Despite some grumblings out there in the blogosphere that social media marketing is a fad, difficult to measure and a waste of time for marketers, a recent study I came across this week says social media will become the focus for many marketers this year.
Sixty-six percent of 1,068 marketing professionals surveyed by Alterian recently for its Annual Survey said they’d be investing in social media marketing (SMM) in the next 12 months. Of those investing, 40 percent said they’d be shifting more than a fifth of their traditional direct marketing budgets toward funding their SMM activities.
What’s more, the survey revealed that the majority of respondents (67 percent) feel SMM is either “increasingly important” or “critical to success.”
“2010 marks the start of the digital decade for marketing,” said David Eldridge, Alterian’s CEO, commenting on the results in a press release. “Untargeted and irrelevant marketing techniques are now redundant and the results of this survey show many in the industry recognize this.”
Thirty-six percent of respondents also said they’re investing in SMM and analysis tools this year. In my opinion, this is key: I think this year will be the year marketers finally figure out how to monitor, measure and track their SMM programs and investments. Many marketers consider this the holy grail.
The survey also explored whether organizations integrate marketing technologies across their organizations. Surprisingly, almost half of the respondents (42 percent) said they don’t incorporate clickstream and web analytics data into their customer and email databases.
The research also explored the importance of customer engagement, finding that more than half of respondents (51 percent) are placing a “fair” or “significant” amount of effort on moving from a campaign-centric direct marketing model toward multichannel customer engagement. In fact, only 7 percent are making no effort at all, the survey found.