A report from Columbia Business School's Center on Global Brand Leadership and New York American Marketing Association found that many companies are not adequately integrating audience data into their marketing content.

Businesses with social media marketing campaigns are struggling to use the data they gather from social networks as part of their greater targeted marketing strategies, a report from the Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership and New York American Marketing Association suggests. Companies are missing opportunities to inform their overall content marketing campaigns, which could be costing them leads and sales.

According to the study, 51 percent of companies said their business does not share social feedback throughout the business, which leads to wasted information. Essentially, social media provides them with a good look into the desires and issues of their target audiences, but they do not properly share the insights to inform other kinds of marketing.

Moreover, 45 percent said they have not successfully used the data from various new media marketing channels to improve content marketing campaigns. Integrating information gleaned about audiences to target news articles or blog posts written as part of a content marketing campaign helps businesses ensure that these initiatives reach the correct audiences.

Thirty-one percent of companies said they’d like to collect data on a daily basis. However, the frequency with which information is harvested means very little if it is not applied to marketing content sufficiently.

Brafton recently reported that developing website content can help companies improve their web presence and bolster brand awareness. However, if content is not targeted appropriately, any campaign will struggle to achieve its goals. Indeed, an expert forum that met toward the end of 2011 agreed that the success of content marketing lies in its ability to speak to niche audiences.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.