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March 26, 2012

In so many ways business success rests heavily on a company’s ability to communicate it’s unique differences and market those benefits to consumers. And in so many ways the challenges and opportunities posed by the world of social networking draw on those very same elements just supercharged by technology.

Incredibly the explosive growth of social networking seems to have caught much of the marketing world by surprise. Nearly 70% of chief marketing officers say they feel unprepared for the integrating social networking into their marketing mix, with the key dilemma being their simple lack of a starting point for these new efforts.

These new insights on the challenges facing marketing and competitive positioning in the world of social networking are the core elements of Part 4 of the newest study from the Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council of North America. Previous parts of the report have detailed the incredible scope of the social web, the basic needs satisfied by Facebook, Twitter and others networks.

Part 4 examines the questions companies must ask themselves as they enter the world of marketing on the social web, especially as they try to project their core values in this new world.  The report, conducted by The Integer Group http://www.integer.com/ , urges companies to examine how to use social networks to listen to and understand the consumers, to participate in their discussions and to create places for consumers to gather and build loyalty.

But it all begins with understanding the challenge and based on the statistics, that understanding is long overdue. Download this new section of the study at www.ccrrc.org (North America page).

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council of North America