The relentless march of cell-only households
Six of one . . .

Where is the insight?

Just prior to the holidays the folks at the Harvard Business Review released the results of a survey that asked 2,100 companies about their use of social media. This finding is especially telling:

Nearly two-thirds of the 2,100 companies who participated said they are either currently using social media channels or have social media plans in the works. But many still say social media is an experiment, as they try to understand how to best use the different channels, gauge their effectiveness, and integrate social media into their strategy.

Despite the vast potential social media brings, many companies seem focused on social media activity primarily as a one-way promotional channel,  and have yet to capitalize on the ability to not only listen to, but analyze, consumer conversations and turn the information into insights that impact the bottom line.

The methodology of this particular study is underwhelming but the results are largely consistent with other things I see and hear, some of which I blogged about back in August. 

Were a modern day Rip Van Winkle to awake after 20 years with an interest in MR and the only sources available to him were conference proceedings and Twitter he probably would quickly conclude that MR=Social Media Analysis.  But outside of that echo chamber it's a different world. Despite all of the hand waving about social media, the NewMR, Web 2.0, etc. clients, for the most part, remain unconvinced. The latest estimates from Inside Research suggest that in terms of dollars spent social media research is barely above the noise level in an $8 billion US industry. For the moment, at least, it seems that we are losing the argument where it counts most.