By John Riley

This CM survey was based on a poll of 511 senior marketers by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, in conjunction with the American Marketing Association. Additional content from the World Advertising Research Center. 12 August 2009

Nearly two-thirds of US marketers are now using social media, and this channel is set to increase its share of total expenditures into double figures over the next five years according to a new study.

It found that 65.4% of companies are using social networks like Face Book as part of their efforts to connect with consumers.

This compared with 52.3% utilizing video- and photo-sharing sites like YouTube and Flicker, 50.9% writing corporate blogs, and 44.4% with a presence on services like Twitter.

Among the firms employing these tools, 81d% did so for “brand awareness and brand building”, with 55.8% hoping to “acquire new customers”, and 51.9% introducing new products via these portals.

While the typical marketer spent 3.5% of their budget on this medium over the last year, this is expected to rise to 6.1% in the next 12 months, and to 13.7% by 2013.

By contrast, ad spending through traditional media will fall by 7.9% for the year ending in August 2010, although online outlay will increase by 9.5% in this period.

Financial support for brand-building initiatives will also grow by 4.5%, with CRM expenditures climbing by 6.4%, and new product introductions posting an uptick of 9.3%.

In terms of consumer spending habits, 48% of contributors agreed purchase volumes will increase in the next 12 months, while 28.3% predicted overall sales would decline.

In terms of their spending priorities, 45.6% of respondents said they would focus on promoting existing products in current markets.

By contrast, 17.7% plan to push their present portfolio in new markets, 26.2% will launch new products in their present areas of operation, and 10.4% will introduce new products in new markets.

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