It's no secret that the marketing landscape continues to evolve, including the modern CMO's approach to accelerating his or her organization's "buzz," lead generation, and content engagement efforts.

However, one additional crucial element of marketing that all CMOs need to be addressing right now is social listening and analytics.

Social data has the ability to transform and better inform the decisions CMOs make within their organizations every day, and it can heavily influence long-term marketing tactics.

Social intelligence can provide tremendous value, but if the modern CMOs don't start acknowledging (and acting on) the value social data provides—they risk losing brand relevancy and losing touch with their consumer base in a hurry.

So, how can CMOs begin to factor social intelligence into their business approach? What do they need to understand to fully take advantage of social data?

Here are some tips that can help CMOs take the first important steps toward factoring social listening into their overall agenda—and leap data-first into the future.

1. Hiring for social data success

First item on the CMO's agenda for 2016: hire data analysts within the marketing department. Creating and expanding a group of data analysts can only help deepen social insights throughout marketing (and companywide).

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image of Will McInnes

Will McInnes is CMO of social intelligence platform Brandwatch. He's also a board member of the Big Boulder Initiative, the mission of which is to establish the foundation for the long-term success of the social data industry..

LinkedIn: Will McInnes