A recent study of chief marketing officers (CMO) shows that social media is still poorly integrated with overall marketing strategy. On a 7-point scale, the mean integration score is 3.8. Lackluster results, right?

The CMO Survey, conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business with the American Marketing Association, shows close results per sector with B2C (business-to-consumer) products being the most integrated.

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The paradox is that CMOs indicate that their social media (SM) marketing budgets will rise over the next five years. As for analyzing their SM metrics, the majority of CMOs say their top measurement criterion is the number of hits/visits/page views (40.9%), followed by repeat visitors (24.9%) and friends/followers (30.5%).

I find these results disturbing:

  • A lot of money and time have been invested in social media marketing without integrating companies’ overall marketing strategies. Sorry, that’s just bad marketing and business practice.
  • Although it’s nice to have lots of page views and followers in social media, what’s the real ROI for social media marketing? The trend shows less of an emphasis on financial performance (sales levels, revenue per customer, profits per customer) and more on referral measures (friends and followers, buzz, net promoter score), as well as text analysis measurement.

BUT, what are these companies’ overall marketing objectives? Greater brand awareness? More revenue? Customer retention? Without a tie-in to their main marketing strategy, how do these companies know if social media marketing is advantageous?

What’s your company or organization doing? Does it integrate social media with its marketing strategy? How is it working out?

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