Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.
In Q1 2012 Lopez Research published a report in conjunction with the Software Industry Association (SIA) on social media adoption within businesses. The survey interviewed 106 marketing executives about their company’s use of email, mobile marketing and social media to build their brand, gain leads, and improve customer support.
A majority of the respondents, 88%, stated their primary geographic market is in North America but only 12% of the respondents considered consumers part of their target market segmentation.
We discovered a few interesting tidbits that I’ll share here. First, email marketing continues to be used by a majority of the respondents and many use it weekly. Mobile marketing use was low among the respondents, which isn’t surprising given that a high percentage of companies surveyed serve the business-to-business (B2B) and business to government (B2G) groups.
Overall, a majority of companies believe that social media will improve their business. As a result, many firms are investing in numerous social media channels that range from blogs, to Twitter to LinkedIn. The survey results indicate that companies which service B2B firms are as interested in social media as companies that service business to consumer (B2C) firms with roughly 90% of all respondents stating they are using social media marketing.
Social media marketing has matured to the point where companies are looking at a mix of quantitative ROI measures such as revenue and web site traffic, but also qualitative measures, such as brand awareness (see figure below). Time spent on social media marketing varies widely by companies but many are spending under 10 hours per week on these efforts.
To date, most marketers are still managing their social media efforts themselves. In general, social media is driving a small portion of revenue and engagement today but still almost 90% of companies believe social media marketing will benefit business.
While social media marketing use is widespread, the time most businesses spend on social media marketing is still small. Slightly more than half (54.5%) of the survey respondents said their company’s marketing team spends less than 10 hours per week investing in social media. Almost 35% said they spend between one and five hours a week of social media marketing.
Over the past several years, social media monitoring tools such as Lithium and Radian 6 have made it easier for companies to manage postings as well as respond to customer and prospect comments by alerting the marketing and public relations team when someone has referenced the company in a post.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, roughly 13% of the businesses said the company spends over 31 hours per week investing in social media. This indicates that more firms are dedicating nearly the equivalent of a full-time employee to the firm’s social media efforts. In fact, three quarters of the respondents don’t outsource any of its social media efforts
Several years ago, many businesses questioned whether social media should be part of the company’s marketing mix. Today, three quarters of the 106 marketing executives surveyed believe social media will have a positive impact on their business. Are you one of them? Tell us why or why not?