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04/08/2011 by

How The CMO Should Budget Social Media?

Most CMO’s have finally gotten their overall and annual budget line item for social media through their SAP systems. But how to break down that social budget? Since your brand is your most valuable asset, you would probably spend big on it? Or would you let some intern rape it? Get inspired by this Mission Control.

Make sure to budget a similar social room and some staff, to manage your brand in the social space. In a minute more valuable insights that can help CMOs: A. to benchmark social budgets (you vs. the rest), B. to convince other brand stakeholders and C. to check proposals from social agencies.

Let’s first start with a simple benchmark provided by comScore about some leading consumer brands. These big brands (Unilever, T-Mobile) push around 75 Million paid social video views per Quarter onto the web. Yes your competitors are already heavily pushing their video GRPs…

So let’s start with media benchmarks, since your media manager and his media agency will probably have told you that social media is basically just another place to advertise your brand…

Well in that case, you could have allocated some online budget to social advertising and you requested that budget line item for no reason?

In social video advertising, don’t know if you tend to call that social media or not, brands will push around 10-20 Billion paid videos on the web. That number equals the amount of $1 – $1,5 Billion in 2011.

In social media advertising (Facebook, blogs, twitter etc) in 2011 is projected to be around $3 Billion or roughly 10% of the $31,3 Billion total online advertising spend, according to eMarketer. We are talking about the US by the way.

So to make it very simple, CMOs can tell their media managers to spend as much on social advertising as they do on Display or Search Advertising.

If you need to decide where to get this budget from, tell them to get it out of their print budget. Most of your targets are consuming their news from the Web or TV nowadays.

Assuming you follow the meta trends in social (communities, social video, social tv, social search, facebook commerce, social gaming, social crm, geo, mobile) and assuming you will not be that CMO that messed up his brand with an intern?

You might want consider getting the most experienced social marketing agency available. And you should try to hire your own social media or community manager.

To start with the last one: almost impossible to find an experienced one. The great ones are all working at dedicated social agencies, since they want the most advanced technologies and innovative DNA around them.

And even if you could find one, you could probably not afford the high salaries they get offered. Brands like Nike, Adidas, KLM and Apple, all have invested lots of money in social media teams that may exist out of 5 to 10 FTE’s already. Against your 0,8 FTE intern working on your social ‘presence’?!

That’s why the cool brands have so many fans and advocates. They keep investing lot of money in content, entertainment, intel and insights, technologies, tools and social interactions. And that’s why you still have a lonely brand in the social space. Not many friends yet, right?

So you will probably start a pitch for a social agency. But the good ones are overbooked already. The demand for social is sky-high and agencies have the same problem as you: how do I find experienced social people and could we afford to pay them?

So you will probably try to pitch or bash a social agency. But they we’ll probably tell you: sorry we do not pitch for free, we could rate you on our balance score card, to see if you have the right DNA to be part of social.

That could start with a different relationship with your agency. Don’t bash them, like you normally do with agencies. The great social agencies do like to be considered partners, not suppliers. And great social agencies pay high salaries to a scarce group of social pro’s around.

So if you feel every proposal by your social agency is expensive. Think again: Your brand is your most valuable asset. Spend big on it: if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys.

So if your media agency knows a cheaper social ‘supplier’, tell them that an intern is even cheaper. Get serious, brand reputation is crucial nowadays. So start social right. Don’t start to advertise. Start with social monitoring, gain insights and keep listening.

Next you need to ask your social agency about the costs per social campaign, excluding media budget. And ask them what a long term social program, platform, community or Facebook fanpage would cost per year. And try to understand that social is mostly beyond short term campaigns.

And if you do not want your agency to help, think if you perceive them as strategic partner or still as supplier hunting for your money. If you feel supplier, see what eMarketer says about this.

Closer examination of the major social business expenses shows the largest increases are staff, advertising spend, influencer – blogger outreach programs, custom technology, and social customer relationship management (CRM), according to an Altimeter survey shared by eMarketer.

The study was conducted by Social Strategists. So if eMarketer can share data with them, the Strategist at your social agency could do the same for you. With even more knowledge about his region or market.

Being a social strategist for 5 years, I can assure you: above breakdown by eMarketer is pretty accurate. And as you can see, brands in the US spend around $1,1 Million on social media in 2011. How does this relate to your social media marketing budget for 2011 and 2012?

I do hope this was any helpful? Enjoy re-engineering your brand!

Source: eMarketer and Clickz


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