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Social media, as a channel, is hard to hate, and despite the fact that companies are still grappling with ROI, brands continue to pour larger and larger sums into social media initiatives and industry observers continue to show the same interest in highlighting and analyzing them as they did when social media first started to go mainstream.
But don't let any of this fool you. Investment and attention don't mean that social media initiatives are effective, or serve a useful purpose. In fact, many of them are arguably downright pointless.
Social media attribution is BIG news.
Marketers are struggling to attribute revenue to social channels, and lack of definable ROI is one of the major reasons that businesses cut back on social investment.
I spend a lot of time looking at our own social attribution, but it strikes me that in many cases, the closer I look, the less clear a picture I have.
This isn’t because the figures I have to work with aren’t clear.
It’s because, in a lot of cases, they might not be true...
Is social media, and the data it produces, overvalued? As companies continue to struggle the ROI from their social initiatives, some are starting to suggest that social's impact might have been overestimated.
But social media proponents say not so fast: social media is the digital channel for word-of-mouth, and although word-of-mouth has historically been hard to quantify, its importance is rarely questioned. Which raises an interesting question: instead of talking about social media, should we be talking about word-of-mouth?
The Super Bowl is arguably the most important day in advertising, and every year, as much attention is focused on Super Bowl ads as the game itself.
With social media such a big part of brand advertising today, it's no surprise that many observers pay close attention to how social media is used by brands in conjunction with their multi-million dollar Super Bowl ads as outlined in our earlier Super Bowl post.
Much of the attention lavished on social networks as marketing platforms focuses in on large brands, many of which have invested heavily in these channels and can boast about large audiences.
One of the most popular social networks with brands has been Twitter, which is now generating hundreds of millions of dollars a year in ad revenue and may go public in the next year.
Last year, Unilver, one of the world's largest advertisers and a bellweather for the ever-important CPG market, spent $8.6bn on ads, an 8% jump over the prior year.
And it invested heavily in digital, upping its digital ad spend a whopping 40%.
That would normally be reason for agency execs to cheer, but you like won't hear any champagne bottles popping.
The reason? According to Unilever CFO Jean-Marc Huet, the company is working to reduce "the part of the advertising spend which is used to make films, pay agencies and the like." And it isn't where it wants to be yet.
Most companies involved in lead generation spend a considerable amount of time thinking about, well, lead generation, with an emphasis on generation.
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that far more organizations have mastered the art of generating leads than have mastered the science of converting leads into sales.
For most businesses, marketing is a crucial component of success. If you can't market effectively, you can't sell and grow, and that spells trouble.
Thanks to the internet, the rise of digital marketing channels, and the abundance of marketing tools and technologies, companies have more marketing assets and capabilities than ever.
But figuring out how to use them correctly is often a challenge and there are a number of common mistakes that hold companies back. Here are five of the biggest and most detrimental.
Hollywood and social media may seem like a match, but if Facebook is a big part of 'social media', the movie version of the relationship may not have a happy ending.
Last year, just as the world's largest social network was prepping to go public, it was publicly dissed by automaker GM, which said it was cutting its spend on paid Facebook paid ads.
Now it looks like movie studios, not sure of the ROI from their Facebook investments, may be following in GM's footsteps.
For the past six years, Econsultancy and Adestra have been asking marketers on both the client and agency side for their opinion on what is happening within email marketing.
This year we are doing the same again, launching our seventh survey to take the pulse of email marketing and to see what those at the coalface are doing to get the best results of their efforts.
Those taking part in the Email Marketing Industry Census will get a free copy of the report, worth £250/$400.
In 2011, marketers began saying that "content marketing is more important than advertising" and given the growth of content marketing in 2012, it would appear that they meant what they said.
And not just in the consumer space. Although selling content marketing to leadership has been a challenge for some B2B marketers, the use of content marketing at B2B organizations is growing rapidly.
This holiday shopping season, retailers are witnessing first-hand just how important mobile has become to their businesses.
And they're not alone. According to Nielsen's Social Media Report 2012, mobile is now crucial to social media as it is driving the growth of the most popular social networks.