Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Senior marketing execs see their companies moving to social media in 2010

MENG has just released the results of its third annual Marketing Trends study (which you can view here), and the results showed that senior-level marketers and execs are getting very serious about social media.

First, some background on MENG and the respondents to this study. All MENG members must have attained a level of VP or higher prior to joining, and must have a salary of at least $160K. So these findings are coming from people that are in a position to shape the marketing initiatives in their companies.

BTW complete disclosure, I was recently selected to MENG's Social Media Council of Advisors, along with friends and smarties Drew McClellan, Beth Harte, Amber Naslund, Paul Dunay and Joe Pulizzi.

Now, for the key social media findings, which come from roughly 1,800 MENG members.

  • Over 70% of respondents said their company is planning NEW social media initiatives in 2010
  • 43% of respondents said their company had a Facebook presence, 43% said their company had a LinkedIn presence, and 34% said their company was on Twitter. 28% of respondents said their company had a blog, and this was noted as being significantly higher than last year's findings.
  • As for which social sites MENG members are using themselves, LinkedIn was the big winner here, with 92% of respondents saying they use LI, Facebook was second with 56%.
  • Companies are more likely to maintain a blog than individual executives, and executives are less likely to have a personal blog UNLESS they are at a smaller company (less than 2,000 employees).
  • As for implementing new social media initiatives in 2010, most execs surveyed will do so internally (71%). 28% said they would rely on interactive agencies, 25% on social media consultants, 20% on PR agencies, and 16% on ad agencies.
  • As far as creating social media strategies, both large companies (46%) and small companies (41%) will be going with social media consultants as their top choice if they outsource. Next will be interactive, PR and Ad agencies.
  • Larger companies that outsource social media initiatives will turn to Interactive agencies (33%), Ad agencies (31%), PR agencies (26%) and Social Media Consultants (24%)
  • What criteria do companies have to who they outsource their social media initiatives to? The top 4 answers were Examples of Previous Work (94%), Recommendations (91%), Quality of Response to RFP (82%), and Cost (80%). Interestingly, the 11th most popular determinant was Social Media Certification (32%) and 12th was Number of Twitter Followers (21%).
I think this study also shows that marketers are becoming a bit tired of the buzz around social media. Mark left a comment in the previous post about how we 'pundits' told companies that they had to start using social media. He's right, and they did, and now they realize they aren't sure how to evaluate their efforts. So I think that's where a lot of the frustration is coming from, but as they become more adept at social media and how the tools function, that frustration should decrease.

If you want to see the results (PowerPoint) for yourself, you can view them here.


Lisa Petrilli said...


Thank you for sharing the study with your readers, and for doing so in such a thorough way. I especially appreciate the last bullet point, where you found interesting the criteria used by MENG members to determine who to hire for their social media initiatives.

I added that question into the study after having voraciously read blog posts like David Armano’s on “snake oil” and Olivier Blanchard’s on social media certification and witnessing the concern being expressed in the social media community that companies/executives were being sold a bill of goods. I wondered whether that was actually happening to MENG members.

Fortunately, the study showed that MENG executives use the same criteria for choosing social media advisors as they would for choosing business advisors – proof that you are smart, experienced, that you know what you’re doing, and evidence that you understand and will be able to solve their particular problem. I hope your readers find that to be encouraging news.

MENG Program Director

Suzanne Vara said...


Thanks for sharing this study as it is interesting to see how companies are taking steps to engage in social media. That is great news for the entire SM community.

Companies taking their efforts internally is a large percentage. That is good and bad as there are so many people jumping on the bandwagon after taking a few online classes and are saying that they can do social media. The pool of candidates is growing and if a company is not 100% sure as to what they are looking to achieve and have a set plan, their efforts can go awry.

I think that when a new style of marketing/advertising hits the marketplace we will see people flock to it as they see dollars. Lisa brings up a great point with Armano and Blanchard as there is so much uncertainty about who can do SM and who are scrubs. As technology changes and new people jump on board into the space, we will be able to weed out the bad and work with companies to get them to understand and effectively make SM work for them.

Great study, thanks again for sharing.

Jamie Allsop said...

This is a good study and it is interesting to see what steps and efforts companies are taking to engage social media. Thanks for sharing.

Mack Collier said...

Lisa thanks for commenting, and that's a great example of staying up to date on the latest trends and topics, and adjusting the survey accordingly.

Another reason why I am so proud to be associated with such a group of smart people as you have at MENG ;)

patmcgraw said...


First, interesting stuff - thanks for sharing.

Second, I am having a little trouble swallowing the "frustration" from people with VP titles and comp plans that start at $160K and go up - especially when the frustration is their own decision to follow the recommendations of social media 'pundits'.

They are adults. They are supposed to lead, have authority and responsibility - so grow up and admit you screwed up.

And I am amazed whenever someone achieves a VP title and a comp plan at that level that doesn't know how to establish measurable goals and create tactics that include processes for capturing data necessary to determine performance.

When I was a kid and I used the same argument, my Mom would ask me "If everyone were to jump off the 112th Street bridge, would you?"

I suspect that any VP that "got talked into social media and didn't establish measurable goals or processes to determine performance" would have been one of the first off the 112th Street bridge.

Melissa S. Barker said...

Good news for those graduating this year and look for work in social media marketing. Thank you for sharing.