SOURCE: Awareness, Inc.

September 13, 2012 08:00 ET

New State of Social Media Marketing Report From Awareness, Inc. Identifies Top Trends and Challenges Facing Marketers

Brands Struggle to Measure ROI, Manage and Grow Social Media Presence

BURLINGTON, MA--(Marketwire - Sep 13, 2012) - Awareness, Inc., provider of on-demand social marketing automation software, today announced results of its State of Social Media Marketing Survey, available in the report 'The State of Social Marketing Report: 7 Major Findings & In-Depth Analysis'.

The survey, which Awareness conducts bi-annually, was administered in July 2012 and received responses from 450 marketers from a cross-section of industries, company sizes and levels of social marketing experience. Survey respondents represented executive and senior management roles (45%), mid-level management (28%) and marketing support roles (15%). Content areas covered in the report include:

  • Top Business Objectives for Social Marketing
  • Corporate investment in social marketing trends
  • Social marketing resources: people and budgets
  • Greatest social marketing challenges
  • Social media monitoring and management practices & tools
  • Measuring social marketing effectiveness & ROI
  • Top social media platforms used
  • Social media platforms used by experienced social marketers
  • Adoption of Social CRM
  • Most admired social brands

"Our State of Social Media Marketing report reveals that brands struggle to measure ROI, despite the volume of marketers with social media presence and experience," offered Brian Zanghi, CEO of Awareness, Inc. "Brands remain ill-equipped to tie their social marketing initiatives to business results. However, companies experienced in social marketing are applying new technologies to identify and segment prospects and buyers, such as social CRM and social marketing automation to drive business value." 

Survey Findings

Overall, the report revealed that marketers have yet to tap into the full potential of social. Few are using key enabling technologies such as social CRM, which when adopted more widely, will be used to integrate social prospect and customer data with traditional sales and marketing data, providing a layer of insights that will help marketers be more effective and efficient in the social age. Only 16% of marketers who responded to the survey are currently using a social CRM, although an additional 21% plan to by this year's end. Socially mature brands are adopting Social CRMs faster -- brands with a social marketing budget of over $100,000 have a social CRM adoption rate of 44%, with an additional 26% who plan to use such a system by the end of 2012.

While 68% of marketers state they are interested in further expanding their social footprint, followed by an interest in publishing content more frequently, a full 50% see the need for tighter integration between social and the rest of marketing and 35% want better integration between marketing and the rest of the business. This metric points to a maturation of social marketing, as integration of social data with other marketing disciplines creates a more complete customer picture.

Savvy marketers are interested in measuring their effectiveness, by measuring ROI, brand effectiveness, and customer engagement. To measure revenue generation, marketers look to:

  • New customers coming from social, as reported by 63% of respondents; new leads by 60%
  • Sales driven from social (59%)
  • Only 41% report having individual social profiles for their fans and followers, which points to a limited ability by marketers to segment and prioritize followers by their value and potential to the business.

In addition to these key findings, the State of Social Media Marketing Report identifies top-level trends including the leading challenges faced by marketers, cited as proper ROI measurement (58%) and managing and growing social media presence (44%). More mature organizations cite their top challenges as measuring ROI (64%), full integration with the rest of marketing (41%) and integration specifically with lead generation and sales (32%).

"We expect leading social marketers to apply new frameworks and strategies to measure social ROI, including a growth in social prospecting and social scoring to turn the broader social web into a lead generation pipeline," says Zanghi.

The State of Social Marketing Report: 7 Major Findings & In-Depth Analysis is available for download here

About Awareness, Inc. (http://www.awarenessnetworks.com/)
With a unique combination of technology, experience and thoughtful support, Awareness enables smart marketers to efficiently and effectively generate ROI from 100% trackable social media interactions. It is the leading provider of OnDemand Social Marketing Automation Software designed specifically to address all key aspects of social media marketing -- from demand generation to customer acquisition and social customer engagement. The Awareness Social Marketing Hub, the company's flagship social marketing software, is the only solution available that ties Social Prospecting, Social Scoring and Social Profile Database into one solution resulting in a detailed social marketing ROI. Awareness works with some of the world's leading brands and marketing agencies including MLB, Comcast, Likeable Media, Raidious, American Cancer Society, Tiger Woods Foundation, The Carlsberg Group, Mindjumpers, Nuance, DemandWare, Trend Micro, and Computer Associates. Backed by NorthBridge Venture Partners, Awareness is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts.

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