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17 October 2011

Social media budgets grow for global businesses

Tim Gibbon, director Elemental By Tim Gibbon

Social media budgets are set to rise according to research from Booz & Co, the consulting firm and social enterprise software company Buddy Media. In the joint report, the findings from Media Campaigns to Capabilities Social Media & Marketing 2011 state that social media investment is set to rise after input from over 100 international companies.Booz & Co and Buddy Media combined logo


The research based upon both quantitative and qualitative input from an online survey also included interviews conducted during the summer of 2011. From the press release (Booz & Company and Buddy Media Research Highlights Capabilities Key To Capturing Value from Social Media) Booz & Co states more than 60% of respondents work for companies with annual revenues of $1 billion USD dollars or more, and for many questions respondents were able to select multiple responses; explained by the authors that all percentages do not equal 100%.


Key themes from the social media report

Booz & Co outlines the key themes from the report as the following (listed here in no order of preference):


  • How Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the cornerstones of most social media strategies
  • Leadership of social media is concentrated in the marketing function
  • Advertising, PR and customer service are where companies are capturing the greatest benefits from social media
  • Companies are exploring the value of social media outside of marketing, but this is still early in development
  • Brand measures such as reach and engagement/participation are the key focus areas for metrics
  • Content development, community management and data/analytics are the critical priorities for capability development and investment
  • Marketers expect to increase their spending on social media; social media in turn will become a larger share of marketers’ digital spending


There’s plenty of statistics to review from the above and more, so we’re focusing on the (image below from the report), showing almost all companies are reporting future investment in social media. From those surveyed, 57% will be allocating more social media spend (somewhat more resources) whilst 39% will be significantly increasing social media budgets (spending substantially more resources). None surveyed reported that they would spend less on social media in the future.

Booz & Co and Buddy Media social media ad spend digram image

The growth of social media marketing

It’s worth noting that these are early findings and are a ‘taster’ of the full report which is to be made available in the fall of 2011. There are plenty of statistics that support an inevitable trend of the adoption of social media marketing, which is probably music to the ears of social media gurus, mavens and evangelists. Although the report is sourced and devised for “leading businesses,” it’s useful for firms regardless of their stature (SMEs, medium or large organisations) in providing the platform for businesses to assert more analysis and thought in how to further integrate social media into the development of their brands.


This rings true of some the Booz & Co findings, with Christopher Vollmer, partner and leader of Booz & Company’s Media and Entertainment Practice commenting, “As social media grows in importance, leading companies are recognizing they need to shift their focus from campaigns to capabilities, and in doing so they are actively transforming their model for marketing from one of ‘brand management’ to ‘brand curation’.”


Debating social media

It’s not the first of such debates that have surfaced for businesses as the authors suggest - with ‘social media measurement’, ‘defining social ROI’, ‘maximising social CRM’, ‘where does social media live’ etc., also high up on the list. There’s no doubt that current fashionable debates such as ‘has social media killed the marketing campaign’, ‘how can brands manage social media assets and profiles’ and ‘how to achieve social media buy-in across boards and with CEOs’ will flow over into 2012 – and rightly so.


Digital marketing and related channels took a number of years before it had any type of buy-in with senior management (and that was limited), is social media so different? With consistent coverage now across mainstream media and society (the good, bad and ugly), the arguments for social media adoption are not such a perilous route as it becomes more engrained. It will be interesting to see how many businesses throughout 2012 as outlined by Booz & Co and Buddy Media adopt effective changes to embrace social media further and grow investment in the channel as the report suggests. Frankly, to put the budgets where their mouths are so to speak. However, as we’ve witnessed, it’s not all about investment, moreover it’s the size and how the purse, implementation, delivery, nurturing and integration of social media channels into others is managed which will ultimately assist brands deliver a return.


Hyperlinks of note

Read the Booz & Company and Buddy Media Research Highlights Capabilities Key To Capturing Value from Social Media here

Download the Booz & Co and Buddy Media Campaigns to Capabilities Social Media & Marketing 2011 report, which is selected findings. A full viewpoint from the study is to be released in the fall of 2011.


View the results from the Media Campaigns to Capabilities Social Media & Marketing 2011 report below

Categories: Technology, Social media, Research, News, Marketing

Tags: Booz & Co, Buddy Media, social media, social media spend, social media budgets, growth in social media, social media marketing, advertising, marketing, pr

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