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CMOs Invest in Analytics to Better Assess Social Media's Impact

Spending on social marketing grows as execs seek more insights on its effectiveness

September 9, 2016 | Marketing

Social media ad spending continues to grow in the US, with eMarketer forecasting the format will make up more than 20% of digital ad spending by 2017. Yet even as marketers’ social media budgets increase, many are still struggling to make sense of its overall impact on their business.

US B2B vs. B2C Marketing Executives Who Can Show the Effect of Social Media on Their Business, by Sector, Aug 2014-Aug 2016 (% of respondents)

Based on an August survey of US-based CMOs by Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, executives from across the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors are still figuring out how to gauge the true effect of social media on their business. The problem is more pronounced for those in the B2B sector, where nearly half of respondents haven’t yet been able to show the impact of social media. Many in the B2C sector have had better luck showing the qualitative impact of social, although 60% or more of CMOs still they did not know the channel’s quantitative impact.

One result of this uncertainty is that more CMOs report they are increasing their investments in social media marketing analytics. According to Duke’s survey, one-third of US CMOs were using marketing analytics to measure their social media efforts, a number which has been on the rise.

Areas in Which US Marketing Executives Use Marketing Analytics to Make Decisions, Aug 2015, Feb 2016 & Aug 2016 (% of respondents)

Another outgrowth of this uncertainty is that more marketers are taking a closer look at the return on investment (ROI) of various social media platforms. According to one March 2016 survey, Facebook offered the best ROI of any social media platform, with more than 98% of marketers picking the company as one of their top choices.

Test Your Cross-Platform Attribution Know-How

More than eight in 10 US senior-level agency and marketing professionals polled said they were interested in learning more about multichannel attribution in 2016.


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