Is the rise of social media in marketing making the CMO function stronger?
Recent surveys and research — including early results of our own Year 2 survey currently in progress — offer findings that point in the same direction. Within the C-suite, CMOs are most likely to be heavily utilizing socially-generated data in their operations and expressing high levels of optimism about the growing importance of social business for their function and for their business as a whole.
An important implication of this increased reliance on social data is the potential of growing strength and influence of the CMO function within the enterprise.
Several specific findings speak to this growing connection between CMOs, social data and a stronger function. For instance:
- In a survey of 100 CMOs last year of members of the CMO Club an organization of marketing executives by software vendor Bazaarvoice 89% of respondents reported that social data has influenced their decisions, and 82% said it has had a measurable impact on brand awareness. The report’s authors noted that CMOs were using social data to “drive discussion in the C-suite”, and thereby were elevating themselves as owners of the brand-consumer relationship. We reported and commented on this study in our September 20 blog post, Chief Marketing Officers See True Value in Social Media.
- According to Data Rich and Insight Poor, a research study of 700 marketers who attended the DMA2012 Annual Conference and Forrester Research eBusiness Forum, almost 80% of marketers plan to make greater use of customers’ social media data to drive marketing campaigns in other channels in 2013.
- The CMO Survey, a nationwide poll of chief marketing officers conducted twice annually by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association surveyed 3,778 top marketing executives at Fortune 100, Forbes Top 200 and CMO Club companies in early 2012. When asked whether leading social media for their company was considered to be one of their functions, 77% of respondents answered affirmatively. The proportion of CMOs who agree has grown over the last few survey years, from 71% in 2010 and 73% in 2011. Respondents also reported that marketing budgets have been increasing as a percentage of the firm’s overall budget — from 8.1% in February 2011 to 11.4% in August 2012.