GLASGOW: Marketers need to stop being distracted by the continuous flow of alterations to the various ad products offered by social networking sites, a leading industry figure has said.

"We devote too much time to worrying about the subtle changes to social ad products and algorithms, when we should really focus on world class content and media strategies that can succeed whatever the latest tweak may be," Jerry Daykin, European social media marketing manager for snack foods giant Mondelez, told The Drum.

A good marketer, he suggested, was able to generate real insight into consumers, products and the wider market and so define a clear marketing strategy, whatever the sector or business.

"As someone who focuses on digital," he added, "my biggest worry is when those insights, objectives and marketing skills get left at the door and we start chasing the latest trends, or arbitrary digital targets."

On social media he said it was important to first produce engaging content that people wanted to talk about and then to share, citing the example of a Cadbury Creme Egg promotion.

'Have a fling with a Creme Egg' was a time limited campaign on Facebook aimed at cementing the brand as a signpost for Easter. The brand's page behaved like a live newsroom, with up-to-the-minute references to TV shows popular with the target audience. Sales rose 7% while awareness and consideration rocketed. (Warc subscribers can read the full case study here.)

Daykin stressed that all aspects of marketing needed to work together. "Arguably the biggest mistake I see is brands committing big resources to a constantly updated social approach, but not backing it up with an always on media plan aligned to clear marketing objectives," he said.

Even after a highly successful social campaign such as that for Creme Eggs, Daykin admitted that social still only accounted for small part of marketers' time and money and wondered if this wasn't in part due to the approach taken.

"In some ways the industry has backed itself into a corner by focusing on deep engagements with core fans, when most marketers actually want to spend their money reaching fickle new people and driving penetration," he said.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff