Brands that use social media primarily as a free PR channel and a means for amplifying messages are generally failing to listen to the wants and needs of customers, according to a new study from the CMO Council.
The “Turn Up The Volume: Rethinking Where and How Customer Voice Enhances Experience” report suggests that there is still a mismatch in how brands and customers view the role that social should play in the relationship between the two parties.
Almost two-thirds of marketing leaders said that they see social primarily as a tool for boosting the reach of content, while more than half believe that it is a simple and cost-effective engagement network for pushing messages. The CMO Council said that brands are “hard of hearing” in terms of understanding how consumers want more contextual and personalised engagement.
“It is sobering to see that even in this age of omnichannel real-time engagement, so many organizations choose to view social as a free push tool and not a megaphone leveraged by customers who fully believe brands are already listening,” the CMO Council’s SVP of Marketing Liz Miller said.
European brands are making an effort to change though. Many want to shift the focus away from vanity metrics such as clicks and likes to KPIs that benefit both the consumer and the business. SAP Customer Experience executive Mark de Bruijn said that greater intelligence can empower marketers to “reshape” campaigns and content.
Fundamental to this is the idea of viewing social as “self-expression channels” for customers, which will give brands a unique opportunity to tap into data, commentary and insights to improve content. This loop can enhance the creative process and other areas of marketing.