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Social media is the poor cousin for brand building & sales

Social media is the poor cousin for brand building & sales

Older digital marketing disciplines like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) and email marketing are still seen as more effective than social media for brand building and driving sales leads, according to research of over 100 marketers launched by integrated communications agency, Rocket.

Rocket’s ‘Digital Disciplines’ report reveals that only 21% of the marketers surveyed rate social media as very effective for brand building, with even less – only 17% – rating it as very effective for driving sales leads. In contrast, SEO (32%), PPC (28%) and email marketing (22%) are seen as very effective for brand building with PPC (33%), SEO (28%) and email marketing (21%) rated as most effective for driving sales.

However, this has not stopped the widespread adoption of social networks for a variety of marketing communications tasks:

• More than nine in ten (94 per cent) organisations are using social networks as part of their digital marketing strategy

• Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents claim to use social media for brand building

• Nearly a third (32%) use it for prospecting

• 29% use social networks for keeping up with competitors

• 24% of respondents run internal communications through this channel Facebook and LinkedIn were identified as the most widely used social networks, with 61% of respondents stating their organisation has a presence on one or both. Twitter isn’t far behind with 54% stating they have a company feed, whilst nearly a quarter (23%) have a presence on location-based social network, Foursquare.

“The Digital Disciplines Report suggests that, despite the increasing use of social media, many marketers still hold more faith with other longer-standing online marketing channels,” comments Pete Hendrick, Managing Director, Rocket.

“However, with Facebook passing the 500 million user mark earlier this year and twitter announcing the launch of premium accounts, this coming year will surely only see more businesses adopt social media marketing and improve their effectiveness.” The digital marketing industry is optimistic about the next 12 months, with three in five respondents (60%) expecting the recent public sector spending cuts to have no impact on revenues in 2011.

In the wake of this positivity:

• Many marketers expect social media to be the biggest investment area in the next year - 31% believe it will be the number one investment

• Online advertising is the second most popular choice for major investment , with 26% identifying as the main area of focus for budget

• This was followed by mobile marketing, which as the top area for marketing investment in 2011 by 19% of respondents However, views on anticipated trends do not match budget investment expectations, as the research reveals that 35% of respondents identified mobile marketing as the biggest trend in 2011, with 29 per cent choosing social media.

Hendrick concludes, “Whether 2011 will be the year of mobile marketing or if social media becomes the biggest area for marketing investment remains to be seen. It is certain however, that as more and more organisations divert resource into running campaigns through these channels, marketers will need to be more creative and demonstrate better ROI from their future digital marketing campaigns.” The Digital Disciplines Research surveyed 107 marketing professionals in October 2010.

For full details, please contact Pete Hendrick, Rocket Communications, +(0)8453 707 024, pete@rocketcomms.net

AJR
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