Posted December 22, 2009 1:40 pm by with 2 comments

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It is often pointed out that the disconnect from those in the social media trenches to those in the C-level corner offices is significant and often damaging to the marketing efforts of many companies. While it can be fun to generalize and then make those at the top of the marketing food chain the culprits in the “Great Social Media Under-utilization Caper” it is starting to become much less accurate.

One way to see that CMO’s are taking a real interest in social media and user generated media as part of their overall marketing efforts is to see the results of a recent study done by the CMO Club. That’s right. CMO’s hang out in a club while you slave away at your community building efforts. It’s all cigars and mahogany furniture around the fireplace for the CMO set. Just kidding. In fact, The CMO Club and Bazaarvoice surveyed 133 active CMO’s to get their real world take on social media. Here’s how the respondents were broken out

Of these, 42% focus on business-to-consumer marketing, 41% focus on business-to-business marketing, and 17% market to both consumers and businesses.

Leading participating industries include software/hardware (17%), finance/insurance (9%), travel/hospitality (9%), media/publishing (9%), consumer goods (8%), and retail (7.5%), among others. Annual revenues ranged from $6 to $50 million (25%), $51 to $999 million (42%), and over $1 billion (23%).

So what did they find? This chart is pretty telling as they attack the three letters that keep most CMO’s up at night: ROI.

ROI is certainly the Holy Grail of the C-suite with regard to every facet of marketing. What makes it difficult for social media is that there are not real clearly defined measurements or metrics that create a line to what is termed social commerce.

Whether you are a C-level marketer or a day-to-day social media practitioner what are your thoughts on measurement in the social media space? What do you use for tools? Where are you having success and where are you having trouble?

Feel free to download a white paper synopsis of some of the findings of the survey. Maybe the more that C-level marketers and the ‘rank and file’ of marketing work together there can be more advancement in this emerging field. Is that a reality at your work or is that just a fantasy?

  • Fred.

    Good article. Thank you for an article does not include a discussion whether the ROI exists or not.

    Hopefully, in 2010 we will turn our attention to really work with the Social Media ROI. I pulled together an ROI calculator in Excel in the early part of this year and I am seeing a lot of interest in it.

    So again, thanks for a good article.


  • Thanks for the CMO Club article. Very humorous touch!

    One comment re measuring elusive ROI: there are actually many ways to measure ROI, and I have demonstrated this in my organization.

    For more details on ways to measure ROI, readers may be interested in David Berkowitz’s “100 ways” writings, or the articles available from http://www.radian6.

    Importantly, both sources emphasize starting with goals.

    Strategic Goals may include:

    ROI metrics may include:

    Revenue and BizDev – Speed of sales cycle, Number / % of repeat business, % customer retention, transaction value, referrals, net new leads, cost per lead, conversions from community

    Cost savings – issue resolution time, % of issues resolved online, account turnover, employee turnover, hiring/recruiting costs, new product ideas, development cycle time, product/service adoption rate

    …but I’ll leave it to them to provide the details.

    Enjoy, and holla back @eda2day or via

    all the best,