More than three-quarters of US
marketing professionals surveyed think that social media marketing can give them a competitive edge, according to Coremetrics’ "Face of the New Marketer" study. The same respondents said that only 7.75% of their online marketing spending went to such tactics.

"Marketers are aware of the
impact that social media marketing can have on their overall program
but view it as uncharted territory, not worthy of their budget," said
John Squire, senior vice president of product strategy at Coremetrics,
in a statement.

Average Allocation of Online Marketing Budget by US Marketing Professionals, by Strategy, Q3 2007 (% of total)

This may be true for many marketers. But it misses another reason
why Web 2.0 is an also-ran in spending to online ads, search engine
optimization and other tactics.

Although respondents were enthusiastic about social media marketing,
they did not say that the need for competitive advantage should
necessarily determine budget. Not every Web 2.0 tactic is appropriate
for targeting every Internet user, so marketers could be prioritizing
other media in their budgets.

As for what Web 2.0 tactics marketers were using, user-generated
content was by far the most popular, followed by blogs, RSS feeds and
social networks.

Social Media Marketing Tactics that US Marketing Professionals Use, Q3 2007 (% of respondents)

Still, many social media users are avid shoppers,
making them an attractive audience for many marketers. Web 2.0 users
spent more than $27 billion online in the United States in the second
quarter of 2007 alone.

Online Spending of US Users of Web 2.0* Technology, by Product Category, Q2 2007 (billions)

Via eMarketer