Marketers are moving in greater numbers to newer media such as location-based applications and viral video, according to a survey from the Association of National Advertisers released in July. 34% of respondents said they had either used mobile marketing for less than a year (17%) or plan to use the platform next year (17%), while 29% have either recently adopted (10%) or plan to soon adopt (19%) location-based apps and 24% say the same about viral video. Interestingly, some more mature platforms show up high on the list: 17% of respondents aren’t yet using blogs but plan to next year, while 12% say the same about podcasts, and 11% about RSS feeds.
Of note, while 17% of respondents plan to use mobile marketing in the next year, current usage appears to have plateaued, at 74% of respondents (down from 75% in 2011). Similarly, use of social networks/social media appears to have reached its peak, at 90% this year, compared to 89% last year. Both mobile and social media had seen significant gains between 2010 and 2011.
Conversely, use of viral video continues to rise, up from 64% last year to 80% this year.
ROI, Metrics Top Concerns
Marketers rated their key concerns about newer media platforms on a scale of 1 to 10, and the depth of those concerns is up significantly, in almost all areas. Inability to prove return on investment (ROI) was the top concern in both 2011 and 2012, but leaped 21% points to 62% this year rating this concern a top-3 box score.
Having metrics to properly allocate the mix of traditional and digital media is second this year, at 53%, up from 30% last year. A lack of understanding of digital media by key people at the company tied for second place at 53%, up from 32% in 2011. Some other key concerns and their 2011/2012 ratings include: reluctance to move funds from tried and true practices (32%/47%); organizational silos impeding focused enterprise-wide approach (36%/47%); and lack of experience with newer media platforms (18%/37%). Only senior management pushback remained relatively steady, at 39% this year (compared to 38% last year).
Some items new to the list are privacy issues (36%), security issues (35%), and overflow of data in the cloud (17%).
The appearance of ROI at the top of the list of concerns is not a surprise, as other research has also found marketers to be having difficulty measuring the ROI of new media.
Social Media Monitoring Duties Split
Meanwhile, according to the ANA survey, roughly one-quarter of respondents monitoring social media say they outsource this activity completely, down from 33% last year. But that does not mean companies have taken the responsibility completely in-house: the proportion of these respondents doing their own monitoring fully in-house remains fairly steady at 23% this year, compared to 21% last year. Instead, the proportion of companies that use a combination of in-house and outsourced services grew from 46% to 51%.
Among those using in-house social media monitoring, 17% of companies in 2012 have staff for whom that is a full-time responsibility, while 83% distributes that function among employees, saying it is “just part of their jobs.”
Data from the recently-released “IDC Global Technology and Industry Research Organization IT Survey, 2012” indicates that the top challenge cited in using social media tools across all sectors studied is managing and keeping track of all the posted content. These respondents were also concerned about ROI, as well as justifying the expense of social software.
About The Data: The ANA conducted a survey online during April and May of 2012 to address ANA members’ questions relating to digital/social media marketing. In total, 224 client-side marketers are represented in the survey. Participants included members of the ANA survey community who are periodically surveyed on a range of timely, industry-related topics. Respondents to the survey had an average of 13 years of experience in marketing.