Marketers Like Social Media for Direct Marketing

Source: The Center for Media Research

StrongMail Systems, Inc., released new survey data that points to the emergence of social media as a direct marketing channel and a significant planned investment in email marketing and social media programs in the second half of 2009.

500 marketers, responding to an online survey from May 21 to June 1, 2009, report a wide-spread reach for ownership of social media within the various facets of marketing:

  • 29% of respondents state that social media responsibility is owned by multiple departments
  • 36% of survey respondents state that the direct marketing department owns social media
  • 9% of the respondents report that social media is owned by public relations departments
  • 5% have a dedicated social media department

The survey revealed that social media is a hot initiative with email marketers, with 66% planning to integrate the two channels in 2009, and 48% who have already formulated a strategy for achieving this initiative. Of marketers planning to increase budgets in 2009, 83% will increase spend in email marketing, followed by social media at 62%.

There is still widespread confusion regarding how a social media strategy for email marketing should be implemented, notes the report:

  • 55% of respondents report that one of their biggest challenges with integrating social media and email marketing is determining metrics by which to measure success
  • 48% say establishing business goals for the program is the biggest challenge

Social media has grown to the stage where it needs an owner and a purpose within marketing, concludes the report. StrongMail believes that the intrinsic interconnection between social media and email make it an ideal direct channel, as Email continues to drive engagement in social networks by alerting members of new content and updates. And, says the report, the ability to communicate relevant messages within social networks is critical to a business’ success in the medium.

Ryan Deutsch, vice president of strategic services and market development, concludes that “Leveraging social media is a valuable tool for meeting direct marketing objectives… but needs to be tied to metrics such as purchases, new customer acquisition or customer retention… in line with the business’s overall direct marketing objectives.”

For additional information about the study, please visit here.

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