Seven out of ten marketers expect their companies to increase spending on social media in 2014, according to a new survey of 328 marketing professionals conducted by Decipher on behalf of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association.
That proportion (70%) compares to 53% who expect their companies to increase spending on email marketing, 16% who expect more print spending, 14% more product sampling, and 9% more TV advertising. The study, titled “State of Word of Mouth Marketing Survey,” also found that 29% expect to increase spending on “offline word of mouth” marketing.
It’s not all wine and roses for social media marketing, however: in the same survey, 79% of marketing pros said two of their biggest obstacles are measuring online social media (79%) and demonstrating return on investment (85%). Measuring offline word-of-mouth is an even bigger issue (89%).
Towards that end WOMMA has commissioned a new measurement initiative, “The Value of WOM Study,” and retained Sequent Partners to lead a market mix modeling project to put a dollar value on online and offline WOM campaigns.
While ROI remains an issue, social media is clearly poised for growth. In October a report and forecast from ZenithOptimedia estimated that total social media advertising spending will reach $4.6 billion this year, up 35% from $3.4 billion in 2012; looking ahead, ZO sees social media ad spending climbing to $8.22 billion by 2015, which suggests a cumulative annual growth rate of around 35% over the next two years.
According to the CMO Survey from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which polled 410 marketing executives from July 16-August 6, 2013, 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.