Across all respondents and the four regions, two functions – marketing and customer service – are the ones that most regularly view consumer comments about their companies in social media. The sales function is close behind.
Exhibit II-12: Who Plays in Social Media? Usually Marketing and Customer Service
This pattern repeats itself in all four regions (Exhibits II-13, 14, 15 and 16): Marketing most frequently views consumer comments in social media, followed by customer service, then followed by sales. Only amongst a minority of respondents in all regions (only in the 25% range) do R&D/product development professionals regularly view consumer comments on social media.
Exhibit II-13: North American Functions and Their Views of Social Media Comments
Exhibit II-14: European Functions and Their Views on Social Media Comments
Exhibit II-15: Asia-Pacific Functions and Their Views of Social Media Comments
Exhibit II-16: Latin America Functions and Their Views of Social Media Comments
The influence of marketing and customer service on corporate social media activities also shows up in the goals that respondents rated for their social media activities. By far, the two highest rated goals (scale of 1-5) were brand-related: determining how consumers view the company’s brand and products, and increasing their brand affinity. On a global basis, the goals of using social media to reduce the cost of marketing, service, sales and product development were rated to be of lower importance. Social media allows companies to test marketing campaigns and products under development with large numbers of consumers before big investments are put behind them. However, these goals are rated less than 3.5 on our five-point scale. (See Exhibit II-17)
Exhibit II-17: Brand Affinity Trumps All Other Goals
These trends generally apply across the four regions (Exhibits II-18 through 21), but with
some exceptions depending on the goal:
- Improving after-sale customer service is rated higher by Latin American (4.09) and
Asia-Pacific (4.05) companies than by North American (3.66) and European (3.75)
- Asia-Pacific firms were the only region to rate ‘identifying new products/service
opportunities’ at least a 4.
- Latin American and Asia-Pacific respondents rate improving sales processes a more
important goal for their social media activities (3.9) than do North American and
European respondents (3.42 and 3.64 respectively).
- Asia-Pacific respondents rate using social media to cut new product development
costs (3.61), sales costs (3.77), marketing (3.79) and service costs (3.79) generally much higher than the three other regions do.
Exhibit II-18: North American Company Goals for Social Media
Exhibit II-19: European Company Goals for Social Media
Exhibit II-20: Asia-Pacific Company Goals for Social Media
Exhibit II-21: Latin American Company Goals for Social Media
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