Marketers Aren't Sure About ROI but Will Spend More on Social Media, WFA Says

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Companies Often Don’t Post Enough or Fail to Express a Brand’s Personality Online

Ad Age, 3/24/11

All but one of 24 marketers surveyed in a new report from the World Federation of Advertisers and WPP research firm Millward Brown is committed to increasing the time and money they spend on social media in the next 12 months, even if they don’t think they can accurately measure the results.

Marketers surveyed said their fan pages are about generating insight, advocacy, loyalty and engagement — but not necessarily sales — from their fans. Only 23% of respondents said they were convinced that they were getting a good return on their investment, while 18% said they think their ROI is “average” and 9% described it as “poor.”

Part of the problem is simple logistics, said Nick Oram, managing director of independent media agency Total Media. “There’s a scramble for territory,” he said, “between the brand, the PR agency, the creative agency, the digital agency — everyone’s trying to be the one do it.”

It’s also hard to determine the rewards. “Quite a few clients appear to want an immediate reaction,” Mr. Oram said, “but it doesn’t work like that. It takes a while to develop relationships and then to see a return. Brands know it’s a huge channel where people spend a lot of time, and logically their marketing money should be there, but it can be scary to approach it with a long-term view.”

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