CMOs Bullish On Social, Mobile Despite Measurement Concerns

Despite continued concerns about reliable measurement, a sampling of chief marketing officers expect to put nearly a quarter of their budgets toward social media over the next five years. That’s according to new findings from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which surveyed 255 U.S. marketing executives this summer. 

Yet, showing a clear market demand, only 15% of top marketers believe they currently have the proper tools to prove the impact of social spending.

“Closing the measurement gap is an area that companies must address if they are going to move social media into the canon of marketing strategy,” Christine Moorman, a professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and director of The CMO Survey, said on Tuesday.

“Most companies are still in the learning phase, hiring outside agencies to support them,” Moorman added. Nearly 22% of social media activities are being performed by outside agencies, top marketers say.

Meanwhile, spending on mobile advertising is expected to soar by 160% in the next three years, the research finds. Rating their mobile marketing as underperforming at the moment, marketers expect to spend more on analytics, even though they are still struggling to find the best use for customer data. 

At the moment, social media spending currently accounts for 10.7% of marketing budgets, by marketers’ estimates. Over the next five years, that share is expected to make up almost a quarter -- 23.8% -- of spending.  

Marketers ranked their integration of social media in overall marketing strategy at 4.2 on a 1-to-7 scale. Encouragingly, the score has not surpassed 4 over the previous four years, according to the researchers.

Meanwhile, other data shows that companies have not yet fully built out the capabilities that might be necessary to turn the use of social media into a competitive advantage for their companies. More broadly, only 36% of marketers said they are able to measure short-term impact of marketing analytics on their business, while just 31% of projects use the data, the survey found.

That said, the portion of budgets spent on gathering and analyzing customer data is expected to climb by 66% in the next three years. Supporting long-term trends, spending on digital marketing overall is expected to increase by 12.2%, with marketers predicting the amount spent on traditional advertising will fall by 2.1%.


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