Majority of Marketers Seek Email, Social Media Marriage

July 1, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Email | Financial Services | PR | Social Media

Two-thirds of email marketers plan to integrate their email and social media campaigns in the second half of 2009 and 48% have already formulated a strategy for achieving this initiative, according to a survey by StrongMail Systems, Inc.?


In addition, the “2009 Marketing Trends” study also found that email marketing and social media are the top two areas where marketers plan to increase their investment in the second half of this year. Funding is exceptionally strong for both channels: Of marketers planning to increase budgets in 2009, the study found that 83% will increase spend in email marketing, followed by social media at 62%.


Social Media ‘Hot’ but Confusion Exists

Despite an increased focus and growing investment in social media, there is still widespread confusion about how a social media strategy for email marketing should be implemented. More than half (55%) of respondents report that one of their biggest challenges with integrating social media and email marketing is determining metrics by which to measure success. At 48%, establishing business goals for the program is a close second:


Who Owns Social Media?

Part of the problem with integrating and measuring appears to be confusion about where the responsibility for social media outreach should lie. Currently, there appears to be a widespread land-grab for ownership of social media within the various facets of marketing, the study found. More than one-fourth (29%) of respondents say responsibility currently is owned by multiple departments.

However, StrongMail said that social media appears to be emerging as a direct channel with 36% of survey respondents saying that the direct marketing department owns social media:


Surprisingly, only 9% of the respondents report that social media is owned by PR departments, suggesting that “marketing teams value social media more for its demand generation potential than awareness building,” StrongMail said, adding that only 5% have a dedicated social media department.

These findings prove that social media has grown to the stage where it needs an owner and a purpose within marketing and that the interconnection between social media and email make it an ideal direct channel, according to the company.

“Leveraging social media is a valuable tool for meeting direct marketing objectives, but, like any good direct marketing campaign, they need to be tied to metrics such as purchases, new customer acquisition or customer retention,” said Ryan Deutsch, Strongmail VP of strategic services and market development. “The metrics should be in line with the business’s overall direct marketing objectives.”

About the survey: The StrongMail “2009 Marketing Trends” survey was conducted online by Zoomerang on behalf of StrongMail Systems. The poll gathered feedback from over 500 marketing executives in a wide range of industries and was conducted May 21 – June 1, 2009.


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