Social Media Hits Mainstream; Tried-and-True Still Works Best

August 11, 2009

Despite continuing concerns about measuring ROI and effectiveness, two-thirds of marketers have used social media in 2009 and half have used viral videos, making these two formats the fastest-growing tactics in marketing,? according to a survey from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), BtoB Magazine and ‘mktg’.

The 66% who used social media this year represents a a increase over 2007 survey results, which revealed that only 20% of marketers were using social media and 25% were employing viral videos two years ago.
Among marketers using social networking, the top sites being used:

  • Facebook (74%)
  • YouTube (65%)
  • Twitter (63%)
  • LinkedIn (60%)

Budget Allocation for New Media
In order to properly fund these new media formats, the study found that 55% of respondents have shifted funds from their traditional media budget, while 48% shifted funds from other marketing communications budgets.? More than one-forth of marketers (26%) created an incremental budget.

Top Concerns About New Media
Despite the growing use of social networks and viral videos, marketers do not think they are using these media in the most effective ways and are still struggling with measurement and media-mix allocation issues. The top concerns for marketers when considering newer media platforms are the inability to prove ROI (45%) and worries about not having metrics to properly allocate the mix of traditional and digital media (43%).

On the other hand, the most effective of the newer media platforms are those which marketers have been doing for longer periods of time and those for which more measurable results are available:

  • Search engine marketing (SEM) (65%)
  • Own website (59%)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) (55%)
  • E-mail marketing (45%)

B2B vs. B2C Marketers

The study results also reveal that B2B and B2C marketers differ in how they use new media platforms. Some of the ways:

  • While mobile is used by 32 percent of overall marketers, it is three times more likely to be used by B2C versus B2B marketers (52% vs. 18%).
  • LinkedIn rates first among B2B marketers while Facebook is top among B2C.
  • Twitter is used more by B2B marketers (70%) than B2C marketers (46%).
  • B2C marketers see much more effectiveness from SEM (76%) than B2B (48%).
  • Webinars are a much more effective platform for B2B marketers (48%) versus B2C (6%).

Plans for Next Year

In the next year, blogs are the new media format at the top of the list for all marketers not using them (34%), followed by mobile (28%) and social media (23%). Viral video and podcasts are also of high interest for many B2B marketers who are not using them.

Despite the interest in blogs, mobile and social media, however, the newer media platforms that will get the most spending in 2009 are still the ones that are more established:

  • Own website (26%)
  • Search engine marketing (19%)
  • Online ads, including banners, etc. (17%)

“As more media platforms become available, it is imperative that all marketers continue to assess their capabilities and select the platforms that are best suited to help them meet their brand’s goals and objectives,” said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA. “With this proliferation of media, marketers must work harder, survey the entire landscape available to them and create their brand’s most optimal media mix.”

About the survey: In June, 2009 the ANA, in partnership with BtoB Magazine and ‘mktg’, conducted the online survey, “Harnessing the Power of Newer Media Platforms for More Effective Marketing.” In total, 172 client-side marketers responded to the survey. These results are being compared with the same survey that was fielded in 2007. Full results will be shared at the ANA/BtoB “B-to-B Marketing in the New World Conference” August 4-5 in Chicago.


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