Chief marketing officers are looking more closely at returns from social marketing initiatives, according to a survey conducted by consumer ratings and reviews provider Bazaarvoice in conjunction with the CMO Club. The survey was conducted in October 2010 and sought information from 175 CMOs of business-to-consumer and business-to-business companies on their use of social media and their plans and expectations for the coming year.
In 2010 87% of the CMOs surveyed had engaged in company blogs, 86% in brand communities and 79% in Facebook. Although the proportion using customer reviews and ratings as a marketing tool was slightly lower (73%) 59% of this group reported average or significant ROI for this activity.
When asked which social activities resulted in the highest ROI, 15% of survey respondents identified Facebook as the best. Ratings and reviews sites ranked second (14%) with Twitter and LinkedIn also being nominated by over 10% of respondents. When Significant and Average ROI are combined Company/brand community and Company/brand blg out perform Facebook and these are the types of social media marketing activities in which fewest respondents are non-participants. The other statistic to note in this chart, which comes from eMarketer's analysis which is is the high proportion of "Don't know" answers over all types of activity.
(click chart to to enlarge)
The survey also highlighted the use of social media for listening to customers. In 2010, 89% of CMOs used some form of user-generated content to inform product and service decisions and for 2011 the percentage who intend to follow this strategy has has risen to 93%. of CMOs plan on using some form of user-generated content to inform product and service decisions. Top forms of user-generated content used in 2010 include customer stories (59%), product suggestions or ideas (54%), polling (49%), and customer reviews (47%) and each of these is set to increase to over 70%.
The survey revealed problems in measuring ROI on social activities in terms of conversion and sales metrics. Despite these difficulties three quarters of CMOs expect to tie social media to revenue in 2011.
For more information the report CMOs on Social Marketing Plans for 2011, can be downloaded from Bazaarvoice.
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