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TCS-Large-Consumer-Company-Social-Media-Spending-Oct2013On average, large consumer companies (with an average of $15.6 billion in revenues) will spend close to $19 million on social media this year, according to [download page] results from a survey conducted by Tata Consulting Services (TCS). While that average figure is projected to rise to $24 million by 2015, it pales in comparison to average spending on big data found in an earlier TCS survey, which stood at $88 million. On a median basis, too, large companies are spending far more on big data ($10 million) than social media ($2.7 million).

Social media spending compares more favorably with the investments companies are making to respond to digital mobile consumer spending. A previous survey from TCS found respondents spending an average of $15.1 million dealing with mobile consumers, with a median spend of $4.3 million.

Interestingly, a majority of respondents said they centralize social media activities at either the parent company or division level – and these companies report spending about 33% less on average ($16.3 million) than those decentralizing social media ($24.5 million). The researchers attribute that result to centralized activities offering “economies that just can’t be gained when functions control their own social media activities.”

Not surprisingly, a plurality (35%) of respondents said that marketing controls social media, while 13% said that multiple business functions have control.

Respondents only appear to be moderately satisfied with their current structure for social media: 42% deemed it highly effective (10%) or effective (32%), but a greater proportion see it as somewhat (35%) or slightly (20%) effective.

A slight majority said they are likely to reorganize their social media activities by the end of next year, with roughly one-third unsure.

About the Data: The data is derived from a global survey of 655 respondents from mostly $1 billion+ consumer companies in June and July 2013. The average revenue of respondents was $15.6 billion (median of $4.9 billion). Respondents came from 11 global industries.

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