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Brand Marketers Embrace Social Media

Measurement remains a challenge

August 26, 2009

The social media marketing bandwagon is filling up, according to the “2009 Marketing Industry Trends Report” from Equation Research. The survey of US brand marketers found the majority already using social media.

Some marketers were planning on adding social media activities over the next year, including 15% of respondents in businesses with fewer than 50 employees and 24% of those whose companies had at least 500 workers. But most brand marketers interested in social media were already using it.

US Brand Marketers Who Use Social Media Marketing, June-July 2009 (% of respondents)

The most popular social media channels for brand and agency marketers were Facebook, Twitter, online videos and blogs—each used by more than one-half of respondents.

Respondents reported many common barriers to social media adoption. Among brand marketers, 37% did not know enough about social media to begin, and another 37% said there was no good way to measure its effectiveness. Agency marketers reiterated those concerns, and were also likely to say that social media was not proven or tested as a marketing strategy (31%). Funding was also a problem for about one-quarter of brand and agency respondents.

Barriers to Social Media Adoption According to US Brand Marketers and Ad Agencies, June-July 2009 (% of respondents)

Despite reporting trouble with measurement, marketers do track various social media metrics. More than six in 10 brand and agency respondents reported tracking Website hits—rudimentary, perhaps, but a start. Marketers also monitored feedback, links and mentions on other sites, and sales.

Methods Used by US Brand Marketers and Ad Agencies to Measure Their Social Media Marketing Efforts, June-July 2009 (% of respondents)

Just 14% of brand marketers and 12% of agency marketers reported not measuring social media efforts at all.

“With different tools and tactics in wide use, measurement is understandably dispersed,” wrote the report authors. “Yet there is an acceptance that both hard and soft measures need to come to bear in order to assess success.”

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Check out today’s other article, “CMO Sentiment Looking Up.”


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