I’m a big fan of the reports and industry studies from marketing analyst firm eMarketer. Some of the best in the business, IMO. And a report out last week based off the February 2011 CMO Survey from the American Marketing Association and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is music to my ears in terms of its insight.
The CMO Survey looked at the rate of integration of social media within companies’ marketing mix, as well as how well social media is actually being integrated. Some of the results were quite surprising. Let’s take a look at the key takeaways:
- Over the next 12 months, social media spending will nearly double to 9.8% of surveyed CMO’s marketing budgets, up from a current level of 5.6%.
- In the next five years, that percentage will increase to 18.1%.
- Service companies on the B2B and B2C will experience the biggest increases, as they look to promote product-focused digital and social media initiatives.
That’s the good news. The bad news, however, is that the confidence level among CMOs that they and their companies are successfully integrating social media into more traditional work and marketing strategies lags behind the increase in spending.
According to eMarketer, a full 25% of survey respondents said social is not effectively integrated at all within their companies. So, on the plus side, budget allocations toward social media are up — significantly — with the expectation that it will continue to rise in years to come. But, we still have a ways to go before we can say that yes, social media is as fully integrated and understood within marketing services as more traditional service offerings.
The timeliness of this report couldn’t have been better, as recent trends, revenue reports and a general feeling of buoyancy within the PR and ad industries point toward big agencies going into a buying and M&A frenzy to boost their agencies’ digital chops, as I wrote about last week.
As PRWeek pointed out in a recent editorial, “right now the conversation in PR is all about social media and digital, and no agency can seemingly have a glut of these skills and services on hand.”
The question is, will our industry’s bravado in the digital sector match clients’ expectations for top-level digital and social media services that just two years ago, we couldn’t match, and even now, ad agencies are chomping at the bit to reclaim?
Confidence is on the rise right now in PR; but do our marketing industry counterparts feel the same bluster?
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