Twitter may be booming, Facebook stratospheric, but leading chief marketing officers are apparently yet to send the dollars wildly chasing the traffic.
A new study shows 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, further 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 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 some companies are grappling with putting together social-media marketing policies internally. 31% report 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."