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Gini Dietrich

Marketing Has a Long Way to Go

By: Gini Dietrich | January 26, 2011 | 
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I have this darling friend named Jackie Lampugnano who, every time I see her name, I think she is my aunt (I have an aunt named Jackie Lampros). We started off Twitter friends because of a mutual love of shoes and have even been shoe shopping together (bad influence, cough!).

Jackie works for Walker Sands, the agency for Alterian, a social web content and monitoring company. Though I very rarely take pitches from PR pros (mostly because it’s not often I’ve had one that is good and fits something that is of value to you, not because I don’t accept pitches), this particular pitch from Jackie makes sense.

Allow me to introduce you to the Alterian survey of nearly 1,500 marketing professionals to discover where brands stand when it comes to budgets, social media, level of personalization, and if they are ready for growth or if they’re at risk.

The questions asked in this year’s survey include:

  • How are marketing budgets shifting in 2011?
  • What are marketers doing to increase their campaign effectiveness?
  • Where are senior marketers focusing their budgets?
  • How are marketers tying together analytics and ROI?

    While the good news is that 75 percent of marketers expect their digital budgets to increase, it’s pretty scary that more than three years into the social web, brands still aren’t fully on board with nearly 40 percent using “ad-hoc” tools instead of implementing into their overall strategies.

    The bad news continues with 34 percent saying their corporate website serves mainly as a company brochure and only 13 percent have figured out a way to create email marketing that is targeted specifically to each recipient.

    The infographic below shows you the major findings and shows we still have a lot of work to do. If you’d like the full results, you can find them by clicking here.


    About Gini Dietrich


    Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

    26 comments
    mikecollado
    mikecollado

    Actually, the statistic that floors me is that 70% have little understanding of social media conversations surrounding their brand. I interpret this to mean that companies are not monitoring or listening, much less participating in the conversation.

    Given recent discussions I've had with startups and small tech businesses, I'd peg that number to be higher: they're doing nothing. Which is stunning, since some of them are very cutting edge w/r/t their market space.

    Then again, I've found that most of these companies are run by technologists with little marketing experience.

    patrickreyes
    patrickreyes

    I started reading the Alterian survey. At the end of the exec summary, it says, "It is clear that marketers could use guidance, the right tools, and a clear, strategic plan driven by consumer intelligence, to move toward fully engaging customers at an individual level, with the precision they have come to expect." For me, the best line in that was having a strategic plan. I've witnessed brands going into a redesign but not knowing why they are changing or what their strategy is.

    Strategy before tools.

    3HatsComm
    3HatsComm

    @ginidietrich It's not budgets and numbers, I'm fine with a little caution, a little careful investing on what does work rather than test balloons. What hits me with this is the "ad hoc" approach, the lack of integration. The office walls are still up separating R&D from support, marketing from service, PR on its own with maybe social media having to fight for a corner somewhere. Meanwhile no one is really working together to see how they can take @HowieG traditional media reach, the PR exposure, the feedback and engagement from social and put it all together to achieve the primary marketing goal: make the business more profitable. FWIW.

    wabbitoid
    wabbitoid

    Interesting to me because I think that small businesses are about the same. That's about what I hear as I make my rounds poundingthe pavement.

    Howie Goldfarb
    Howie Goldfarb

    I have connected with a few Alterian folks they are pretty sharp.
    I view Social Integration in terms of Strategy and Budgets the same as Mobile. Its a very broad area with many segments. Obviously anyone in social media (agency, Alterian/Radian6, Facebook) is going to have the view of expand Social Budgets.

    So from a more objective viewpoint I think it depends on the type of business, what your financial resources are, and what your needs and goals are. For example I am sure Apple doesn't care about Twitter or Facebook in needing a presence. But they sure could use a listening tool to head off wild rumors of upcoming product releases so that they don't underwhelm like they did with the IPad (yes very successful in sales but it did not meet expectations in my view based on the chatter).

    For a massive company like Nestle I wouldn't touch social except maybe Facebook ads. Not going to impact share price, your bonuses, or give you reach like TV, Billboards, and in store positioning and promotions will. With 1 billion customers world wide I am sure the last thing you want is an easy way for everyone to connect today. Obviously Boeing might benefit from Social Communication Technology Tools intracompany but many companies like them already have proprietary systems in existence for many years via their intranets. But not sure they need a Radian or Facebook/Twitter/Gowalla etc.

