Is it time to feel optimistic again? Results of a Duke University Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association survey seem to indicate that more businesses are feeling good, or at least better, about the economic climate and their own companies’ future. They’re feeling good about the economy, about hiring, and about increased spending in marketing, including social media. What is most interesting about this survey, though, is that it points to a disconnect between spending on social media marketing and actually knowing how to integrate into marketing campaigns and business strategies.
The survey looked at 3,778 marketing executives at Fortune 100, Forbes 200, and CMO Club companies, and the positive results are due to an expectation of a rebounding economy, higher customer spending and prices, and new customers entering the market. In August 2010, CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) rated the economy at 56 out of 100. This increased to 63 this year. An even bigger jump occurred in the level of optimism: in 2010, 26 were optimistic about the national economy. This time around, that soared to 69 percent.
Hiring also looks strong; CMOs anticipate hiring 50 percent more professionals in the marketing field in the coming year, and spending on social marketing is projected to go from 6 percent currently to over 18 percent by 2016. Despite this, marketers are not really sure how to structure social media marketing campaigns.
Most CMOs don’t think that social media, whether accounts with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other sites, are integrated with their companies’ overall strategy. This means that while they’re using social media, they’re not really making it a cohesive part of the team. Only 11 percent of the CMOs said their company was “very effective” in using social media as part of their strategy.
Despite this, the optimism remains, and the disconnect is seen as temporary, as the learning curve that social media has presented marketers with narrows and more data are forthcoming. Most marketers know that they have to take a multipronged approach to compete: that means integrating offline, online, and mobile strategies as part of a coherent whole.