CMO ClubWe recently surveyed global CMOs in conjunction with the CMO Club, an organization of CMOs with both global and domestic P&L responsibilities. As suspected, social media initiatives will be even more important in 2010. What was surprising – and encouraging – is that CMOs realize their social efforts must track to the bottom line.

Here are the major points our survey found.

Social must drive revenues, not just web metrics. 81% of respondents expect to link their annual revenues to their social media investment in 2010, up from just 44% of CMOs in 2009. Social marketing metrics that focus solely on web goals (traffic, page views, fans) are starting to be supplanted by metrics like conversion, revenue, and average order value that track to the bottom line.

CMOs unsure about the exact impact of current social tools. 53% of respondents are unsure about their return on Twitter; 50% are unsure about the direct value of LinkedIn; and 50% are not sure how to measure the impact of industry blogs on business metrics. Customer ratings and reviews is the best understood marketing activity from an ROI perspective.

As social spending grows, so do revenue expectations: More than 64% of CMOs reported that they plan to increase their social media budgets within the next year. Nearly three-fourths of respondents (72%) who did not attach revenue to social spend in 2009 reported they would create such a link in 2010. CMOs who are already seeing a strong link between social media and revenue in 2009 expect this impact to be even more profound in 2010, with the majority of respondents (81%) expecting to attribute up to 10% of their 2010 revenues to their social media investments.

Social initiatives must now track to the bottom line. In 2009, the top metrics tracked for social media initiatives included site traffic, number of page views, and number of fans. In 2010, CMOs expect top metrics to track more closely to P&L business goals – not just web-related goals. The fastest-growing metrics for 2010 include revenue, conversion, and average order value, which grew 333%, 174%, and 150% respectively.

CMOs tap more consumer-generated content to shape products or services: Today, 80% of CMOs use customer insights to shape decision-making at the executive level and 90% of those surveyed use customer stories and product suggestions to shape a brand’s product or services. By the end of 2010, almost all CMOs say they plan to incorporate a broader range of content sources including customer reviews (59% increase), pre-sales Q&A (24% increase) and Twitter (407% increase) to influence product decisions.

In short, social isn’t just for the “cool” factor anymore – now it must drive real sales results, just like any other media. Download the full study here for all the details.

Download the White Paper here