Marketing and Social Media Spending Increases Planned by Leading Businesses

Christine Moorman, at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business has been publishing her CMO survey twice a year since 2009. The latest report, released today, shows that top marketers at leading U.S. business are most optimistic now, at a 63.4 level out of 100, than they have been at any point in the past 3 years regarding the economic outlook. This optimism is translating into higher marketing budgets and bigger investments in social media.

Respondents to Moorman’s survey list a score of 72.8 out of  100 for rising revenue in their own companies. These projections come from the expectation that customers will buy more products and services. In the next year, these marketers believe the top priorities for customers on the path to purchase will be:

  • Quality 9.1%
  • Service 56.2%
  • Brand 10.3%

By sector, both B2B Services and B2C Products plan to emphasize new markets/​products at significantly higher rates over last August when the previous survey was taken. Marketing to accompany these efforts will increase as well, and by sector, will look like this:


  • B2B product 13.2%
  • B2B service 6.2%
  • B2C Product 3.3%
  • B2C Service 4.6%

Planned traditional media spending will drop from previous levels (in August 2011) by 0.8% while Internet marketing will rise 12.8%.  Marketers say their advertising will focus on customer relationship management and brand building.

The actual marketing spend as a percentage of revenue by economic sector will look like this for the next 6 months:

  • B2B Product 8.7%
  • B2B Services 8.2%
  • B2C Product 16.1%
  • B2C Services 16.8%

As has been the case in previous surveys, the ratios of marketing budgets to company revenue decrease as enterprise size increases. For example, businesses with less than $25 million in revenue spend 10.7% on marketing with the comparable statistic for larger concerns, those with revenue exceeding $10 billion is 8.8%.

Another notable finding is the continued rise of social media as a percentage of the marketing budget. Currently at 7.4%, spending on this format is expected to consume 10.8% of the marketing budget within the next year and 19.5%  when looking 5 years out. The only sectors seeing a slight pullback on social media between the previous and current survey is B2B services and B2C product.

[Source: Moorman, Christine. Highlights and Insights. CMO Survey​.org. February 2012. Web. 29 Feb. 2012] 
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.