Despite the cultural phenomenon that Facebook and MySpace have become in five years’ time, 55 percent of the chief marketing officers at leading brands surveyed by Epsilon said they’re not too interested (22 percent), or not interested at all (33 percent), in incorporating the social networking sites into their marketing strategies.

Though dialogue marketing is a bonafide trend in the industry, just 10 percent percent of CMO survey respondents said they already are using these social sites in their marketing plans.


Internet forums (52 percent), Webcasts and podcasts (47 percent), email (47 percent), blogs (37 percent) and Web seminars (52 percent) outscored Facebook and MySpace (35 percent), in terms of being social media elements that marketing executives said they are very interested or somewhat interested in using.

Somewhat quixotically, 27 percent of marketing executives identified social networking and word of mouth as the tool they most want to introduce to their marketing mix to compensate for anticipated budget cuts - ahead of all other elements of traditional or digital marketing.

Epsilon is a leading marketing services firm providing comprehensive online and offline marketing services to some of the most-recognized brands in the world. Its late-October online survey was completed by top consumer and business-to-business marketing executives at 180 brands whose annual revenues range from $250 million to over $10 billion. The survey was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media, of New York.

Other key results from the CMO survey provide a peek into top marketers’ playbooks for the coming year:

  • CMOs bracing for budget reductions identified email as the channel they are least likely to cut back on versus any other tool in the traditional or digital marketing mix.
  • While just over half of the companies surveyed already use consumer data mining, 23 percent more said that they plan to utilize the technology in the next 12 months.
  • 55 percent of those not already employing web analytics plan to do so in the next 12 months.
  • Customer loyalty and rewards programs remain polarizing, with 33 percent of companies already using the strategy and 17 percent planning to use in the next year, but 50 percent not using or planning to use.

The CMO survey results strongly indicate the economic crisis will diminish marketing spending in 2009. No less than 93 percent of marketing executives said the current state of the economy will have a moderate or significant impact on their marketing efforts in the next few months. Regarding advertising expenditures specifically, 70 percent said they’ll decrease spending.

Epsilon released the report and press release “Survey Records Shift in Blue Chip Marketing Spend" here.

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