    As for Digital in general people should improve their web presence. I still see Digital Advertising as mostly a failure so far aside from Paid Search in the scheme of things. Mobile might change that. But I don't consider that Digital as much as Mobile Technologies.

    T60Productions
    T60Productions

    It's crazy... but sadly... not surprising. I can't tell you how many times I've pitched a video to a company, and then spent the rest of the meeting explaining all the ways a video can be delivered these days.

    --Tony Gnau

    ginidietrich
    ginidietrich moderator

    Yes, I know the fonts are off in the post above. I've spent the last 30 minutes trying to fix it and I GIVE UP! So. I'm sorry.

    mikecollado
    mikecollado

    @wabbitoid @ginidietrich Correct. But I now include "listening" as one of the basics. Why? Because fundamentals like news placements are online and include comments - it's social. I met with a CEO of a technology business last week whose company has been included in an industry buyers guide published online. He was unaware, however, that several comments had been posted that inaccurately portrayed his product. Had someone been listening, those concerns could have been addressed. That's not new, neato-beano marketing, it's smart marketing.

    wabbitoid
    wabbitoid

    @ginidietrich @mikecollado It's not happening. I hate repeating myself over and over and going back to fundamentals, but there is nothing to replace a solid foundation. Those of us who practice this for a living are contributing far more to the craft by emphasizing the basics than we are chasing the latest trendy-kewl shiny object. What we talk abot has to matter in the world, and if all we talk about is the latest fashion we distance ourselves from the people we need to serve.

    ginidietrich
    ginidietrich moderator

    @mikecollado I don't think it's just the technologists. I did an opening keynote for a conference last week and less than 10 percent of the audience (nearly 500 people) are using Google alerts to do simple listening and monitoring. We live in this bubble where we think it's astounding that it's not happening, but it's not happening.

    ginidietrich
    ginidietrich moderator

    @patrickreyes Which also means not using the tools in an ad-hoc way...as most marketers surveyed are doing.

    3HatsComm
    3HatsComm

    @ginidietrich I left out other parts of the organization, like HR and training, sales under the marketing header, etc. IT does have a job to do and blocking attacks, preventing system-killing viruses, blah blah but do you have to hide everything? Aren't there tools and applications to fight, to protect, not to mention training: Dear Employee, you don't have a rich Nigerian uncle; stop clicking his links.

    ginidietrich
    ginidietrich moderator

    @wabbitoid I think you're right - I know our clients look at it the same way, though we have most of them light years ahead of their competitors.

    3HatsComm
    3HatsComm

    @ginidietrich @HowieG That's the real catch: speed and efficiency. When you're fast, respond on the fly.. that's when mistakes can be made, something said out of context that backfires. Of course you should work with a plan so you don't make mistakes but they will happen, so you'll have to deal and move on. Maybe even learn from it. I stil get the impression a lot of folks want to bulletproof, teflon coat their marketing.. which keeps it spinning its wheels I guess.

    ginidietrich
    ginidietrich moderator

    @3HatsComm @HowieG I just think social is what we've always done...it's just an easier and more efficient way of doing it. We shouldn't be looking at ad-hoc tools (as Davina points out in her comment above), but as using the tools in an integrated strategy that gets us where we want to be more quickly and more efficiently.

    3HatsComm
    3HatsComm

    @HowieG See I've read about the Apple product leaks, and how some of them are possibly planned to keep the buzz going. And while they don't engage socially, Apple has a few iTunes and App Store related Twitter broadcast feeds. Which just tells me they know where their fish are biting; those of use playing in the social sandbox are more likely to buy their stuff. Like me. ;-)

    As for brands, yeah.. all depends on how they'll use it. Research, listening post, customer service and support channel, list goes on. Then the marketing kicks in, as does the feedback you get via social channels drive your next campaign, that next promotion you offer? Just asking.

    ginidietrich
    ginidietrich moderator

    @T60Productions THAT is insane! I shouldn't be surprised because, when I speak I hear, "My customer doesn't use the web." But to not understand the value of video? I guess we live in a bubble, huh??

    loripop326
    loripop326

    @ginidietrich I just thought that you had purposefully highlighted those portions, as they were important ;)

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