The American Marketing Association surveyed 400 marketers for the February 2011 CMO Survey and found that social media spending will increase to 9.8% from 5.6% of current marketing budgets. While these increases are signs of organizations moving to social media, the challenge remains on how the media will be leveraged. The growth in social media is going to continue, it will be the balance between traditional strategies and the new marketing strategies that will keep CMO’s up at night. Read more at the following article in Emarketer.
Archive for February, 2011
When it comes to Social Media, Facebook has grown to be the most used social networking site. Emarketer estimates that over 50% of internet users are using Facebook at least once a month. It is also forecasting that 132.5 million US web users are on the site. Another staggering statistic is an estimate that approximately 9 out of 10 social network users are on Facebook. It is estimated that by 2013 62% of web users and almost half of the US will be on Facebook. With such reach and staggering growth you must ask yourself as a business owner – how can I afford not to be on Facebook?
Online marketing is a 360 degree experience for the consumer. Social marketing is a new channel that consumers are leveraging to enjoy the experience. Marketers need to start aligning their strategies to this full view. Messaging, sales flow, and measurement need to start aligning to the consumers’ viewpoint. A streamlined experience ensures consumers get exactly what they need, when they need it. While search results will still be the general focus for the foreseeable future, display advertising is expected to increase until 2013. Marketers are focused on visual recognition since many consumers are not searching for their specific products.
Gen Y is dominating Web 2.0 behaviour. That should not negate businesses targeting those over 35; these people are active in the area as well. 43% of people 25 -34 use social media with a personal page, while 24% of people 35-44 use social media for personal relationships. Reading blogs and articles on newspaper sites has evolved into relatively normal behaviour. For instance, the number of people who read comments on a mainstream site is close to the number of consumers who read newspapers in general. The key to remember is that as Gen Y moves to the dominant workforce levels, these tools will become useful to reach this group.
A survey by STRATA shows that companies are still turning to traditional media. However, the majority of them are open to incorporating an online strategy. 61% of respondents said they used social media as an online marketing tactic in 2010, with 78.9% saying they used Facebook. While media buying is still being driven by traditional off-line media, they are continually growing their budget for online strategies. Companies are reportedly planning to spend 17% more than 2010 levels. The next big change will be the move to mobile marketing.
SMB’s have the advantage of being more flexible because of less bureaucracy, much higher levels of flexibility, and much more direct relationships with customers. This positions SMB’s to be better poised to innovate with interactive tools. As a result, SMB’s should focus on the following:
1) Aim for low-hanging fruit – Focusing on social media allows for a lower up-front cost and no special skills sets required. Social media is a much lower cost solution and will allow flexibility in testing what works well.
2) Leverage internal resources – Due to budget constraints, SMB’s are not going to be willing to add additional staff to manage online media. However, leverage the skills currently in-house. A Sales Rep can lead your online blogging/discussions about product performance, maintenance, general information, etc.
3) Leverage technologies/tools that drive efficiency – it is extremely difficult to manage numerous social media outlets individually. The key to managing it efficiently is to use software to streamline the process.
It is clear that SMB’s have the advantage to adopt new media and leverage the existing relationships with their customers. The key is to manage it efficiently, but also maximizing the benefit of the medium.
SMBs have recognized the need to balance online marketing with traditional offline strategies. They know that they must create relevant, customer-centric interactive marketing programs. Based on a survey by Forrester Research, 77% of SMBs reported an increase in 2010 interactive marketing budgets over 2009. 54% of them currently use or plan to use social media as a part of their marketing strategy. Social tied with display media are the areas of largest budget growth in the past year, and 17% plan to increase their social budget again from 2010 to 2011. One area that is on the cusp of breaking out is mobile marketing – 9% of SMBs are currently using it, but an additional 11% plan to use it in the next 12 months. These SMBs are also increasing spend with 8% having increased the budget last year, and 10% planning to increase mobile budgets in 2011.
How many people do you know with a mobile device? Actually easier question – how many do you know without a mobile device. How many times have you walked by someone and saw them on their mobile device working away. It is a growing trend and marketing to these devices is about to explode. Emarketer has written a great article talking about the best practices in mobile marketing. Click on the link to learn more.
Traditional online tactics remain a key to marketing success according to a survey completed by BtoB Magazine. Over half of the marketers told BtoB Magazine their budgets would go up this year by approximately 15%. The primary goal is for customer acquisition, but the greatest number of respondents expected spending increases to come from online media. Online, B2B marketers were most likely to report planned increases in marketing spending on their websites and email programs, followed by social media. In 2010 social media, websites, and email each received a median of 10% of B2B’s online marketing budgets. Based on numerous surveys from various marketers, social media spending is expected to increase in 2011 and beyond.
In business we measure our success with various key performance indicators. These include everything from revenue growth, profit growth, customers satisfaction, customer growth, etc. These are valuable objectives, but shouldn’t you know what the key strategies are delivering. This starts with ensuring your marketing strategies are being monitored and tracked effectively. Keeping tabs on the buzz about your brand is vital to your overall success. Even if a company is less involved directly in social media, its customers almost definitely are, and their conversations can end up being a very big story.
A survey completed by Information Week Analytics showed that about one third of companies had a process to announce posting to their social networks. The challenge is that only 21% of respondents did not know how to respond to problems on Facebook or Twitter. With no process clearly defined they are unable to deal with any negative feedback. Social media offers an opportunity to be responsive to customers and improve corporate image.
At WSI Digital Marketing we will develop a Social Media Policy and Strategy to help your business manage your brand and online credibility on the various social media. Contact us today to provide you a complementary Social Media Optimization review.