The American Marketing Association and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business have released a new survey, shedding more light on the trials and tribulations for CMOs trying to integrate social media marketing into their mix. They surveyed over 400 marketers and report that over the next 12 months, social media spending will rise by almost 10% in marketing budgets and will almost double over the next five years with an increase of 18.1%.
According to the report, B2C and B2B service companies are planning the biggest increases since they have a larger portion of their budget set aside for social marketing compared to product companies. The survey also indicates they plan bigger percentages in the next 12 months and 5 years.
These results paint a much different picture than the August 2010 CMO survey did. At that time it was the other way around with product companies increasing their spends and service companies decreasing theirs.
It may be a case of product companies being faster out of the gate with social media marketing and now, after spending some time and effort in the channel, they are settling their budgets down a bit.
Integrating social media marketing in the multi-channel marketing mix
There's still a long way to go for most companies using social media marketing where integration in a global interactive marketing strategy is concerned. It's yet another channel which marketers have to fit into an overall strategy for getting their message out. It's easy to think about all these channels as separate because that may have been the perception of traditional media, but times have changed and channels have merged, at least for the cross-channel consumer.
Our (marketers) perception of the various marketing channels out there really doesn't mean a thing. It's the perception of the consumer which matters and they see them as content channels where they can access the information they need or want. If you are sensitive to consumer preferences and you are good at what you do then your marketing efforts should suit both your goals and the consumer's goals, by providing relevant and engaging information which drives leads and conversions.
Integrating social media into the marketing mix has become a very hot topic, but what you should really be considering is how to integrate your entire marketing plan across multiple channels so that it works together both for you and your customers. This means stepping back and taking a good look at where you are and where you want to go. It may mean stripping your marketing strategy down and rebuilding it. Sounds like a monumental task and while it is a major project, the rewards are worth it. The right solution partner is the best way to maximize your rewards while minimizing your stress.
Whenever, wherever and however should be your motto when it comes to serving the cross-channel consumer! The channel doesn't matter any more! What matters is choice and the only choice which matters is the consumer's choice.
The hottest topic in marketing and communication is without any doubt social media marketing.