According to the results from a new national survey of senior-level marketing and communications professionals, the inevitable battle over social media ownership has begun among many Chief Communications Officers (CCOs) and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs).
The survey, conducted by the integrated communications firm Makovsky, found more than 74 percent of CCOs and CMOs said the responsibility for social media is an area in which they fail to collaborate effectively. But over 80 percent of those surveyed said that CCOs and CMOs do work well together on more traditional corporate and brand identity programs. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of the respondents felt that marketing and public relations departments also were successful at collaborating on content, thought leadership, and strategies and tactics.
The problem, however, is that many firms fail to clearly define public relations and marketing thus creating an atmosphere of competing priorities instead of corporate solidarity. The key is to look at the roles of each discipline, how they’re integrating, and whether or not both can be responsible for sales. Most CCOs and CMOs agree.
When respondents were asked what has stimulated the move toward greater collaboration between corporate marketing and public relations departments, the answer was overwhelmingly about sales. Nearly 79 percent said that the “growing impact of reputation on consumers’ buying decisions” was the primary impetus, and 67 percent cited the “increased voice of consumers” thanks to the growth of conversations on social media.
“If CMOs and CCOs become company-wide ambassadors for social, work together to bring an authentic narrative to market, use analytics to gain deeper consumer insights and to measure brand campaigns and reputation, then true collaboration between CMOs and CCOs in the digital age will be achieved,” said Tim Kane, executive VP and head of the Digital Branding practice at Makovsky.
“This collaboration is mandatory for a brand to thrive in an environment where every consumer has a voice.”
Over 170 VPs from marketing and public relations/corporate communications firms were interviewed from July through October of 2012 for the survey.