Catching up on feed-reading and I found a couple of articles I wanted to share. The first was this one from Duke University that found that CMOs predict a healthy surge in Social Media spending over the next year, by 46%. These same CMOs said that integrating social media into its existing marketing efforts is still a challenge. More on this in a minute.
The second article came from the Wall-Street Journal, who interviewed Proctor and Gamble’s Chief of Global Marketing, Marc Pritchard. Mr. Pritchard said that P&G is dangerously close to determining the true ROI of its social media efforts and that it involves defining “EGRPs [electronic gross rating point, a measure of audience reach]. You can look at what an impression from Google, or Facebook or Twitter is actually worth. Once we get that, we will start to get a common platform measurement…that the [Association of National Advertisers] is working on.”
There’s a reason why companies continue to struggle with finding the ROI of their Social Media efforts and in integrating them into existing Marketing efforts. It’s because they are wanting to turn these personal communication channels into marketing channels. They are attempting to measure their Social Media efforts through the lens of their existing marketing efforts and using the same metrics.
Social Media TODAY gives companies plenty of value that can be measured and extracted, but for most companies, it’s not the value they want. Most companies want to turn their customers into marketers, and see Social Media as the channel in which to do this.
They are struggling with how to do this because, shockingly, most customers don’t want to be marketing mouthpieces for brands.
And yet, there are enormous opportunities for brands to leverage how their customers are using social media that many aren’t pursuing. In the rush to figure out how to generate sales via Social Media by turning its customers into marketers, most brands are totally overlooking how their customers use Social Media can offer great potential for brands to save money.
For example, in 2008 Pitney Bowes created a User Forum for its customers so that they could help them with their customer service issues, and in turn, they could help each other. By February of 2010, the company determined that at least $300,000 worth of calls to CS centers had been averted thanks to the user forum.
That’s a very basic example and it works cause Pitney Bowes in this case accepted how its customers were creating online content, instead of trying to force their customers’ actions with Social Media into a preconceived marketing funnel.
The issue isn’t that most companies don’t understand Social Media, it’s that they don’t understand their customers.