Direct Marketing In A Social Media World
It has been written that there is nothing new under the sun. Sometimes it feels that way when the talk turns to social media and its impact on marketing as a whole and, more specifically, any Internet marketing efforts. Of course, every bit of marketing is going to be affected by a medium that encourages / celebrates shared information and the ability to color outside the lines. What’s not to like about a communication vehicle that allows the consumer to make decisions based on just about everything other than what is company generated propaganda?
Mediapost has picked up on a study conducted by StrongMail that examines the developing relationship between e-mail marketing and social media. Once again, when you read this kind of thing you probably say “Well, no kidding, duh.” But sometimes it’s good to see some numbers around the accepted theory.
In the case of this research (beware the R word, Pilgrims) that was conducted by an e-mail marketing provider, you can guess what might be ‘found’. Here’s some of the findings which are more related to who owns social media than what it does. This data was collected through 500 marketers between mid-May and the start of June.
- 29% of respondents state that social media responsibility is owned by multiple departments
- 36% of survey respondents state that the direct marketing department owns social media
- 9% of the respondents report that social media is owned by public relations departments
- 5% have a dedicated social media department
It is still too early in the corporate marketing / social media life cycle to have any clear definition of what department should own social media. It sure makes you wonder, though, what it looks like in some of these companies as they try to implement corporate social media strategies across different departments. Finger pointing may be the most popular activity in those environments. The study then moves into the relationship between e-mail and social media to examine some of the issues around that mix.
- 55% of respondents report that one of their biggest challenges with integrating social media and email marketing is determining metrics by which to measure success
- 48% say establishing business goals for the program is the biggest challenge
These are the same kinds of problems that direct marketers have had forever but it is simply occurring through a different medium. Direct marketing is not so much about mail anymore, for sure. For over a year now if you go to the Direct Marketing Association’s website, among the most popular searches on their site is search marketing. Not exactly like the days of trying to master postal codes for bulk mailings. We talk about the upheaval in traditional industries like newspapers, how about the direct mail industry and the impact the Internet has had?
So where are you as it relates to direct marketing (traditional and electronic) and social media? How do they play together for your company? What happens if they are not allowed to play together at all? Are they now so intertwined that the real question is which one leads rather than which one survives?