CMOs to spend more on social networking ads in 2010: survey

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Chief marketing officers will increase their spending on social media marketing next year and more often tie that spend to their revenue expectations and overall business goals. However, many are unsure about their return from marketing on social networking Web sites, according to a survey from industry group The CMO Club and Bazaarvoice, a social commerce vendor.

The research found that more than eight in 10 respondents (81%) expect to link up to 10% of their annual revenues to social media investment next year. Last year, only 44% expected to do so in 2009. Nearly three-fourths of respondents (72%) who did not attach revenue to social media spending this year said they will do so next year. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of CMOs surveyed said that they plan to increase their social media budgets next year.

However, at least half of respondents expressed uncertainty about ROI on using social media networks. Fifty-three percent of respondents are unsure about their return on Twitter, while half are unsure about the value of LinkedIn and the impact of industry blogs on business metrics.

High numbers of respondents, however, said they are tracking social media metrics. Ninety percent of respondents said they track site traffic, while more than eight in 10 said they keep track of page views (85%) and the number of fans (83%).

The survey queried 133 CMOs in September from industries including software, finance and insurance, travel and hospitality, media and publishing, consumer goods and retail. The CMO Club and Bazaarvoice will release the full research later this month.

Recent advertising spending reports by GroupM, ZenithOptimedia and Magna Global all saw online ad spending as the only medium with expected growth for this year. The online advertising industry will generate more than $60 billion in revenues next year, and $99 billion by 2015, according to Magna.

A CMO Club representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

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