STUDY: Social Media Spending to Rise 150% by 2020

Follow the money...

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The study released this week by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business won’t come as a HUGE surprise to anyone, but it does reinforce one of the points made by Peppercomm President Ted Birkhahn in our recent interview about the new PR model: public relations needs to own social media.

Why? Because that’s where the money will be. According to the survey, which involved 288 CMOs at top US businesses:

  • Social currently makes up 9 percent of the average marketing budget
  • Chief officers predict that this number will jump to 22.4 percent by 2020

The problem, of course, is that the spending boom will make measurement and ROI proof both more important and more challenging:

  • 61 percent of CMOs feel pressure from chief executives and boards to prove the value of that spend
  • Only 13 percent feel confident in their ability to do so

For that reason, these marketers also predict that spending on analytics services will almost double during the same period…which explains why we get so many related pitches for our ad blog.

Here’s the number that might matter most to PR:

  • The percentage of social media activities farmed out to third party firms increased 1.5 points to 18.9 percent this year…and it will only continue to rise.

If you’re into numbers, you’ll want to watch this video, in which professor Christine Moorman discusses the findings along with the help of some graphs and charts:

In short: the economy is improving, marketers are spending more, and social will grow faster than any other category.

Got it?

h/t Triad Business Journal