NEWS8 September 2008

Social media crying out for better measurement

Studies suggest marketers need better metrics to approach new media with confidence

EUROPE/US— A lack of reliable measurement for social media is holding back its development as a marketing channel, surveys suggest.

Despite the growing use of Web 2.0 technologies, a study published this month by SSI found that few b2b users had incorporated these new tools into their marketing plans. In Spain and Germany, which tend to lead Europe in the use of social networks for business, only 25% of respondents said Web 2.0 was part of their marketing strategy. In the UK the figure was 11% and in the Netherlands 9%.

Michel Guidi, managing director of SSI Europe, said: “This survey indicates that b2b users have a sound understanding of social networks as a space, but are reluctant to incorporate it into marketing plans. This consensus across Europe suggests that social networks are not yet regarded as a forum for new business.”

A new Forrester survey suggests this reluctance may stem from a lack of measurement tools that marketers feel they can trust. The annual study of interactive marketing channels confirmed “significant growth” in social media, but 68% of the 333 marketers questioned said they would only adopt such new techniques “once they are proven”.

Users of all marketing channels face measurement challenges, but according to Forrester those using social networks and user-generated content “struggle with how to track results from these programmes at all”.

Author: Robert Bain

Related links:

Social networking ‘tough to track’, say marketers

Boom in social networks ‘more than a fad’