Digital Brands Reorganizing to Become More Customer-Centric

February 27, 2012

soda-brands-organizational-changes-feb-2012.jpg70.8% of brand marketers say they have reorganized their marketing/product groups around customer segments, and 45.8% report having created cross-departmental task-forces to bring social learning deeper into their company, according to a report released in February 2012 by the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA), conducted by Econsultancy. Other ways in which brands are becoming more customer-centric include through integration of social listening with traditional research (33.3%), and creation of a voice of the customer (VOC) advocacy group within their organization (20.8%).

Overall, 72.8% of client-side digital marketers said their companies are transforming the structure of their marketing organizations.

VOC, Social Listening Initiatives Prevalent

soda-brand-marketing-initiatives.jpgData from the SoDA “Q1 2012 Digital Marketing Report” indicates that VOC and social listening programs are the most popular initiatives that companies have implemented as part of their marketing strategies, cited by 61.5% and 53.8% of marketers, respectively. According to a study released in December 2011 by the CMO Council in partnership with Lithium, 55% of senior marketers say that social media has impacted their marketing operations by improving customer listening, engagement, and conversations, matched by the proportion who say that the channel has opened new avenues to gather and further market insights.

Meanwhile, respondents to the SoDA survey also report use of customer panels (35.9%) and crowd-sourcing initiatives (15.4%).

Initiatives Pay Off for Brands

Brands appear to be benefiting from the implementation of these customer-centric initiatives. 71% have introduced new or improved services as a result, while 53% have experienced increased customer loyalty. 46% have witnessed changes in customer service, while roughly 2 in 5 indicate that their efforts have resulted in new or improved products. About one-third report channel platform changes (POS, web, mobile, email, social) and a higher dollar value per customer.

Other Findings:

  • Digital marketers appear to be inspired by applications: 84% of digital marketers are either excited about (58%) or intrigued with (26%) mobile phone apps, matched by the proportion feeling excited about (52%) or intrigued with (33%) about tablet apps. Other technologies capturing the imagination of digital marketers include HTML5 (78%), experiential technologies/platforms (74%), and internet TV/enhanced broadcast (69%). At the bottom of the list are micro transactions (64%) and augmented reality (57%).
  • Sales data has had a strong impact on marketers’ business strategies in the past 12 months, cited by 88% of respondents as having either had strong (55%) or some (33%) effect. Digital campaign performance reporting, website reporting, and search reporting were also cited by roughly 9 in 10 marketers as having had at least some effect on their business strategy.

About the Data: Conducted by Econsultancy, SoDA’s Digital Outlook Marketing Survey had 651 respondents. 53% were marketing representing corporate brands (25%), consumer brands (30%), and other related industries (45%). The remaining 47% were creative service leaders from traditional agencies (23%), digital agencies (64%), and production companies (13%). More than three-quarters of the respondents were key decision makers and influencers such as CMOs, senior executives, VPs, and directors, with annual marketing budgets ranging from under US$1 million to over US$100 million, and whose key markets are North America (57%), Europe (19%), and Asia Pacific (11%).

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