The majority of marketing executives are still in the early, experimental phases of using and measuring social media and 80% say that they have not yet fully integrated the core elements of Web 2.0 into their marketing efforts, according to a survey from the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG).
Among the social media tools currently being used, social networking sites – such as MySpace and Facebook, blogs and video-sharing sites are cited most often.
The survey of MENG members was conducted to gauge the role of social media in today’s marketing practices, and found that nearly 75% of respondents define social media as media that is based on conversations among users.
Among executive-level marketing professionals:
- 67% of respondents consider themselves beginners at using social media for marketing purposes.
- More than 87% of respondents are not regularly measuring the ROI of their social media marketing efforts.
- Though marketers are paying attention to social media and see a future in it, they still consider the social media world akin to the “Wild West.”
Despite a lack of expertise, more than 67% report they will increase their social media advertising budget in 2009 and see many benefits to adopting social media. These include the ability to engage and communicate with customers and the relatively low cost vs. traditional media.
“Our members are excited about the potential of social media, but most have not yet fully integrated social media practices into their traditional marketing efforts,” says Richard Guha, Chairman of MENG. “While many marketers are worried they’re missing the boat, in reality even the Fortune 500 companies don’t feel they’ve mastered social media just yet.”
“An important thing to remember is the initial foray into social media should always begin with listening to your consumers,” said MENG member Bert DuMars, VP of e-business interactive marketing at Newell Rubbermaid.”Ask them how they would like to engage with your brand, find the communities where they are already active, and immerse yourself in the social networking environment.”