Sep 16 2010
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Social media plays major role in marketing: Survey
The CMO Survey conducted by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association forecast that social media will grow to 18 percent from the current 6 percent of marketing budgets within five years.
B2C companies are devoting more resources to nurturing existing customer relationships through increased spending on social media, brand building and integrating what they know about customers into their work. About 32 percent of firms surveyed expect to eliminate channel partners and other 'middle man' relationships in order to maintain direct contact with customers while reducing costs.
"Consumer goods companies like Unilever and Procter & Gamble have been very effective at connecting with customers through social media. However, these results indicate that social media may be more difficult to apply in the service sector environment, where there isn't a tangible product for customers to relate to," said Christine Moorman, a professor at Duke Fuqua School of Business, and director of the survey.
Across the board, firms are still working to tie social media marketing to actual sales reports.
Most marketers said their firms use social media metrics that are not directly linked to sales, such as visits or page views (48 percent) and repeat visits (35 percent).
Less than one-third of companies use conversion tracking or customer-level revenue-related analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of social media efforts.
The survey also reveals that top marketing executives for US firms are optimistic about their own revenue prospects, but not as confident about the overall US economy. Their mixed outlook is reflected in marketing strategies focused on building and maintaining strong relationships with current customers while cautiously increasing marketing spending and hiring.
This optimism for their own companies is playing out in marketing spending, with companies planning to increase their marketing budgets by 9 percent, compared to a 1 percent planned increase reported just a year ago. "This optimism about their own companies is likely grounded in strong recent results," Moorman added.
The digital market space in the GCC region has experienced a remarkable growth over the last two years; while marketers have cut their spend on traditional print and outdoor media, expenditure on digital media has grown by more than 500 percent, according to statistics from global media agency, Maxus.
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