Commentary

Social Media and Conversational Marketing Portends Revamp of Marketing P's

Social Media and Conversational Marketing Portends Revamp of Marketing P's

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According to New Study by TWI Surveys, Inc. on Behalf of Society for New Communications Research, social media and conversational marketing will outpace that of traditional marketing by 2012. Nearly 57% of respondents report that in 5 years time, what they spend on conversational marketing will be greater than that of traditional marketing, while another 24% believed it would be the same as traditional marketing. Significantly, 81% of marketers believe that in 5 years they'll be spending as much or more on conversational marketing vs. traditional marketing.

The findings indicate that while social media adoption is still very much in its infancy, communications professionals foresee significant growth in adoption and spending over the next five years. Of the 260 respondents:

  • 70% are currently spending 2.5% or less of their communications budgets on conversational marketing
  • Two-thirds plan to increase their investment in conversation within the next twelve months
  • 57% project that in five years they will spending more on conversational marketing than traditional marketing
  • 23.8% believe that spending on conversational marketing will be the same as traditional marketing in five years
  • In total, 81% of all respondents project that by 2012 they will spend at least as much on conversational marketing as traditional marketing

Joseph Jaffe, a Senior Fellow of the SNCR, said "The rise of digital media continues to make significant inroads into the mainstream media pie. Conversational marketing investment will make up the third pillar of the new marketing model." In addition, Jaffe adds Community and Conversation to the Four P's of marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion.

The primary obstacles, says the report, currently preventing respondents from investing more in conversational marketing include:

  • Manpower restraints - 51.1%
  • Fear of loss of control - 46.9%
  • Inadequate metrics - 45.4%
  • Culture of their organizations - 43.5%
  • Difficulty with internal sell-through - 35.8%

Jen McClure, executive director of the Society for New Communications Research, observes that "... this research indicates that the industry is currently in a state of cautious experimentation with regard to social media and conversational marketing."

But, Jaffe added, "... over the next few years we will see... tremendous strategic and cultural realignments and organizational shifts (among marketers)."

As a reference benchmark for conversational marketing, current Nielsen data shows Myspace leading the Social Networking sites, and Blogger leads the blog sites.

Top 10 Social Networking Sites for September 2007 (U.S., Home and Work)

Site

Sep-06 UA (000)

Sep-07 UA (000)

% Change

Myspace.com

47,189

58,581

24%

Facebook

7,765

18,090 

133%

Classmates Online

13,291

13,313

0%

Windows Live Spaces

7,782 

10,275

 32%

AOL Hometown

9,997 

  7,685  

 -23%

Reunion.com

4,712 

  4,845

 3%

LinkedIn

1,762 

  4,075

131%

AOL People Connection

  6,096

4,017

-34%

Club Penguin

1,333 

3,769

183%

Buzznet.com

1,061 

3,737

252%

Source: Nielsen Online, October 2007

 

Top 10 Blogs for September 2007(U.S., Home and Work)

Site

Sep-06 UA (000)

Sep-07 UA (000)

 % Change

Blogger

19,751

29,596 

    50%

Six Apart TypePad

  7,525 

10,992 

    46%

WordPress.com

2,673  

  10,424 

   290%

tmz.com 

6,000  

  10,293 

    72%

LiveJournal

3,685  

  4,160  

    13%

Xanga.com

5,528  

  3,008  

   -46%

Perezhilton.com

1,234  

  2,203  

    79%

Engadget

1,503  

  2,021  

    34%

Gizmodo 

763*  

  1,891  

   148%

Thatsfit 

N/A   

  1,726  

    N/A

Source: Nielsen Online, October 2007

For the original release and more information on SNCR, please visit the Society for New Communications Research here.

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