Social media is not a quick fix solution for businesses to increase sales and revenue; however, with the proper amount of time, commitment, and resources involved it has huge potential. It seems more and more executives are coming around to this notion as well. According to a recent study conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, CMOs are continuing to project significant increases in social media spending in the next 5 years.
The survey shows that while traditional advertising spending (traditional advertising refers to media advertising that doesn’t use the web) will decrease, spending in areas like customer relationship management and brand building will increase. Not surprisingly, these are two areas of marketing that social media lends itself to rather well.
Due to the real time interactions that can take place on social networks, many businesses and brands use the platforms as a form of customer service. Concerns and complaints, as well as compliments, can be addressed genuinely on the public forums, which increased trust in the business. The same can be said about brand awareness on the platforms, with businesses able to reach new potential customer audiences more directly than ever before.
That’s not to say traditional marketing knowledge will be wiped out. Anyone involved in social media marketing knows that a combination of marketing knowledge and social media understanding is crucial for a business to do well. For that reason, spending on marketing knowledge is expected to remain strong.
This includes marketing research and intelligence, developing knowledge about how to do marketing, and integrating what we know about marketing. Understanding classic marketing approaches combined with social media nuance will absolutely make the best partnership for companies.
General spending on marketing is also expected to increase, with social media spending expected to be 18.8% of marketing budgets in 5 years. This is a vote of confidence from executives for social media marketing abilities; however, the majority of those surveyed feel social media is not integrated well into an overall marketing strategy and neither is customer information.
This shows the disconnect that many businesses face in their commitment to social media – social media works best when it is done in addition to some well chosen traditional methods, not instead of, and it is well thought of planned and executed. Spending on marketing analytics is expected to increase 60% in three years, which is important for businesses – in order to make the most of these efforts, businesses need to track and understand analytics.
Overall, these projected numbers show a great deal of support for social media marketing possibilities. With the development of integrated social media strategies, there is a lot of room for growth in this field.