Marketers Have Limited Social Media Understanding

alterian-socnet-understanding-jan-2011.JPGSeven in 10 marketing professionals either have very little to no understanding (31%) about relevant social media conversations around their brand or clients’ brands, or use a few ad-hoc tools (39%), according to [pdf] a new survey from Alterian. The remainder report regularly to management. Alterian analysis indicates the majority do look to improve their level of understanding about these conversations and redirect their social media monitoring strategy to improve awareness and engagement.

Agencies 2x Likely to Report to Management

alterian-socnet-breakdown-marketers-jan-2011.JPGBreaking marketing professionals down into three key categories, agencies (44%) are twice as likely as either marketers (27%) or marketing service professionals (MSPs, 26%) to say they report regularly to management on the social media conversations happening around client brands.

Forty percent of both marketers and MSPs are using a few ad hoc tools, compared to 35% of agencies. About one-third of MSPs (32%) and marketers (30%) say they have little understanding about social media conversations, compared to one-fifth (21%) of agencies. No agencies say they have no understanding, compared to 2% of MSPs and 3% of marketers.

Europe Leads Ad Hoc Tool Use

alterian-socnet-understanding-global-jan-2011.JPGRespondents in other geographic regions (30%) are less likely than North American (39%) and European (42%) respondents to say they are using a few ad-hoc tools to follow social media conversations happening around their (or client) brands. Interestingly, European respondents are least likely to say they report regularly to management (26%, compared to 29% of the rest of the world and 31% of North America).

The rest of the world has the highest rate of saying they only have a little understanding of social media conversations (36%, compared to 29% of Europe and 28% of North America) and no understanding (5%, compared to 3% of Europe and 2% of North America).

Email Channel Most Personalized

alterian-socnet-personalized-jan-2011.JPGWhen it comes to creating personalized customer experiences, email is at the front of the pack with 72% of respondents selecting this as a focus. Direct mail (58%), website (56%), and social media (53%) campaigns are all personalized by between 50-60%, indicating that approximately one-fourth do not customize the marketing experience for any one channel. However, only 9% admit to not personalizing any channel, which shows the vast majority focus on creating a customized experience for at least one.

The trend of a personalized customer experience is clearly important, but Alterian analysis indicates it seems that the majority need some help seeing the value in executing this strategy across multiple channels.

3 in 4 Social/Digital Marketing Expenditures to Rise

Three-fourths of those surveyed estimate their social/digital marketing expenditure will increase during the next year, with one-fourth overall projecting it will increase greatly (25% or more), according to other study results. Alterian says the estimated growth above and beyond overall marketing expenditure projection is indicative that social/digital marketing will drive general marketing growth in the coming year.

About the Data: This survey of 1,462 global marketing professionals was conducted from October 9, 2010 to December 17, 2010, both online and offline.