Report: Marketers struggling to gauge social media ROI

An organization’s online presence doesn’t come from a standalone department. CMOs offer tips for marketing pros to bridge the gap and improve communication.

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Chief marketing officers are spending more money on social media, but their confidence in its effectiveness is waning.

Data from Duke University’s semiannual CMO Survey show a discrepancy between organizations’ investments in social media marketing and their returns.

Here’s the gist, as reported by survey director and Duke professor Christine Moorman:

Social media spending is expected to climb to a 20.9 percent share of marketing budgets in the next five years. This share was only 5.6 percent in 2009. What is striking, however, is that only 3.4 percent of marketing leaders report that social media contributes very highly to firm performance; 40 percent report a below average contribution.

Despite the payout, senior marketers have suffered from a bit of buyer’s remorse, with 35 percent saying they were “less optimistic” about the overall economy (up from 13 percent in 2015).

In addition to an increase in social media spending, the survey’s data show that marketing budgets are projected to grow 7 percent in the coming year. On average, CMOs reported spending nearly 8.5 percent of revenue on marketing.

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