Voices of CRM

May 13 2011   2:22PM GMT

Marketing taking more cautious approach to social media

Rosemary Cafasso Profile: Rosecafasso

You know something is over-hyped when even marketing folks are tired of hearing the big sell.

So, when a group of 300 of IBM’s customers and prospects in the marketing field were recently surveyed about their social media plans, about half said they are using social media. The responses showed “enthusiasm is tempered,” IBM said.

The surveyed indicated many marketing groups are in experimental phases with social media tools to extend marketing operations and report more success with targeted trials rather than a broad strategy.

This and other survey results were reported at IBM’s Marketing Innovation Summit held in Boston earlier this month.

Jay Henderson, a director of product strategy at IBM who conducted the survey, said the companies finding success with social media in marketing are conducting disciplined and focused pilots rather than simply putting the company out on social channels without a clear goal. In some cases, companies have performed research as simple as determining which channel – Facebook or Twitter – is more suited to reach new customers by running a test for several weeks on both and then identifying which channel did better and why.

Among other findings, the IBM’s survey showed:

  • An increasing use of mobile device support. About 40% of the 300 surveyed are using mobile marketing tactics with another 20% plan to do so within a year.
  • A more focused set of demands for IT. When asked what their top organization concern is, more than 60% said they need bridge the “data analysis to action” gap. Last year, respondents had a more general need of “IT support of marketing,” Henderson said. The survey showed many marketing groups are now “almost overwhelmed by all the data they have” and are seeking IT assistance to help them better analyze data coming in from a variety of channels.
  • Marketing groups want integrated software to do their jobs, with 90% of respondents reporting interest in integrated suites.

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