One social marketer I heard speak described the whole social media scene as the “wild west”.

Consumer companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike and Starbucks use social media to successfully build brand awareness and track what their customers want, only 26 percent of CMOs track blogs and 40 percent track any online communications. 82 percent still rely on traditional market research.

Here’s an article about a survey IBM did that has this information and a whole lot more.

I have to admit, as a creative, I’ve always looked at marketing data, focus groups, etc. with a bit of suspicion. Data, facts and figures can point in a direction, but it seems to me that inspiration and creativity is what makes or breaks a great marketing effort.

Steve Jobs passing has brought all sorts of quotes to mind, but I especially like this one as reported by the New York Times: Jobs said “his own study and intuition, not focus groups, were his guide. When a reporter asked what market research went into the iPad, Mr. Jobs replied: ‘None. It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.'”

I don’t think he meant this in an arrogant way- although it comes off like that- I think he was encouraging people to rely and trust the creative side more and use the data as a map, not a goal.