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Who Will Control the Web: CMO or CCO?

Chief Communications Officers (CCOs) and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) continue to battle over the “ownership” of social media, according to results from a new national (U.S.) survey of senior-level marketing and communications professionals, conducted by Makovsky, an independent integrated communications firm.

While nearly 86 percent of those surveyed said that CCOs and CMOs do work well together on more traditional corporate and brand identity programs, more than 74 percent cited responsibility for social media as an area in which they fail to collaborate effectively.

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of the respondents felt that marketing and public relations departments were successful at collaboration on content and thought leadership strategies and tactics.

[ Also Read: “CIO and CMO Will Not Replace Each Other” ]

“Social strategy and activation is an organization-wide imperative. Instead of feeling stifled by corporate structural barriers, there is a real opportunity for CMOs and CCOs to work together to lead organizational alignment,” said Tim Kane, executive VP and head of the Digital Branding practice at Makovsky.

“From the C-Suite to front-line employees, CMOs and CCOs must shepherd a unified social media direction, create a sense of ownership across the organization and demonstrate the unmatched power of social for internal collaboration and innovation as well as external visibility and customer engagement.”

[ Also Read: Why You Should Not Advertise on Facebook ]

When asked what marketing leaders can learn from their public relations colleagues, 85 percent cited “the power of storytelling and thought leadership.” A strong majority of respondents (83 percent) also felt that the marketing function should take heed that corporate reputation is the consequence of authentic behavior of the entire organization.

The respondents felt that public relations must rely more heavily on data to demonstrate ROI. When asked what public relations can learn from marketing, 79 percent said that “data and analytics must shape decision-making,” and more than 63 percent said that public relations must “add quantifiable value.”

[ Also Read: How to Measure ROI of Public Relations ]

When 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.

The study of 174 Marketing and Public Relations/Corporate Communications Vice Presidents and above was conducted online by Makovsky from July through October of 2012. The findings were released Monday, Dec. 3.

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