Post Summary: Marketers have two priorities in 2014. First we have convince management that marketing is not an “expense”, but rather an investment in the brand. Second, we need to better understand which brands consumers allow in their busy lives and where the decision to become a customer actually takes place.
A new StrongView survey conducted with SENSORPRO from November 18 to 27, 2013, reflects the attitudes of 387 business leaders in regards to their planned marketing budgets, priorities and challenges for 2014. This year’s survey also takes a deeper dive into the challenges and opportunities presented by big data.
47% of marketers surveyed indicated that their marketing budgets are going to remain the same.
It essential that marketers use every last dollar in their budgets to drive conversion and save the touch-feely only if they have definitive proof that such actions lead to a better relationship (sales) with the brand.
The myth of social media ?
What was most alarming in the survey, to me, was that 46% of marketers plan to increase their spend on social media. While social media is a required part of an integrated marketing strategy brands need to do a better job on which brands, and products, consumers want to have a social relationship with.
Consumers like being part of cool brands like Apple, Trek bikes and Starbucks, but they really don’t have time for a lot of brands as less than 1% of Facebook posts are read by followers.
Understanding the why, where and how consumers access social media is important. The last thing they want is a sponsored Tweet telling them about a sale on pizza’s during their busy day.
Earlier this year I tested two programs to determine the outcome on sales. The first was a Facebook ad the second was an in-store POP display announcing a new line of supplements. The end result was that the POP display led to a 65% increase in sales while the Facebook ad did not drive demand.
Understanding that more than half our target audience made the decision to purchase this item “in-store” was the key to the successful test even though they had over 250K Facebook followers.
On the other hand a social initiative to increase buzz around the 2015 Mustang was very successful for Ford because who doesn’t want to see a newly designed Mustang.
The bottom line: Understand the channels that drive brand conversion and leave the “hype” created by so called “experts” to prove that what they are talking about actually drives conversion because marketing is responsible to drive brand sales.