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Do Marketers Prefer Social Media or Email Marketing?

Social Media SurveysResearch and surveys are continuing to show the growing importance of Social Media for marketers in 2010, with nearly six in 10 planning to include social-media spending in their next-year’s marketing budget, according to the “2010 Media Planning Intelligence Study” from the Center for Media Research.

The Top 3 were

  1. Email 57%
  2. Social Media  56%
  3. SEO (or Keyword search) 50%

The Last 2 (interestingly) were Traditional National Mass Media 

  1. National TV  18%
  2. National Newspapers 15%

Note: The study was conducted conducted between July 17 and Aug. 10, 2009 and is based on a survey of 1,972 MediaPost subscribers, including 1,164 who report that they have planning, buying, approving responsibility for 2010

Social Medias Place in Marketing Plans For 2010

Another recent study by Alterian found a similar phenomenon in terms of the importance being placed on social media, with similiar results to the “2010 Media Planning Intelligence Study”. Despite the acknowledgement by marketers that email provides the most measurable ROI, social media continues to receive a large  portion of marketers’ attention because of its potential influence on consumers.

In another study that examined the complex relationship between email and social networks, The Nielsen Company found that the high Social Media consumers had high levels of email usage, likely because of the multitude of “status update” messages that flood social networkers’ inboxes.

Another study reveals that Social Email Campaigns are increasing in this current year(2009) by nearly 400% (A record number of email marketers are planning to bridge the gap between online social networks and their email marketing campaigns, and the number of social email initiatives is expected to grow 367% this year, according to new research from Ball State University, the Email Marketer’s Club and ExactTarget.(for further reading on this have a read of a white paper at Exact Target “Expanding the Reach of Email Through Social Networks Whitepaper“)

Note: The complex relationship between email and Social Media is being further investigated by The Nielsen Company and could prove to be interesting when its results are revealed.



So with the opportunities for marketers with the new medium of Social Media, there are still obstacles with the survey from Alterian revealing  “4 Challenges” in implementing Social media Marketing.

  • Strategy (46% of respondents felt  that strategy was the most important factor in defining the customer engagement agency)
  • Integration of online and offline channels (25% stated that the top obstacle to overcome in online marketing was the integration of online with database marketing and offline channels
  • Lack of ability to assess or manage internal infrastructure and culture challenges (25%) 
  • Integration of all the technology to power the cycle (20%) were identified as the biggest factors in implementing the customer engagement cycle.
  • So what are the major takeaways from these studies

    1. Social Media Marketing is to be ignored at your companies marketing peril

    2. Traditional “Email” is still one of the most important marketing distribution channels

    3. SEO is  vital in being found online and is still a core marketing strategy

    4. Investigating and capitalising on the surprising but interesting relationship between Social Media and Email

    So are the first three the major part of your marketing strategy?

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