How the nation's top marketers are counting on social media

How the nation’s top marketers are counting on social media

Twice a year a survey is delivered to almost 3,000 of America’s top marketers, the Mad Men and Mad Women of companies like Walmart, GE and Procter & Gamble. Organized by the American Marketing Association, the prestigious McKinsey Consulting Group, and Christine Moorman, a professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the survey is meant to help predict where marketing is going. It also reports on where social media marketing is going, too. Here are three interesting takeaways on the social media plans of these top marketers, as reported in latest edition of the CMO Survey.

1. Most social media budgets are moving in only one direction — up

Today almost 10% of marketing budgets are being spent on social media. Next year it will be almost 15%, and in five years it will be close to 25%.

Social media: planned spend

Source: CMO Survey, February 2015

2. Some industries have surprisingly aggressive plans for spending on social media

Below are what the plans for social media spending look like when segmented by industry. We might have expected consumer / packaged goods and communication / media firms to devote ever larger portions of their total marketing budgets to social media. But industries such as transportation and healthcare / pharmaceuticals? Big surprise: they have surprisingly aggressive plans for spending on social media.

Social media spending plans by industry

CMO Survey and Emphatic


3. Outside providers like Emphatic are playing a large and growing role in helping companies thrive on social media

The graph below shows that almost 20% of the survey’s respondents rely on outside agencies for help with social media. It’s easy to understand why. Social media is extremely time- and labor-intensive to do at all, let alone well. The number of platforms, the frequent interaction that’s needed to make an impact, and the constant monitoring of when customers are speaking to and about you means that marketing departments are even more stretched than before. This is why we were inspired to develop a service in which has writers from around the U.S. creating social media content for busy marketers and business owners.

Social media: outside agencies

Source: CMO Survey, February 2015


How do the social media insights from the CMO Survey compare to what you’re experiencing in your own companies? Please let us know in the comments.