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The buzz around social media and mobile isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as many senior marketers from around the world investigate new or alternative engagements through these channels, finds the [download page] CMO Council in its “State of Marketing 2012” survey. Asked the new or alternative marketing channels or vehicles they are evaluating for the next 12 months, 62% tabbed social media tools such as interactions, fan pages, social analytics, and social ad targeting, among others.

Mobile marketing also scored highly among the more than 550 heads of marketing, communications, and customer engagement from around the world. 34% said they will look into mobile applications and loyalty programs, while 18% will evaluate mobile ads and/or video, and another 12% will investigate mobile relationship marketing, including mobile messaging and deal delivery, among others. While that’s encouraging, the relatively small percentage looking into relationship marketing confirms earlier results from the CMO Council that marketers aren’t yet leveraging mobile’s relationship potential.

Social Media The Top Recruitment Priority

With such high interest in social media, it’s no wonder CMOs are looking to develop their internal talent. Asked the talent or internal resources they are expecting to develop or recruit over the next 12 months, 46% cited social media, with marketing or customer analytics next in line, at 43%, and strategic planning and business development in third (32%).

In the next tier, slightly less than one-quarter of respondents tabbed customer intelligence (24%), search engine marketing (24%), web analytics (24%), product marketing (23%), and database marketing (23%) as recruitment priorities.

At the other end of the spectrum, relatively few are looking to beef up internal knowhow related to promotions (7%), competitive communications (11%), and channel or partner relationship management (12%).

There ought to be budgets available to fund development of those internal social media resources, as the report finds social media to be a big winner in terms of budget growth this year over last.

Other Findings:

  • Nearly half of the marketers surveyed expect to hire new talent next year, compared to only 19% who expect to reduce headcount.
  • Close to 6 in 10 expect to change agencies. Social media is the top area slated for switches – perhaps as respondents seek to develop their internal talent.

About the Data: Nearly 65% of the marketers surveyed by The CMO Council report to the president, chief executive officer or chief operating officer, and a further 15% report to regional and business division chiefs. More than 30% of respondents represent companies with more than $1 billion in annual sales; 11% have between $500 million and $1 billion in sales; and another 30% come from companies with revenues between $50 million and $500 million. Nearly 60% of respondents globally held executive officer titles, with the balance at the director level.

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