NEW YORK: Social media is a "cost-effective" way for brands to localise their marketing, but proving the payback from such efforts needs further work, according to Gian Fulgoni, the co-founder/chairman emeritus of comScore.
Writing in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR), Fulgoni reviewed 33 finalist case studies submitted by firms around the world to the Warc Prize for Social Strategy 2015 – a competition he sat on the judging panel for.
"In an age of globalisation, it's important that marketers think global but act local. And social can be used in a very cost-effective manner as a key part of the local marketing approach," he reported.
On the downside, the comScore leader observed, "Specific isolation on business results – especially organic efforts – needs further development.
"It's clear … that some of the metrics being used to evaluate organic social marketing are overstated."
The competition's Grand Prix winner was a program developed by three Campbell Ewald strategists for the U.S. Navy.
And, Fulgoni noted, "It's impressive to see the creative applications of social and how it can be used to amplify the impact of traditional media."
He also cited three other entrants for their distinguished and imaginative use of digital media: Chobani yoghurt's #PlainInspiring, Oscar Mayer's Wake Up and Smell the Bacon and Check One Two's #FeelingNuts initiative.
In his How Brands Using Social Media Ignite Marketing and Drive Growth contribution to JAR, Fulgoni added that this channel can be a valuable tool to capture an emerging audience often overlooked by brand stewards.
"My takeaway was that some marketers somehow ignore millennials – or, at a minimum, fail to realise how different their behavior and communication patterns are – until it's almost too late.
"With disaster at hand, some of the marketers in the Warc group of 33 finalists came up with imaginatively creative ways in which to establish the relevance of the brand among this important demo segment.
"It's especially impressive to see the creative applications of social and how it can be used to amplify the impact of traditional media. I would venture to say that social can bring marketing creativity to life, especially even in those instances where media budgets are limited or non-existent."
Data sourced from JAR; additional content by Warc staff