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The Good News and Bad News When it Comes to CMOs and Social Media

Steve Olenski
Director of CMO Content & Strategy

I am tempted to ask if you want the good news first or the bad news? Maybe I should pen two separate posts, one with the good news first and the other with the bad news leading off. 

Nah, too much work.

Let's dive right into the good news. According to the most recent edition of the biannual CMO Survey from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, spending among CMOs as part of their overall budget when it comes to social media marketing is expected to increase 97% over the next five years. 

Yes, he said 97%. 

Right now social media accounts for 10.6% of their overall budget with that number to climb to 20.9% in the next five years. As to how that overall increase breaks down across B2B and B2C, well see for yourself. 

  • B2B Product - 129% 
  • B2B Services - 68%
  • B2B Overall - 90%
  • B2C Product - 146%
  • B2C Services - 102%
  • B2C Overall - 120%

Overall the numbers are in fact good news. However, the one number that sticks out is the 68% increase expected for B2B services vs. the other increases, each over 100%. Not sure why the B2B Services increase would be so significantly lower than that for B2B Product? 

On the other hand, maybe it's the other numbers - the larger increases that are out of whack, if you will. 

Take a look:

Now pay close attention to the B2B columns, specifically the 61.0% and 42.1% which represent the percentage of CMOs who say they have not been able to show the impact of social media on their business for Product and Services, respectively. 

Could it be that B2B Services CMOs are in fact more attuned to the role social media is playing than the other 3 areas? B2B Product CMOs are increasing their spend while they have the highest percentage who claim they can't show the impact? 

Something is astray for sure. 

The "Real" Bad News

Ok so the above may or may not be good news, depending on how you look at it. However, there is no denying this below is in indeed bad news. 

Christine Moorman, a professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and director of The CMO Survey puts it quite bluntly when it comes to this particular finding. “Integrating social media activities with the rest of the company’s marketing strategy also remains a challenge, with no improvement in this rating over time.” 

It is pretty astonishing to see that since February of 2012 the response has essentially been the same with just a slight glimmer of hope over the last two versions of the survey. My assumption as to why this "flat-lining" if you will is occurring is due to the fact that far too many CMOs - be they B2B or B2C still do not know what to do with social media when it comes to "adding it to the mix" along with all other parts of their marketing.

Either because of their technologies or platforms or because they simply do not care to integrate it. They are fine with leaving where it is, on its own in many cases. 

Regardless of the reason, the best thing they can do, and you, is to download the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Social Marketing

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