No Respect. Social Media Marketing Not a Top Executive Priority

Tom Pisello
Thomas Pisello Chairman & Founder, Akonna, Inc.

Posted on August 18th 2011

Although social media marketing is popular amongst marketers, with 80% of companies with at least 100 employees using social networks for marketing this year, it’s still not a top strategic priority.

Jive Software and Penn, Schoen & Berland, in a survey of executives who have final say or significant input on social business strategy, found that only 27% listed social business as a top strategic priority. Nearly half (47%) admitted a social plan was necessary but not a strategic priority and 19% said social business strategy was simply not necessary.

The conundrum, although 78% of executives thought a social business strategy was somewhat or very important to the future success of their business and 53% believe they must adopt social or risk falling behind; at this time, social media marketing is just not a top priority.

Comparing the top initiatives, a separate survey by Forbes Insights and Coremetrics indicated that social media marketing was a top priority for a mere 11% of marketing executives, taking a backseat to most traditional marketing initiatives including customer loyalty (52%), branding (28%), direct marketing (19%), on-line marketing (18%), and even print and broadcast (17%).

The Bottom Line

The numbers indicate that to make social more of a priority, marketers must prove the value to frugal and skeptical senior executives. Tying social investments to tangible business benefits and competitive advantage can help raise the priority, and assure that budgets are properly allocated to social initiatives.


More information about the Jive Social Business Index Survey can be found at:

More information about the Bringing 20/20 Foresight to Marketing study can be found at: 

Tom Pisello

Thomas Pisello

Chairman & Founder, Akonna, Inc.

Tom Pisello, The ROI Guy, is a Serial Entrepreneur, Chairman and Founder of Alinean, a developer of value-based B2B sales and marketing tools and Akonna, Inc., pioneering developer of social competitive benchmarking and ROI tools. Tom’s benchmarking & economic-justification experience began in 1993 with his first entrepreneurial venture, Interpose, acquired by Gartner in 1998, where he served Gartner as a Managing VP. Post Gartner, Tom has been responsible for launching and accelerating several innovative companies including Full Armor, Connotate Technologies, DissertationsRx, DiCom Software, NoblePlay, DigitalOwl, Spiral-Up Interactive,, Tom holds a BSEE from SUNY at Buffalo, and a mini-MBA from the Crummer School of Business, Rollins College.
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