MarketingSherpa Releases Social Marketing Benchmark Survey

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

A key finding from the 2011 research is marketers are reporting a 95 percent ROI on their social media efforts.

A report from online marketing specialist MarketingSherpa examined how 3,342 consumer and B2B marketers are budgeting for social media, responding to its maturity as a marketing channel, executing top-performing tactics, integrating social media with other channels, and using social media to drive return on investment. This is MarketingSherpa’s third benchmark report analyzing how marketers are using social media to engage audience, build brand, generate leads and drive sales.

A key finding from the 2011 research is that, on average, marketers are reporting a 95 percent ROI on their social media efforts, with 30 percent reporting a ROI of at least 150 percent. It’s being delivered through social media integration, brand awareness, converting members and followers into paying customers, and generating and nurturing leads by executing an effective social marketing strategy. The report noted this is a dramatic shift from MarketingSherpa’s first research study that revealed marketers were unable to demonstrate ROI from social media.

"The history of social media is very short; our first benchmark guide was published in 2009, which analyzed the use of social media in 2008," explains Sergio Balegno, director of research for MecLabs. "It was at the 'all-hype’ stage then: there were no clear objectives or best practices beyond the soft objectives of building customer awareness. There weren’t the hard-and-fast lead generation and sales conversations featured in our 2011 report. Social media has rocketed to a place that took the internet a good decade to arrive at."

The 200-page report unveils the details of marketers’ success and their challenges. More than 150 charts and analyses, and abridged case studies of real-life social marketing campaigns explore key issues impacting social marketing, including social media monitoring, monetization, budgeting, CRM integration and tactics. Additional research found CMO priorities are requiring social media to "show them the money", spending projections compare to last year’s substantial increases, fast and easy often trumps effectiveness and social CRM integration is gaining momentum.

Highlights of the study include why social marketing’s most important objectives address the most difficult challenges, values and costs organizations are using to calculate ROI, how organizations are allocating social media budgets and where these budgets reside, the usage, effectiveness and difficulty of social marketing tactics and platforms, how marketers are integrating social media with other tactics in the inbound marketing mix and how agencies view their clients’ social marketing efforts.