Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
April 5, 200712:47 PM

Marketers Warm Up to Social Media Says Forrester Research

Before we get into the chunk of this Blog post, I am wondering if anyone has ever done any research on these research firms to see how often they are accurate? Any insight would be appreciated.

Last week I saw a news item in AdWeek that caught my eye: Marketers Warm Up To Social Media by Brian Morrissey dated March 28th, 2007.

Here a snippet:

"Forrester Research, in a survey of over 90 marketers, found social media is gaining broader acceptance, though it still trails far behind Web mainstays like e-mails, search marketing and display ads.

Many marketers are waiting for concrete proof these channels work before diving into them, Forrester found. Of those not using social media channels, 'proof of use' was the No. 1 factor that would encourage trial.

'Consumers are moving so quickly into emerging media that marketers can't keep up,' Forrester analyst Brian Haven concluded in the report. 'We bet marketers calling for 'proof of use' really need to increase their own familiarity with the medium and its application for their customers.'"

What really frazzled me was the comparison of social media to email, search and banner advertising. There are two obvious points of confusion.

Point #1 - running advertising in social media environments is not "warming up to social media." All that's really changing is that you're moving or adding ad buys beyond the larger online networks that give you enough reach to satisfy your traditional advertising metrics. My guess is by simply advertising on social networks, you're doing more work to gain the same amount of reach and marketers aren't sure it's worth the effort.

Point #2 - If what marketers are "really" talking about is creating or joining conversations then the analogy back to email, search and banner is advertising is completely off. You're not advertising any more. If you're using social media, you're creating content. It's the same thing as taking a full-page ad in a magazine or having to write a feature article. Those are two different worlds.

So, if Marketers are truly warming up to social media, does that mean that we're ready to embrace the fact that we're also now in the content business? Are we ready for the true long tail haul of creating content without immediate ROI or brand lift in knowing that by joining the conversation we're giving our brands a fighting chance in the future?

I have hopes for Marketers, Brands and social media... I'm just not sure if we're able to gauge whether Marketers know if they are creating content by using social media or just advertising on social media sites for more eyeballs.

You can read the full news item here: AdWeek - Marketers Warm Up to Social Media.

By Mitch Joel

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