CMOs Sharpen Focus on Social Media

Yesterday, I highlighted some of the top-​level findings of  the February 2014 CMO Survey from Dr. Christine Moorman at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. This survey also queried senior marketing professionals about Social mediasocial media. The results reveal that social media continues to grow as a percentage of the total marketing budget but enterprises continue to struggle with integration.

Currently social media spending accounts for 7.4% of the marketing budget on average. Enterprises vary with respect to the commitment they are making to social media. In this format, B2C service firms lead the way:

  • B2B Product 6.9%
  • B2B Services 7.2%
  • B2C Product 7.7%
  • B2C Services 8.9%

In the next 5 years, social media may capture as much as 18.1% of the budget. This is a strong vote of confidence for a format that only 50% of marketers can connect to any impact on business. Here’s what CMOs say about social media:

  • We can show impact quantitatively 15.9%
  • We have a qualitative sense of impact but not quantitative 34.8%
  • We cannot show impact yet 49.2%

Enterprises rate their social media integration to their marketing strategy as 3.8 out of 7. This number has remain unchanged over the past few  years. CMOs may begin to see some improvement in this number soon. While 7.1% of the marketing budget is spent on analytics this year, about 12.2% of marketing dollars will go to analytics 3 years from now.

Enterprises are  also increasing the number of people working on social media. On average, 4.1 internal employees are dedicated to social media and firms use another 2.1 workers as outsourcers. B2C product firms have made the biggest social commitment, having 5.7 employees on staff and outsourcing work to another 3.9 individuals. Keep in mind that the firms in this study are typically larger, with membership in the Fortune 1,000 or Forbes 200.

But these figures do confirm the growing influence of social media. What's your prediction about social media? Will large companies begin to cut back on their investment if they cannot find a good way to measure the impact on the bottom line?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.