Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up
Print

Social marketing needs to grow up

News, 16 December 2015

LONDON: The marketing industry regards Coca-Cola as being one of the few brands that is using social media effectively, according to a new survey which also claims that social marketing has a lot of growing up to do. 

A study of behaviour and attitudes towards social media among 180 agencies and brands by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) found that nearly 3 in 10 (28%) of industry respondents still don't believe social media plays an important role in the marketing function.

Further, just 43% of social campaigns were integrated into the wider marketing function.

And half of brands said they don't ever measure the ROI of social, while one quarter only do it some of the time. Agencies were more clued up on social metrics, with just 18% saying they never measured ROI.

Further differences between agencies and brands emerged in what they regarded as the most important factors in creating a successful social campaign. 'Budget' (14%) led the way among agencies, compared to 'engaging content' among brands (28% – over twice that cited by agencies, 13%).

Alex Kozloff, the IAB's Director of Marketing & Communications, described social as being "still a teenager" in terms of marketing disciplines.

"It still has a lot of growing up to do in convincing a significant part of the marketing industry that it has an important and beneficial role to play," he said.

One brand that was praised for its work in social was Coca-Cola, as the survey revealed that 20% of industry respondents cited thought it was one of three brands "doing social particularly well", followed by sportswear group Nike (15%) and media business Virgin (12%).

All other brands were in single figures, including sportswear brand Adidas and soft drinks brand Innocent (both 8%). Retailer Marks & Spencer garnered support from 7%, while coffee chain Starbucks was on 5%.

The top ten was rounded out by online retailer Amazon, broadcaster BBC and airline British Airways, all on 4%.

Data sourced from IAB UK; additional content by Warc staff