Let’s travel to an alternate universe for a moment – one in which your corporate accounting is being handled by a cashier from 7-11; in which your IT is being entrusted to your neighbor’s grandfather, who once re-wired a lamp; and one in which your sales is being handled by a guy wearing a trench coat at the top of the subway steps.
Not exactly a recipe for success – and, fortunately, for most enterprises, not a reality.
However, when I talk to many mid-market CEOs about their digital and social media strategy, the answer is not that much of a stretch from this cartoon – a junior-level digital marketing person, working alone, making decisions in a vacuum, and posting up a storm -- but with limited, if any, results.
It’s little wonder that many CEOs of privately held companies often struggle to understand what the real ROI is on social media, or have reported disappointing or confusing results in their well-intended, but misguided, attempts to capitalize on digital and social media.
Why bother with social media, they often ask me, and what is the real ROI on social media if there is one?
Before I answer the ROI question, let’s look at some significant trends from “Socialnomics,” the very thought-provoking series on the Social Media revolution by Erik Qualman. In his books and videos, Qualman has detailed the coming social wave as it has swept across the country.
In his seventh iteration, Socialnomics 2017, Qualman shares some statistics that deserve some immediate notice by CEOs – particularly those who might still be wondering if social media is worth the investment:
- More than 50 percent of the world's population is under 30 years old
- Today’s college students have never licked a postage stamp
- 53 percent of millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their technology
- 93 percent of buying decisions are influenced by social media
- By 2018, video will account for more than two-thirds of mobile usage
- The human attention span (7 seconds) is now less than that of goldfish (8 seconds)
- More people own a mobile device than a toothbrush
- The fastest-growing demographic on Twitter is grandparents
- Every second, two people join LinkedIn (akin to the entire enrollment of the Ivy League joining LinkedIn every day)
- In 2016, digital and social media ad spending topped spending on TV for the first time in history
If it wasn’t clear before, it should be abundantly so now: Digital HAS transformed our world, and the pace of change is accelerating. With digital and social media of such heightened importance, it’s an enterprise-risking proposition to either ignore, or short-shrift, such strategies.
To that end, it’s never been more critical to invest the appropriate resources to develop and implement a deeply-thought-out digital and social media marketing strategy – ideally driven by a seasoned Chief Marketing Officer, working closely with the CEO.
So what’s the real ROI on social media today?
ROI: You’ll still be in business in 5 years!
At Chief Outsiders, we make it easy for CEOs to rent a CMO who can create marketing strategies including digital strategies that ensure your company is not only in business in five years, but is thriving in the new economy.
What are you doing to refocus on digital and social strategies in your business?
Joe Grace is a strategic problem solver and marketing innovator. He has helped develop a “Who’s Who” of consumer health and wellness brands. His portfolio, which spans 20 years, includes the introduction, positioning and growth of such name-brand companies as WebMD, Medscape, Perricone MD Cosmaceuticals, and Suzanne Somers’ ThighMaster. Contact Joe at JGrace@chiefoutsiders.com.