Social Media Marketing

Social Media and Mobile: On Marketers Minds

Yesterday, I attended the Argyle CMO Leadership Forum in San Francisco (#cmosf). The entire day was high quality with compelling presentations from both B2B and B2C CMOs. Companies presenting included Juniper Networks, YouTube, VirginAmerica, Symantec, Aprimo, ExactTarget, Blue Shield of California, Disney, Levi Strauss, Salt Branding, Quest, McKesson, and many others.

This is the second CMO forum I’ve been to in less than a week, and once again two topics dominated a lion’s share of the discussions: social media was front and center, followed by mobile.  Clearly these two topics are on marketers minds.

Yet, although the majority of the day’s conversations featured one or the other, I also found it curious that when attendees were asked a real-time polling question about which marketing channels were yielding the most success in engaging with customers, only 4% cited social media, while 39% cited events (hence their presence at this event).

A follow-on question asked how companies were engaging with potential brand ambassadors, and most admitted they “were not doing a good job of this today.” (32%) Again, only a small percentage of attendees cited social media (3%).

Still, with regard to social media usage, stat after stat was cited:

  • 62% use Facebook at least once a month, 16% check it once a day, and 11% check it constantly (ExactTarget)
  • YouTube get 2 billion views per day, and 24hours of content is uploaded per minute
  • Facebook ads now exceed Yahoo ads
  • YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world behind Google

I talked to several B2B marketers today who said they wanted to experiment with social media but weren’t sure where to start.  As successful case studies continue to surface, ROI is proven, and cost-effectiveness versus other channels becomes clearer, hopefully more marketers–B2B in particular–will embrace social media and realize the power of this direct engagement model.

Similarly, mobile generated alot of discussion, but my perception from talking with attendees was that most markters aren’t yet leveraging this channel widely. A panel discussion about mobile marketing cited that spend on the mobile channel is expected to increase by 80% over the next year (according to Mobile Marketer), and most of the presenters gave examples of integrating mobile campaigns into their marketing mix.  Although no polls were conducted, I would again expect that actual attendee usage of mobile marketing would be in the single digits. 

As hot as these topics have been at conferences recently, it seems most marketers are still in the monitoring or testing stage when it comes to using and citing successes for these two channels.

As the conference came to a close, the moderator summarized that:

“Mobile and social media are colliding.”

This is a frightening prospect for marketers who are still trying to figure out one or the other or both.  Now, it seems, things are moving so quickly we will need to figure them out both individually and in combination with each other.

I’d love to hear examples from anyone who has integrated the two!


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