to all marketers – but, I especially recommend the survey to social media professionals who consider the survey a report card on whether we are meeting the needs and expectations of CMOs, arguably our most important constituency.
A quick summary: “CMOs see four challenges as pervasive, universal game-changers: the data explosion, social media, proliferation of channels and devices and shifting consumer demographics.” Note “pervasive” and “game changers” – those are noteworthy choices of words. And, how do CMOs feel about all this?Among many of the statistics reported, 68% of CMOs feel unprepared to manage social media, and 65% express concern about managing the growth of channels and devices.
In my mind, CMOs are expressing one big concern, and that’s “what should we do about social media?” CMOs are expressing the same concern today that I heard several years ago – notwithstanding the proliferation of new products, more data, sophisticated analytics and the explosion of digital media professionals offering help.
Our business objective – as Engage121 and as the “social media management services” industry – is to provide the data, analytics and functionality that marketers require to survive and thrive.
We have more work to do.
– Jon Victor, CEO Engage121