Social-Media Marketing Disconnect: Interest High, Budgets Low

November 2, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Creative & Formats | Email | Paid Search | Promotions, Coupons & Co-op | Search Engine Optimization | Social Media

Social media marketing is quickly becoming popular as a way to gain a competitive edge, but time and budget allocations haven’t yet caught up with the level of interest, according to the second annual Coremetrics “Face of the New Marketer” survey of marketing professionals from e-commerce and online media/content companies.

Although most marketers are eager to participate in social-media marketing, very few have budgets in line with that objective, the study found:

  • 78% of surveyed marketers see social media marketing as a way to gain a competitive edge.
  • However, just 7.75% of total online marketing spend is devoted to social marketing.
  • The average spend going to online advertising is 33%, and 28% to online-promotion design and implementation.

Nevertheless, in the past year, marketers have begun using social media:

  • 58% have implemented user-generated content or reviews.
  • 31% of respondents have implemented a blog.
  • 25% of respondents have implemented RSS feeds.

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

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) was ranked as the No. 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 No. 1 priority.
  • Online-promotion design and implementation was ranked as relatively unimportant, (No. 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.

“As more and more marketing tools become available, we’ll continue to see a greater divide between perceived importance and resource allocation,” said John Squire, SVP product strategy, GM marketing services at Coremetrics.

“The ability to accurately monitor the ROI achieved by new marketing tools will help marketers take that first step toward incorporating new digital marketing programs, as well as rethink the effectiveness of current campaigns.”

About the study: The survey of 116 senior marketing professionals was conducted during the third quarter of 2007. Coremetrics asked marketers which social marketing tools and activities they were using or intended to use, and how much of their time and budget is spent on social media as opposed to traditional marketing activities.

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