Businesses still lag their customers when it comes to using social media but companies are pledging to commit the dollars to catch up.

In the next five years chief marketing officers plan to more than double their spending on social media as a percentage of their marketing budgets, according to a survey of top marketing executives at 468 U.S. firms.

CMOs who responded to the Duke University CMO survey said they currently allocate 8.4 percent of their budgets to social media. Over the next year, that figure will climb to 11.5 percent.

And in five years, CMOs anticipate spending 21.6 percent of their marketing dollars on social media.

“Companies are searching for novel ways to interact with their customers that will drive the growth of their companies,” said Christine Moorman, director of The CMO Survey and a professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

“Unfortunately, marketers are behind the curve with their current levels of social media expenditure, given the amount of time customers spend engaged with one another and with companies online. The good news is that marketers are seeing the imperative to rectify this through increased investment in social media marketing in the upcoming years.”

The increased dollar commitment to social media isn’t limited by product or service, or whether the company targets businesses or consumers. But the business-to-consumer (product category), which includes companies such as Procter & Gamble (P&G) and The Coca-Cola Company, is expected to see the most dramatic increase in the next five years, from 9.6 percent to 24.6 percent.

But it’s not enough to just spend more money on social media marketing. Moorman said that marketers need to work on integrating social media into their organization’s overall marketing strategy. Survey respondents were asked to rank, on a scale of 1 to 7, whether social media is well-integrated into their firm’s strategy. The average was 3.8 – the same number recorded the first time the survey was done two years ago.

Moorman attributes this “integration gap” to the manner in which social media was adopted in many organizations. It was seen as coming from outside of the company’s strategy.

“Leaders have not reconciled that this strategy should be planned, implemented and controlled like all marketing strategies,” she said. ”The integration gap findings should serve as a call to action.”

The CMO Survey started in 2008. Since then, the survey has taken the pulse of top marketing executives in the United States twice a year. Other noteworthy findings from the most recent survey include:

  • Growth strategies are expected to take on more risk as diversification is up 28 percent.
  • Canada (25 percent), Western Europe (22 percent) and China (15 percent) are the highest revenue growth markets for U.S. marketers.
  • Marketing hiring is expected to increase 5.4 percent, down 1.1 percentage points from the last time the survey was administered.
  • The outsourcing of marketing remains flat (3.5 percent).
  • Apple once again was the top marketing company across industries, while P&G, GE, IBM, Coca-Cola and Google led their respective industries.