Marketers’ use of newer media has exploded in recent years, with once unheard of channels claiming a firm place in marketing tool chests. However, the inability to prove ROI has done little to instill marketer confidence in these channels, according to the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) 2012 Digital and Social Media Survey.
The study found that while more than 70 percent of marketers are currently using newer media platforms to reach their customers, 62 percent say the inability to prove ROI is a top concern. The ANA surveyed 224 client-side marketers during April and May of 2012.
The following are key findings:
Newer Media Usage
Since last year, marketers’ use of online video (e.g., YouTube) has had the sharpest increase of all media platforms – 80 percent are using the channel in 2012 compared to 64 percent a year ago.
Over the past five years, social media and mobile marketing have become an important part of the marketing mix and have grown significantly, with 90 percent and 74 percent of marketers using them, respectively. However, their use has plateaued since last year. In these two fundamental platforms, marketers’ top channels for reaching consumers include:
In addition to relying heavily on social media, mobile and online video, marketers are also using web-based platforms such as websites (95 percent), email marketing (91 percent) and online advertising (89 percent) to reach their consumers.
“As production efficiencies and technology increase access to social, mobile and video platforms, use of these media increase consumer reach and improve overall targeting. There is substantial potential to experience high levels of growth,” said Bob Liodice, president and CEO, ANA.
Metrics, ROI and Marketers’ Confidence
While the use of social media, mobile and online video have all grown significantly, all three platforms are continuing to challenge marketers for measuring ROI. Marketers are also concerned over having the proper metrics to determine the right mix of traditional and digital media. Finally, 53 percent of respondents say there’s a lack of understanding about digital media among key people within their organization.
“Marketers are rapidly learning what works best for their brands and they look to remain nimble and move to adopt new opportunities,” Liodice said. “Platforms offering the most tangible ROI will be favored by marketers moving forward. It is imperative for the industry to standardize measurement practices for digital, social and mobile markets.”
Marketers are more concerned about metrics and measuring ROI than they were last year. However, senior managers are less concerned about using newer media – suggesting its acceptance – and anticipating results from these platforms.
Sixty percent of marketers surveyed are currently measuring the effectiveness / ROI of their social media efforts. Mobile marketing (70 percent) ranks the highest in terms of marketers’ desire for measurement. However, only half of those surveyed say they are doing the same for online video marketing.
Newer media platforms that have been around the longest are more likely to have an established process to measure their effectiveness. Nearly 9 out of 10 marketers are measuring search engine marketing (paid keyword), compared to their website (89 percent), email marketing (88 percent) and online advertising (88 percent).
The two newer media metrics that marketers find most effective are purchase (67 percent) and time spent on marketers’ websites (54 percent). Surprisingly, popular metrics such as the number of Facebook “likes” or Twitter “re-tweets” fell to the bottom of the list, with just 30 percent and 39 percent of marketers, respectively, finding them effective. Nevertheless, marketers are using these two metrics despite their apprehensions.
Newer Media Responsibility and Management
According to survey findings, the responsibility and management of social media falls on a variety of teams. Fifty-one percent of marketers claim that their social media monitoring is done externally and in-house. The percentage of marketers who solely outsource the monitoring of their social media decreased since 2011 (33 percent to 26 percent), while less than a quarter of marketers (23 percent) conduct their social media monitoring in-house. Overall, the vast majority of respondents (75 percent) have just 1-3 people dedicated to this task. Seventeen percent take on this task full time and 83 percent take it on in addition to other responsibilities.
According to nearly half of marketers surveyed (49 percent), it is the digital marketing / media team that is responsible for all social media efforts. The primary reasons they conduct social media monitoring are as follows:
* Brand integrity – 29 percent
* Insights / trends – 26 percent
* Customer service – 18 percent
* Corporate PR – 16 percent
The ANA conducted this survey online. The objective on this survey was to find out ANA members’ questions and concerns related to digital / social marketing. This is the 4th edition with past studies conducted in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
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