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Meanwhile, social media is only used by 16 percent of CEOs today, but that will skyrocket to 57 percent within three to five years, according to the study.
Another IBM study, of chief marketing officers, found that the explosion of data and social media represent two of the biggest areas where organizations report feeling unprepared, Dethloff said.
"Three themes from the CMO study are delivering value to empowered customers; fostering lasting connections; and capturing valuable and measurable results," she said. IBM itself is investing $2.5 billion in new capabilities to go after chief marketing officers as a new buyer opportunity, Dethloff said. "We're looking for ways to create new capabilities in the marketplace," she said.
One example is a new mid-market application for the iPad, designed for IBM business partners, that includes content and presentations to bring to a client. "The tool itself might not be the closer, but how and when you use the tools [is]," she said.