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Marketing Trends Report 2009: Where does Social Media Stand?

Social Media 3What are the marketing trends for 2010 and where does Social Media Figure in the mix? A report by Equation Research  indicates some interesting trends that highlight that “Social Media” is certainly past being a fad and becoming mainstream. 

 The 5  Highlights

1. Current and Intended Social Media Use

  • Yes, it’s currently part of our marketing activity 59%
  • We’re planning to implement social media 28%
  • No, we’re not using or planning to use social media 13%

When you break this down by company size, there seems to be a schism between Social Media use among small brands. Half (56%) of these smaller companies are currently pursuing Social Media tactics, yet almost a third (29%) are not planning any move into the Social Media space –small B2B in particular seem reluctant. Note: My experience in presenting proposals and interacting with different size companies seems to bear this out 


The adoption of Social Media is well past critical mass –multiple published studies support this finding. While the quality of the implementations is difficult to assess, Social Media is now table-stakes. No business professional should be without a solid understanding of how this new world affects them.

2. Barriers To Using Social Media

This report seems to reflect similiar issues from another survey which I highlighted in a previous post “Survey Reveals: The Top 5 Social Media Channels Companies Are Using” where the survey conducted by Minneapolis-based Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law in July 2009 also mentioned very similiar barriers to using Social Media, with the two major barriers being

1. “We don’t know enough about social media to know where to begin” (Fear of the unknown and lack of knowledge) 37% of respondents

Note : This highlights an opportunity for social media consultants to educate and provide expertise

2. “There’s no established way to measure the effectiveness of social media (ROI)” 37% of those surveyed

For a more detailed list of the barriers for companies avoiding using social media see my recent post “28 Reasons Why The CEO Is Afraid Of Social Media”

3. Main Social Media Channels

Again the Top 5 are very similiar to those revealed in the survey conducted by Minneapolis-based Russell Herder

  1. Facebook Page 89%
  2. Online videos 68%
  3. Facebook Group 58%
  4. Twitter 53%
  5. Blogs 53%

4. How are you measuring the effectiveness of your social media efforts?

  • Tracking website hits 58%-70% (This range is dependent on the size of the company)
  • Tracking links on sites 39%-45%
  • Tracking mentions on sites 32%-48%
  • Tracking sales/new business leads 37%-40%
  • Measuring buzz 27%-34%

5. How do you see this allocation (of Marketing dollars) changing in the next year?

This is where the report gets interesting where Social Media, Search Engine and OnLine Marketing take the top 3 positions in Marketing Trends for 2010 with traditional media, (such as TV and Print Media) taking a distinct back seat on Marketing growth trends.  

Percentage of Companies saying that they would see a significant increase in spend in

  • Social Media with an indicated 25%
  • Online Advertising with 17%
  • Search Engine Advertising at 20%

Compare this to the percentage of companies saying they would significantly increase spending in traditional media.

  • TV at 3%
  • Print Advertising at 1%

So what did the report say were the implications of this distinct trend to Social Media and Online Marketing dollars being spent


  1. Print and TV advertising continue to suffer. As consumers move away from these mediums, so will ad dollars 
  2. Advertising and ways of thinking about advertising needs to change as channels shift and morph. There is no easy translation of a traditional Print, TV, or even Online campaign to the world of Social Media.

Equation Research is a full service research execution and strategy firm working with an extensive list of Fortune 1000 clients including brands, advertising and PR agencies, other research firms and magazine publishers.

So what are your spending plans for Social Media in 2010?

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Great Post! As a Internet Marketing company we have been pushing social media marketing to our clients and it has really paid off! Both for us & them! This article is great as I love numbers and statistics. Keep up the great articles & take care.

  • Thanks Jeff, another great post. I do the pr/promotion for the state museums in Santa Fe – one person four museums no assistant. It all seemed so overwhelming until the opportunities presented by social media (in its broadest sense) came around. I went to some conferences years ago, subscribe to great blogs like yours to keep up, and now use FaceBook and Twitter (and our newly created media center) to be my virtual assistants in getting the word out about exhibitions and events. I have seen coverage of what goes on in our museums increase – in both traditional media, but online, too. The viral effects have been terrific – almost as nice as getting AP to pick up a story. I still send out media releases to the dwindling number of journalists still covering the arts.

    • Hi Steve – How nice to “run into you” here. I’m so happy to hear of your great successes with Social Media.

      Jeff – what a great and succinct post. Thanks.

  • Thank you for the analysis and observations, Jeff. Though social media has certainly gone “mainstream,” the benefits of getting involved now and staying current with online branding and marketing will not pay off for another 5–7 years, as more and more digital natives come of age. It’s their world now. And the new media revolution has just begun…

    Again, thank you for breaking down these numbers and trends. I depend on your blog for consistently valuable insights and information…

  • There are only two actions I consider positive responses in any marketing initiative we agree to implement:

    1. A prospect leaving their contact information for follow up
    2. A sale

    Compare this to the indicators of success above and you will see a noticeable difference.

    Steve Pohlit, President

  • Hi, what a great, succinct blog entry ! I really appreciated how you captured the essence in a ‘parsimonious’ fashion.

    Will be interesting to see how this picture unfolds.

    All the best

  • Great article! the more information we have out there to quantify the benefits of social media advertising to the bottom line, the better we all are. I, as a small social media consultant for individuals, nonprofits , and small businesses, find myself always stressing the fact to my clients that traditional media is declining fast and that they need to pay attention to social media as their main advertising tool to reach audiences.

    Thank you for sharing this great info.


    LLOnline Blogera

  • lana

    still learning… thank you!