Recent data regarding the use of social media in businesses aggregated

I tweeted, retweeted, bookmarked or Facebooked this earlier (I don’t even remember when and how) but finally found the time to write a bit about it. Two recent studies conclude that “social media are becoming a viable tool in a business marketing mix”. 

I haven’t checked them in detail (which I usually do) but limited myself to some key data, based on this 11 days old blog post on brand strategist Valeria Maltoni’s Conversation Agent (hope you don’t mind, Valeria) since she also adds some nice stats, data from Forrester, etc.

As always, be careful with studies because for each one that says social media marketing is booming, there is one that says something else 🙂

However, I guess that with the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) 3rd Annual Marketing Trends Study and The CMO Survey undertaken by the Duke University Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association, we are quite safe.

While The CMO survey provides insights on the budget investment and market composition delta, the MENG Trend Study offers a couple of data points that confirm social media is built from the inside. 

Who will take care of my social media marketing?

Key takeaways:

  • It is most likely that companies will maintain a blog rather than individual executives. Smaller companies excepted (fewer than 2,000 employees).
  • Most executives, 71% surveyed, will implement internally. Of the rest, interactive agencies lead with 28%, 25% vote for social media consultants, 20% for PR agencies, and 16% would like to go to ad agencies.
  • Both large (46%) and small companies (41%) plan to employ social media consultants. Hiring will be on their priority if they outsource the creation of social media strategies. Next in line are interactive, PR and ad agencies.
  • Larger companies that outsource social media initiatives plan to turn to interactive agencies (33%), ad agencies (31%), PR agencies (26%) and social media consultants (24%).

I want my, I want my ROI

It is suspected that PR agencies can gain ground over their interactive competitors.

The biggest challenge for PR agencies will be that of measurement. The MNEG study clearly shows that marketing ROI is a top priority.

Industry is predicting a nice upward trend in the next 12 months to five years from the CMO survey. The 12-month  increase is expected to be going towards better listening and reporting tools that can integrate well with the existing marketing and sales automation. 

If we go by the new Forrester Research’s U.S. Interactive Marketing Forecast 2009-2014, the digital marketing expenditure in US marketing investments will continue to climb from 13% in 2010, to 17% in 2012, to 21% in 2014. But who gets the larger slice in the mix is not certain.

According to the forecast search marketing still leads the pack while email marketing, social media, and mobile marketing are taking incremental gains. 

To check out the graphs and more read Valeria’s post here and check out her 2010 SxSWi posts here.

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