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B2B marketers admit social media failings

News, 10 April 2017
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LONDON: More than half (58%) of B2B marketers don't rate their ability to measure social media at all, according to a new survey of 150 senior marketers in the UK.

Only a third (33%) are tracking sales on social media – even though those who do see an uplift in sales – and it also appears that a significant minority don't appear to care because 13% say social media measurement is neither important or unimportant.

That is according to The Drum, which reported on some of the headline findings of a survey conducted by Immediate Future, a social media consultancy.

"The report reveals a widening gap between the marketers that have mastered social measurement and are impacting the bottom line, and those B2B brands that are struggling with some of the basic metrics," said Katy Howell, CEO at Immediate Future.

"Dig deeper into the report and you'll see the underlying issue is a lack of investment in skills, resource and technology," she added. "For many marketers, time is the biggest challenge, followed by lack of tools and poor technology integration."

The study further revealed that, while 61% of B2B companies are actively generating leads in social media, almost 90% are not able to set targets, providing further evidence of the need to improve measurement.

However, on a more positive note, two-thirds (67%) of respondents are confident that their ability to measure social will improve in the next two years, while half plan to increase their resource and budgets in the next 12 months.

"The confusion and disconnect in measuring social media makes it a challenge to prove a case for further investment," said Howell.

"But it appears marketers are optimistic and committed to social media regardless, as they have plans to invest more and get better at identifying the metrics that prove business value."

While the survey seems to confirm that many B2B marketers in the UK are struggling with social media, they should know that the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in the US has issued guidance precisely to help with the challenge.

Speaking at the ANA's 2016 Masters of B2B Marketing Conference in Chicago last June, ANA President/CEO Bob Liodice outlined the results of a study that urged B2B marketers to learn from their counterparts in B2C marketing.

As covered in WARC's exclusive report, What B2B marketers can learn from B2C, marketers are advised to focus on priorities such as leveraging customer insights, breaking down silos and proving return on investment.

Data sourced from The Drum, Immediate Future; additional content by WARC staff

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