CCOs, CMOs disagree on social media ownership: study

NEW YORK: As corporate communications and marketing become more integrated within companies, professionals from both functions still disagree over who has ownership of social media, according to a survey by Makovsky + Company.

NEW YORK: As corporate communications and marketing become more integrated within companies, professionals from both functions still disagree over who has ownership of social media, according to a survey by Makovsky + Company.

More than 74% of survey respondents said CCOs and CMOs fail to collaborate effectively on social media oversight. Marketers and communicators should work together more closely on social media strategy to resolve the question of ownership, said Tim Kane, EVP and head of the digital branding practice at Makovsky.

“The way to solve the conflict is more integration and more communication for the marketing functions and communication functions to come together early and often. They should come together at the strategic stage, as well as the executional stage,” he said. “There are two philosophies that come at these things from different places.”

However, 86% of respondents said CCOs and CMOs collaborate well on more traditional corporate and branding programs. They often agree on brand definitions, corporate story, basic messaging, and how the company should present itself, Kane added.  

Marketers can teach their PR colleagues the importance of data and analytics in decision-making, according to 79% of survey participants. Meanwhile, PR professionals can help marketers understand “the power of storytelling and thought leadership,” said 85% of respondents.

The consumer is driving the integration of the two disciplines, the study found. About 79% of respondents said the “growing impact of reputation on consumers' buying decisions” was behind the trend, while 67% attributed it to the “increased voice of consumers” through social media.

“Consumers don't see things in terms of marketing or PR, but in terms of reputation,” Kane said. “With the growth of the online world, they can manage their own conversations and information search. That last major figure of transparency is exposing everyone. This demands that all parts be integrated because the consumer is integrating it on their own.”

The study surveyed 174 marketing, PR, and corporate communications professionals at the VP level or above between July and October this year.

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