Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester released a follow-up survey / report today on social media during the recession. The report entitled “Social Media Playtime Is Over,” found that 95% of social media marketers will maintain or increase social media spending in the downturn. The news is fairly interesting when you take into account that 93% of CMO’s polled by the ANA in February indicated they are examining cost savings and reductions and 77 percent were reducing advertising campaign media budgets. Social media – as Bernoff notes – is one of the few marketing tactics/areas that isn’t being affected by these cuts. Owyang specifies on his blog that 53% of marketers are determined to increase their social media budget during a recession, while 42% will keep it the same.
With the smaller fees that social media consulting and implementation curtail versus advertising (especially broadcast), and measurable ROI it provides, the results aren’t that surprising. However, Owyang rightly notes that the days of playing with different ideas are over and marketers are focused on social media strategy and campaigns that can provide real ROI. Forrester and Jupiter have stressed the need for measurable ROI in interactive marketing campaigns often in the past. However, as B.L. Ochman chronicles nicely, until we get more clients and prospective corporations up to speed with agencies that are on the leading edge of this movement – it will be nearly impossible to provide that ROI.