AUSTIN: Marketers in the US are planning to place a heightened emphasis on measuring the results of their activity on social media next year, figures from a new survey show.

The CMO Club and Bazaarvoice surveyed 133 chief marketing officers, and found that 64% of participants intend to increase their investment in social media in 2010.

Some 81% of contributors expect to direct up to 10% of their budgets to this channel, up from a comparative total of 44% in 2008.

Of those specialists who are not currently attempting to track the impact of this area of their operations on sales, 72% will implement policies enabling them to do so in the next 12 months.

The metrics attracting the most attention at present include driving site traffic, mentioned by 90% of the panel, page views, on 85%, and the number of "fans" on sites like Facebook, on 83%.

Priorities moving forward will be establishing the contribution of this type of Web 2.0 portal on revenues, up by over 300%, conversion rates, up 174%, and average order value, up 150%.

Overall, 53% of the sample were unsure about the ROI offered by Twitter, with 50% agreeing with this statement for LinkedIn and content like industry blogs.

In contrast, online customer reviews and ratings were regarded as being the best way to determine the payback from digital communications programmes.

Moreover, 80% of chief marketing officers are now using consumer insights generated on the web to help "shape decision-making at the executive level".

Similarly, 90% employ "customer stories and product suggestions" in helping identify which goods they should attempt to develop.

By the end of next year, 59% more respondents will utilise reviews from members of the public in the innovation process, with information found on Twitter recording a 407% uptick on this measure.

Sam Decker, chief marketing officer of Bazaarvoice, argued "while 2009 may have been a trial run for many brands and social media, in 2010, CMOs expect social initiatives to directly impact their bottom lines, without exception."

Earlier this year, a poll by the World Federation of Advertisers discovered that some of the biggest companies in Europe are interested in similar issues as their American counterparts where social media is concerned.

Data sourced from The CMO Club; additional content by Warc staff