Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More Marketers Use Social Media, Survey Says

55 percent said they shifted funds from traditional media to execute social media campaigns

By Steve McClellan
Source: Ad Week

NEW YORK Social media has gained significant traction this year as a marketing tool, according to a new survey from the Association of National Advertisers, BtoB Magazine and marketing services firm Mktg.

The study found that 66 percent of marketers have used social media in 2009, compared to 20 percent in 2007. Fifty percent have employed viral videos so far this year, up from only 25 percent in 2007.

The survey was conducted online in June and is based on responses from 172 client-side marketers.

Facebook was the most popular venue, with 74 percent of respondents saying they used the site for marketing purposes. YouTube and Twitter followed with 65 percent each, and LinkedIn tallied 60 percent, according to the study.

Search engine marketing was cited as the most effective new-media platform by 65 percent of respondents, while 59 percent cited their own Web sites. Search engine optimization was selected by 55 percent, while 45 percent chose e-mail marketing. Company-owned Web sites will get most of the money earmarked for new-media platforms, according to 26 percent of the respondents, while 19 percent said search-engine marketing would get the biggest share and 17 percent said it would go to online advertising.

More than half of the respondents (55 percent) said they shifted funds from traditional media budgets to execute social media campaigns, while 48 percent said they took money from marketing communications budgets. Twenty-six percent said they created an incremental budget.

The top concerns for marketers when considering newer media platforms are the inability to prove ROI (45 percent) and a lack of metrics to properly allocate the mix of traditional and digital media (43 percent).

Commenting on the results in a statement, ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice said: "As more media platforms become available, it is imperative that all marketers continue to assess their capabilities and select the platforms that are best suited to help them meet their brand's goals and objectives. With this proliferation of media, marketers must work harder, survey the entire landscape available to them and create their brand's most optimal media mix."

The study also revealed differences in the ways business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketers use new media platforms. While mobile is used by 32 percent of overall marketers, it is three times more likely to be used by b-to-c marketers. LinkedIn rates first with b-to-b marketers while Facebook is top among b-to-c marketers.

Twitter is used more by b-to-b marketers (70 percent) than b-to-c marketers (46 percent). B-to-c marketers see more effectiveness from SEM (76 percent) than b-to-b marketers (48 percent).

In the next year, blogs are expected to be the hottest new marketing channel, according to 34 percent of the respondents not already using the platform, while 28 percent cited mobile and 23 percent cited social media.

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