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The Top 20 Most Social CMOs in the Fortune 100

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This fall, Mark Fidelman, our Conference Director of BusinessNext Social, set out to find the most socially active group of CMOs in the Fortune 100.  Surprisingly, the group is overall not on the early adopter end of the social media spectrum. Only one in five CMOs or top-level marketing / communications executives from the Fortune 100 list have an active public presence on social networks. In our experience, having a large digital network is a significant advantage for anyone in positions where communication and influence are key ingredients to success.

The study revealed that the following individuals have social influence which distinguishes them from their peers. Mark said, “These visionaries have demonstrated their ability to sustain an adaptive social business by implementing new strategies, embracing cutting-edge mobile and social technologies and developing engaging content.”

20121109-BusinessNext-Speakers

Note: Only the highest ranking marketing executives were considered in each of the companies.

Methodology

While CMOs may apply different methodologies for engaging digital communities on an array of social platforms, these few rank highly on a formula pioneered by Mark Fidelman that considers metrics such as Twitter followers, retweet frequency, social engagement frequency, social mentions, KRED scores, and Klout scores. Weights are assigned to each factor to determine the final rankings of each CMO’s social impact.

Why Is This Important?

There is obviously a major discrepancy between the low social rankings of most CMOs and the significant focus placed on the impact of social media in business and the evolving role that marketers are taking in social media activities. A recent CMOSurvey.org study predicts that social media spending as a percent of rising marketing budgets is expected to increase from 7.6 to 18.8 percent over the next 5 years, while Gartner Research predicts the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017.

Ironically, these 100 CMOs are charged with leading social initiatives for the world’s largest enterprises, yet our analysis shows that the majority have relatively little experience building influencer communities. “That is a major stumbling block,” says Mark.  “The consensus among the people who top our list is that CMOs need first-hand experience building online communities to connect with customers and foster loyalty, trust and engagements.”

“An adaptive business is the only business that will survive the new challenges ahead, challenges caused by a massive shift of power from corporations and traditional media to customers and influencers. Companies that don’t make the transition to adaptive, social business will face overwhelming challenges that they are ill-prepared to overcome. Too often, we’ve witnessed organizations fail to understand and act on these shifts, and surrender to their competitors and creditors.

 We want to change that. 

 At BusinessNext Social, we’re giving business leaders the opportunity to learn how the most successful companies remain relevant, sustainable and profitable. What’s the secret? Combining new social and mobile technologies with smart content. When produced in the right culture, this creates a powerful growth machine that can automatically adjust to changes in market conditions.” 

– Mark Fidelman, Conference Director, BusinessNext Social

If Mark’s vision for social business sounds too good to be true, then we have to recognize that the transition to social business is incredibly difficult.  And, effective change needs to start at the top.  Only by “walking the talk’’ can CMOs and other C-level executives demonstrate credibility and set the example for fellow workers.  Clearly, some CMOs already “get it.” Dozens will be speaking at the upcoming conference and hundreds more will join. But what about Fortune 100 executives leading some of the most prominent brands that touch our everyday lives? How many of them are leveraging the power of social as a best business practice?

What do you think? Does the future belong to those who know how to grow and influence their own digital networks?  Are CMOs and other C-level executives equipped to drive social inside the organization and out?

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