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Chief Marketer Survey Data and Next Phase of B2B Social Marketing

Since you’ve been busy with all your holiday planning, shopping, and eating, you may have missed that Chief Marketer recently released their 2012 Social Marketing Survey results. Now the truth is there were no shocking revelations here. Instead, it was an intriguing view into marketers’ current opinions, practices and frustrations around social marketing… and points to some interesting things to come!

Chief Marketer survey results and key takeaways

But before we jump into what this may mean for the next phase of B2B social marketing, let’s first look at some of the relevant survey results (in italics) from the 2012 report:

68% of B2B marketers are actively marketing using social media, and another 16% plan on doing so soon.

Lo and behold, this means 84% of B2B marketers now understand the need to embrace social marketing. No question, B2B social marketing has “crossed the chasm” and gone mainstream. It’s here to stay.

B2B marketers primarily use social marketing to drive website traffic (61%) and as a channel to generate leads (60%). Only a minority of B2B marketers focus on increasing likes or followers (18%).

Our experience at Leadtail is that this stat may be more reflective of intent than on-the-ground reality.  Many B2B marketers are still focused on growing the number of fans and followers, or measuring engagement on posts; we’ve seen very few with metrics related to traffic or leads.

Only 4% of the total population doing social marketing reported being “very effective” at measuring the impact of their efforts. And only 38% claimed they were “somewhat effective” at doing so.

Yes, you read that right. Only 4% of marketers think they’re very effective at measuring social marketing results. And even when you include the other 38% that claim to be somewhat effective; that still leaves 58% that don’t know if their efforts are paying off (or not!). Clearly, there’s still a lot of work to be done here!

56% of marketers say it’s hard to calculate true ROI.

Looks like marketers now understand that B2B social marketing is moving beyond the “shiny object” phase, and needs to have a positive ROI like any other marketing program. The good news: lots of tools are now available to help with social media tracking and measuring. Google Analytics, bit.ly, and (our friends) awe.sm quickly come to mind.

39% believe curating social content is too time consuming and 35% think the constant need for fresh content is overwhelming.

We feel your pain (really!). The two biggest challenges we see with content production are a lack of in-house content resources (writers, editors, designers), and marketing teams not knowing what content to create. How to start solving this problem? Allocate more of your marketing budget to content marketing, and “listen” to your prospects to find out what they want to read and share.

The next phase of B2B social marketing

Now with the Chief Marketer survey results in mind, we believe there are (at least) three things that will be critical for the next phase of B2B social marketing:

  1. B2B marketers must learn how to track and measure their social marketing campaigns.
  2. Positive social ROI will become increasingly important.
  3. Content Marketing needs get more resources and editorial direction.

We’ll have more to say on each of these topics in future blog posts.

Now it’s your turn (once you’re done with holiday festivities, that is!).

Take a look at Chief Marketer’s 2012 Social Marketing Survey (registration req’d), and let us know your take on the data and the next stage of B2B social marketing.

Need help with your social marketing efforts?

Read our post: Still Struggling with B2B Social Marketing? What to Do Now.

Related Posts
Struggling with B2B Social Marketing? What to Do Now ( 4 Nov 2012 )
Why Forrester’s B2B Social Marketing Predictions Were Right and Wrong ( 8 Nov 2012 )
Salorix Launches Platform to Help Brands Influence Social Conversations ( 12 Dec 2012 )
Knowing Your Target Audience’s Mood is Start of B2B Social Marketing ( 18 Dec 2012 )
Chief Marketer Survey Data and Next Phase of B2B Social Marketing ( 28 Dec 2012 )
Written by Carter Hostelley
Carter is the founder and CEO of Leadtail, and champions the power of social media insights to CMOs and senior marketers at leading business brands and venture-backed companies – specifically, how social insights can help you better understand and engage your buyers. Learn more about Carter here, and follow him @carterhostelley

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