Marketers to Spend More on Social Media, But ROI Remains Nebulous
There was good news and bad news for social media marketing to be found in the results of the latest CMO Survey from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which polled 410 marketing executives (most of them vice-presidents or above) from July 16-August 6, 2013. On the positive side, spending on social media marketing is expected to increase substantially in coming years; on the negative side, nobody seems quite sure what they’re achieving with it.
First the good news: CMO survey respondents said they expect social media marketing’s share of overall marketing budgets to increase from an average 6.6% currently to 9.1% over the coming year, and 15.8% over the next five years.
The biggest increases are coming in business-to-consumer products, where social media marketing will grow from a 7.3% share to a 19.5% share over the next five years, and business-to-consumer services (7.7% to 18.6%). Meanwhile social media marketing’s share of B2B product marketing spending is expected to increase from 5% to 13.3% over the next five years, and for B2B services from 7.8% to 15.5%.
Now on to the bad news. First of all, social media marketing is not well-integrated with overall marketing strategies, according to CMO Survey respondents: asked to rank their company’s social media integration on a scale of seven, the average response in the latest survey was 3.9 -- basically unchanged from the average score of 3.8 in the four preceding surveys, going back to February 2011. Integration of customer information actually appears to be getting worse, with marketing execs giving an average score of 3.4 -- down from 3.7 in the August 2012 survey.
The picture for return-on-investment isn’t much better, with 49% of respondents saying they haven’t been able to demonstrate any impact from social media marketing, and 36% saying they have a qualitative sense, but not quantitative. That leaves just 15% who say they have shown the impact quantitatively.