Earlier this week, I blogged about small business owners and their opinions on their social media  efforts and results. A study on social media plans in another business sector, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, also appeared recently. The consensus among CPG participants seems to mirror the feelings of small business owners – social media is an excellent channel for communicating with existing customers.

Today’s CPG company is likely to use several forms of social media. And senior managers don’t always have high expectations for outcomes. Many still consider the channel to be experimental and nearly 1/3rd say that social media has no priority in their organization. Another 1/3rd say that as a media channel, it lacks metrics.

Here’s what senior executives see as a primary objective when investing in this channel:

  • Understanding customer insights 43%
  • Seeking new growth areas 22%
  • Testing advertising/promotions  24%
  • Product development feedback 22%
  • All of the above 54%
  • Other 11%

CPG company executives say they believe social media will help them to build branded communities (46%) and create loyalty by being available when consumers want them (35%).  For now, only 3% of surveyed CPG companies say that their social media efforts have contributed to 10% or more of sales. And the vast majority (73%) intend to slowly execute strategies after they identify which tools consumers use and then focus on those tools to enrich the customer experience.

While the interest in social media remains high, CPG companies appear to be in no rush to invest significant dollars in this channel as a sales driver until the outcomes appear more certain.

[Source: Romanow, Kara. Social Media Initiatives. Consumer Goods Today. Sept. 2010. Web. 14 Oct. 2010]