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Marketers Not Seeing Social Media ROI

social marketing . / Credit: Social Media Image via Shutterstock

Despite their continued investment in social media, the majority of businesses aren't seeing its value, new research shows.

A study by Duke University professor Christine Moorman revealed that only 14 percent of chief marketing officers (CMOs) have found a quantitative impact on their social media marketing expenditures, while nearly half have not been able to show that their company's social media activities have made a difference.

However, despite the lack of results, marketers are expected to increase expenditures in social media from 6.6 percent to 15.8 percent over the next five years.

With that increased investment, however, comes more pressure to make sure the money is being spent wisely. The research discovered that 66 percent of CMOs are experiencing more pressure to prove the value of marketing from their CEOs and boards, and of those, two-thirds report that this pressure is mounting. 

"Marketing leadership requires that CMOs offer strong evidence that strategic marketing investments are paying off for their firms in the short and long run," Moorman said. "CMOs will only earn a 'seat at the table' if they can demonstrate the effect of their marketing spend."

Big Data is another area marketers are planning to increase their investment in in the coming years. The study found that marketing analytics, marketing's version of Big Data, is expected to represent nearly 10 percent of marketing budgets within the next three years, up from slightly more than 5 percent this year.

Marketers are also increasing their efforts in collecting data about online customer behaviors. Researchers found that 60 percent of businesses are currently collecting online customer behavior data for targeting purposes. That number is projected to increase to nearly 90 percent in the coming years.

The study was based on surveys of 410 CMOs.

Originally on BusinessNewsDaily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.