Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Survey Reveals Disconnect in Social Media Marketing Programs

According to a new survey by Coremetrics, social media marketing is quickly gaining popularity as a way to gain competitive edge. However, the survey also revealed that time and budget allocations are not yet reflective of this trend.

The study found that the use of Web 2.0 or social media marketing tools, defined as user generated content (including reviews), RSS feeds, podcasts and wikis are becoming more important parts of a complete online marketing program. While most marketers recognize this trend, and are eager to participate, very few have budgets that are in line with that objective.

The findings included the following:

A clear disconnect between the desirability of social marketing and the budget allocated to it:

  • 78% of respondents see social media marketing as a way to gain competitive edge, but only 7.75% of total online marketing spend is devoted to it.

  • This compares with an average of 33% of spend going to online advertising and 28% to online promotion design and implementation

  • However, progress is being made in the field:

  • 58% of respondents have implemented user generated content or reviews in the past year

  • 31% of respondents have implemented a blog in the past year

  • 25% of respondents have implemented an RSS feed in the past year

  • The findings showed that most marketers have concrete plans to implement a social media marketing program at some point, even if not within the next twelve months. Of those marketers, the majority recognize the need to implement or improve their social marketing programs, but cite a lack of tools and expertise as their biggest challenges.

  • 50% of respondents plan to implement user generated content or reviews

  • 22% of respondents plan to implement a blog

  • 20% intend to implement social networks, and another 20% plan to implement an RSS feed

  • It is not just social marketing activity objectives that are misaligned with time and budget allocation:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was ranked as the #1 priority over nine other choices, including email campaigns and online analytics, but ranked only fourth in terms of both time and budget allocation

  • Email campaigns continue to demand most of a marketer's time (22% on average), while the biggest portion of budgets (33% on average) go to online advertising. This is despite the fact that SEO was consistently ranked as the #1 priority

  • Online promotion design and implementation was ranked as relatively unimportant, (#5 of 9) but comes in third in terms of both time and budget allocation, ahead of SEO, online campaign analytics and email marketing programs, among others

  • More information can be found at www.CRMindustry.com

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