Marketers Ignoring Customer Feedback from Social Media

    October 7, 2009
    Chris Crum

A Social Media Survey conducted on behalf of PRWeek and MS&L by PRWeek and CA Walker found that marketers don’t make changes to their products based on customer feedback, despite monitoring feedback being one of the most common business uses of social media in the first place.

The survey found that 70% of marketers say they’ve never made a change to a product or marketing efforts based on feedback from consumers on social media sites.

"Customer feedback should be the front lines of product development," says Jim Tsokanos, MS&L’s president, North America. "Marketers need to act on information culled from social sites and are missing out on a key opportunity to improve and shape their products and programs based on what their consumers need and want."

The top three business uses of social media according to the survey are:

1. Managing and monitoring customer feedback (41%)

2. Understanding the consumer and competitive landscape (41%)

3. Reaching key influencers (33%)

There is still a significant amount of skepticism in corporate America, regarding social media. According to the survey, lack of time and resources are the biggest barriers to successfully incorporating social media into marketing campaigns. 43% said lack of knowledge and expertise, and 39% said they are not convinced of its value or ROI. 75% say their companies are not equipped to handle global social media campaigns, and 66% say the majority of their social media activities are locally equipped.

Jim Tsokanos

"If brands do not have a social media presence, consumers will create one for them. These results indicate that many companies are not engaging in social media in ways that truly drive business results and sustain relationships with customers," Tsokanos said. "Employees are the best brand ambassadors a company can have. By not having a specific approach regarding employee use of social media, companies miss out on leveraging their largest and most knowledgeable fan base." 

49% of senior marketing executives say their companies have no specific approach regarding employee use of social media to share messages on behalf of the organization or its brands, and 39% of respondents said that their companies are not using any of the most common social media tools in their marketing efforts. Similarly, 39%, say none of their current marketing budget is dedicated to social media programs.

The survey polled 271 US chief marketing officers, VPs of marketing and marketing directors.