Social Media for Enterprise Will Proliferate in 2010–But How?

Today, CRM Magazine’s Jessica Tsai noted an expected increase in social media spending in marketing departments. The news isn’t surprising—we heard for the better part of 2009 that social networking was the new big thing in CRM for lead outreach and relationship development—but this time the information is backed up by a report from the Chief Marketing Officers Club.


The CMO Club was founded four years ago and currently has about 1,200 members, and they surveyed 133 CMOs before the end of 2009 to get a feel for what they’d be doing differently in 2010. Sixty-four percent said they planned to increase social media spending, and 72% of those CMOs not currently overseeing social media initiatives planned to create some. Pete Krainik, found of the CMO Club, even suggested this will be the year that CMOs failing to grasp social media will be fired for their inability to do so.

Still, findings regarding conversion rates driven by social media were not convincing. Those surveyed said they were “unsure” about the effects of channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs, even though those channels receive heavy traffic. Krainik claims the benefits social media provide for lead development, and general knowledge of the customer, will be enough to encourage any CMO to implement these plans. Indeed, that last bit was best use for social media in 2009, allowing CMOs to learn their customers through user reviews and ratings.

The report deemed last year as social media’s “trial run,” and Krainik stated confidence in social media being an enterprise-wide mainstay by 2011, but it seems like most marketers are still trying to wrap their heads around it all. It’s true that social media platforms have thrown something of a wrench in marketers’ plans, upsetting their prior means of getting information about their users and customers. Social media has been a great supplement to CRM processes for many companies, but it isn’t a fit for all—not every business is going to find an audience interested in their Twitter stream, even if there are plenty of people interested in their product.

Nonetheless, I agree with Krainik that social media will cement itself in enterprise processes. And it will be extremely interesting to see if social media can be tailored enough to give CMOs a measurable ROI.

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