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Especially in this time of hype, hyper-competition, and Wall Street prodding, you might well be overlooking the core marketing strategies and tactics behind social media. Most often overlooked is that social media generates customer intelligence. If you're not using such customer intelligence to inform marketing decisions, then you're missing out on a major opportunity to extend the reach and effectiveness of your  marketing efforts.

No brand marketer would spend $1 million without some information about the risk and rewards involved. Social media is the best source to inform those risks and rewards. It's a predictor of success, and it offers clues about the source of failures. It is a window into the ultimate focus group, yet marketers still struggle with how to measure and glean its value by integrating its stream of constant, real-time data into their overall marketing strategy.

The latest Association of National Advertisers survey finds that 90% of companies are using social media as part of their digital marketing efforts, but 62% report they are concerned about measuring ROI—indicating at least some difficulty in deriving useful intelligence from their social media efforts.

This article illustrates how you can tie the kind of rich, actionable customer intelligence you can glean from social media into five overarching marketing decisions.

1. Retail Partner Valuation

At Compass Labs, we recently executed a campaign for a major consumer packaged goods brand, in the process unearthing a simple yet extremely significant fact: Its customers had more affinity for one mass market retailer than for others--in fact, much more affinity. The company used this information to drive more sales through that particular retailer by steering more overall advertising dollars its way.

But that's not the only way that information could have been used. For example, the company could have used the information to build business at a secondary retailer, or it could have used the information to affect pricing and packaging. As it is, that little piece of information paid huge dividends and informed critical decisions.

2. Customer Acquisition Strategies

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image of Molly Glover Gallatin
Molly Glover Gallatin is vice-president of marketing at Compass Labs, provider of a social media advertising and customer intelligence platform. She has 15+ years of media and marketing management experience.