Friendless: Chief Marketers Spend Little On Social Media

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Twitter may be booming, and Facebook stratospheric -- but leading chief marketing officers apparently have not yet sent the dollars wildly chasing the traffic.

A new study shows that nearly 85% of CMOs spend less than 10% of their budgets on social media, and what's described as "non-traditional communications channels."

The research from Hill & Knowlton and peer networking group the CMO Club also found that 55% spend 5% or less in the emerging arenas. The figures come in light of Pew & American Life Internet Project research showing that in 2008, 35% of adult Internet users had profiles on social networks -- up from 8% in 2005.

Pete Krainik -- the former marketing chief at Avaya and DoubleClick CMO, who is now leading the CMO Club -- states that using new-media marketing is critical as the former push approach in marketing has switched to more of a pull dynamic.

"Marketing used to be a linear process, with a discussion flowing from the CMO to the target audience," he states. "In today's digital age, communication has evolved into a new model that requires active listening and engaging in numerous conversations."

The CMO Club has 800 members, and 124 were surveyed for the study between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.

One hurdle: Club members indicated that some companies are grappling with putting together social-media marketing policies internally. Thirty-one percent report that their companies are developing a policy -- and an additional 30% say they have one. A policy can be crucial in deciding how much to enlist bloggers as evangelists.

MaryLee Sachs, a top Hill & Knowlton executive, states: "Everyone is an influencer in today's marketplace. Building advocacy by engaging all audiences can lend a tremendous amount of credibility to any marketing program. A holistic approach helps forge new paths to customers, generating brand loyalty and building critical relationships."

2 comments about "Friendless: Chief Marketers Spend Little On Social Media ".
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  1. Rodney Brooks from ToTouch One, Inc, November 17, 2009 at 1:06 p.m.

    If they know it is important then why drag their feet in putting it into practice?

  2. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, November 17, 2009 at 4:20 p.m.

    I agree with the CMO's. Not the platform to spend much money. They already have a myriad of ways to market that are much more impressive for ROI. Social Media is really people's private conversations. They do not want to be intruded upon by brands. The biggest value for a CMO to use social media to to listen to what people are saying vs marketing via the technology to them. And anything they do outside of social media that gets spread virally via social media is free! Like when Quizno's gave away 250,000 subs to the first 250k people to go to their website and give their email. I told all my Facebook friends about this offer. That was free for Quizno's.

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