Study: Marketing professionals on influence of social networking
A recent survey by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Social Media Council (SMC) in cooperation with HeadMix shows that almost 60% of marketing and management professionals think social networking can have a significant influence on their company’s brand awareness. But there is also a negative side of the coin: Not even 25% are saying they are „actively engaged“ with it.
The survey is based on the response of 3.400 people, which includes feedback from nearly 40% of the Fortune 100 companies. It states that most of the respondents are still in the „learning mode“ (“starting to learn” or “middle of the pack”). Not even 15% see social networking platforms as a core part of their business. Nevertheless, one-fourth are currently evaluating their strategy.
In order to keep up with innovation speed, staying competitive in the market and improve employees productivity, over 70% of the marketing professionals surveyed are already using external social networks, also for internal collaboration purposes. Among the rising stars for collaboration are blogs, Twitter, mobile applications and RSS.
The necessity of gathering customer feedback and insights is well known amongst the marketers – but not used as a dominant method. 45% see social networking as a critical part for their future business success. The way it is done today: online customer satisfaction surveys, feedback directly from employees, and capturing feedback via online customer forums. Quite a difference to what is needed and how it is done today…
The value of social networking is quite clear to marketers. The old-fashioned way seeking customer feedback is outdated. Customers want answers asap. The standard is high, set by some trendsetting companies using Twitter or Facebook for customer service.
The old research strategy does not offer real-time feedback for businesses. Customers using social media tools today, might let this fact result in bad word-of-mouth damaging brand values. Using the right social networking strategy can keep away negative word-of-mouth as it ‚promises‘ a quick feedback and solution to the customers needs and problems.
However, barriers are still obvious as questions are not answered yet on… quantifiable business value, security and privacy concerns, and potential for time-wasting. However, Neil O’Keefe, DMA VP of catalog & multichannel merchant segments, is positive seeing these results…
“These survey results will help quantify the benefits of internal and external social media and social business software” (…) “Both marketers and businesses will benefit from these results by capitalizing on the power of direct and digital centric marketing in the multichannel landscape.”