Study Shows Marketers Plan to Spend More on Social Media Programs

More Than 87% Will Increase Investment in the Next 12 Months

NEW YORK  (Profitable.com)  The Pivot Conference today released findings from its survey of 137 brand marketers and ad agency professionals that point to a significant investment in social media marketing programs in the next 12 months. Of the marketers surveyed, about two-thirds (63%) have already implemented social media marketing programs, and 87% plan to increase that investment in the next 12 months. Of the 37% of marketers that are not currently investing in social media, 62% plan to invest within one year.

Based on measurement, analysis and goals for their programs, 89% of those surveyed said their social media marketing programs have been successful, and of that, 30% cited that programs were very successful, e.g. generated more sales or improved customer relations. On the other hand, 11% of the marketers surveyed said they were unable to tell whether their programs were successful.

“While the technology and tools are there, social media is still uncharted territory for many marketers,” says Chris Shipley, executive producer of Pivot Conference. “The survey results indicate that they are planning to spend money but are still looking for guidance on how to spend their budgets, how to track ROI and the best ways to engage with key customers.”

Social Media Marketing Is a Small Portion of Total Budget But Spending Is Likely to Increase

Despite the relatively low cost to implement social media programs, 74% of marketers surveyed said that less than 20% of their online marketing resources, including budget and staff to manage them, were devoted to social media programs. And yet, 87% stated plans to increase their investment in social media marketing programs in the next 12 months.

Who Is the Target Customer?

75% of the marketers surveyed are targeting the “always-on” consumer, described as “hyper-connected” because of their frequency of engagement with the Internet and mobile devices.  

  • 36% stated that the demographic is a primary target, and 39% stated it as a secondary target.
  • Survey respondents believe that 50% or more of 18-34 year old consumers are “always-on.”

When asked their opinions about “always-on,” 18-34 year old consumers, the majority of surveyed marketers agreed:

  • When marketing programs are formatted and delivered in a way 18-34 year olds find engaging, they are susceptible to branding or re-branding. (71%)
  • Their attention span for marketing/advertising is shorter than previous generations. (70%)
  • They often have different motivations than previous generations, such as green or socially conscious interests. (67%)
  • They have the potential to be more influential than consumers who are not always-on. (62%)

The study indicated that just over half of the marketers surveyed (57%) are seeking active engagement with customers using social media platforms.  Another 30% are exploring customer involvement with caution or have not yet formalized how to engage with those customers using social media.

Where Customers Go, Marketers Follow

In keeping with the online habits of 18-34 year old consumers, the most popular Internet/mobile platforms that marketers are currently using include:

  • Search engines (i.e. Google) – 89% using
  • Social media sites (i.e. Facebook) – 84% using
  • Micro-blogging/presence applications (i.e. Twitter) – 72% using

Emerging platforms in which marketers are planning to increase investment include:

  • Mobile apps (i.e. iPhone) – 39% currently using; 42% plan to use
  • Location-based services (i.e. foursquare) – 23% currently using; 35% plan to use
  • In-game advertising (i.e. FarmVille) – 5% currently using; 23% plan to use

Methodology

The online survey was conducted by Extra Mile Audience Research on behalf of the Pivot Conference between June 29 and July 30, 2010. The invitation to participate in this online survey was sent to corporate marketers and ad agency professionals via email and through social media channels. 137 responded to the survey.

To request a copy of the report, please visit: https://pivotcon.wufoo.com/forms/pivot-survey-request-form/

About the Pivot Conference

The Pivot Conference, taking place October 17 – 20 in New York, is a new kind of marketing conference singularly focused on the 18-34 year old demographic: their attitudes, technologies and preferences. Pivot is the first and only conference where brand marketers can go to gain essential confidence in their power to inhabit the culture, conventions and conversations of today’s young consumers. Sponsors of Pivot Conference include Automattic, Geeknet, Glam Media, Ooyala, VideoEgg, Yahoo!.