Social Media: Indian CMOs find themselves Unprepared [Survey]


It is now well established that enterprise social media adoption is as real as it gets and its not a fad that businesses are experimenting with. Gartner’s predictions on the role of social media as a collaboration and business transformation tool are not without their own merits.

However, social media adoption in enterprises is still at an early stage and the early adopters (which I think is the FMCG / CPG sector) are experimenting with the medium and tasting success as they go.

The biggest challenge when it comes to social media in enterprises is not really due to lack of a definite answer for "What’s In It For Us’ because frankly social media is finding its applications right from marketing,  customer service, lead generation etc. The challenge when it comes to enterprise adoption of social media is around the ownership and the lack of a ‘What really works in Social Media‘.

Social media is disrupting traditional marketing in more ways than one. From the consistent addition of new platforms and the best ways to leverage these platforms to making the CMO increasingly collaborate with other CXO level executives in other departments, social media is revolutionizing marketing in enterprises.

A recent CXO survey conducted by IBM Global Services including 80 Indian CMOs (overall 1700 CMOs) throws some interesting insights on social media adoption in the enterprise.

The overall study showed that the market was changing faster than CMOs felt prepared for. The factors that they said were the most important ones were surprisingly the ones they felt least prepared for.

Indian CMOs are no different and even though the general awareness around the importance of social media is there there are challenges when it comes to strategizing and executing.

Despite the high regard for social media, Indian CMOs feel more unprepared than CMOs anywhere else. This is unexpected because at any marketing forum, we talk about social media all the time

Lack of control is suggested as one of the reason why Indian CMOs have inhibitions with respect to social media. Come to think of it, its not surprising given how brand communication is a closely guarded activity in enterprises. The unpreparedness of CMOs could be due to this very face of communication wherein the communication is no more controlled and the company has to be open to retaliation on social media.

Social Media Is A Key Agent Of Change For Indian CMOs

social media engagement channel

As is visible from the chart, majority of CMOs are wary of the change being bought about by Social media and they find themselves unprepared. Data explosion is another key challenge which to a certain extent is a byproduct of social media. Using social media as a key engagement channel is a priority for most CXOs followed by monitoring the brand activity on social platforms.

The coverage by Business Standard has many more details on the changing marketing paradigm and CMO perceptions of Social Media including the increasing use of technology and access to more data for deriving a better ROI from marketing spends.

However, it is evident that social media is expected to remain a cause of concern for Indian CMOs and those who continue to take social media as just another channel for traditional marketing are not likely to succeed.

Do you agree that Indian CMOs at large are unprepared when it comes to leveraging social media in the enterprise? 

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