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Making predictions is easy. Identify a trend and extrapolate to your heart's content. So long as you don't actually check what you predicted against the real world data when the time comes, then you're in the clear.
Except when some killjoy comes along and goes and plots your predictions against what actually happened for four years in a row and found your predictions were consistently overshooting reality.
That's what happened when the CMO survey asked 388 top US marketing execs about their actual and predicted social media spend. The CMOs consistently predicted higher social media spending than was actually the case, and if they were meeting their predictions they would be spending close to twice as much on social media marketing as they are at current.
So why is this? It could be that CMOs are struggling to integrate social into their strategies, thus impeding their ability to allocate budgets as large as they'd planned to the medium. Or it could be that the results coming from social are not justifying increasing social media spend as rapidly as CMOs thought, because social campaigns are underperforming relative to expectations. There certainly has been a huge amount of hype around the power of social to transform marketing, much of it undeserved since social ads are just display ads in the newsfeed rather than in a side bar. Social can hardly be blamed for not living up to this hype, (okay maybe it can a bit) but clearly CMOs need to have a clear head and see social for what it is - an important part of the marketing mix but not the future of marketing and certainly not a silver bullet.
By Robert Allen
I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.
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