Looking to make the case for why your organization or clients should be using social media marketing? A survey last month, highlighted today in eMarketer, outlines the benefits that marketing executives cite as reasons to embrace the medium:
Not surprisingly, customer engagement takes the top spot, with 85.4% of respondents citing it as a benefit of using social media marketing (perhaps the better question is, who are the 15% of respondents who didn’t see that as a benefit?). More interesting is that direct response – defined as “great lead generation source” in the list of benefits – was only cited by 21% of execs, implying that most execs don’t see the medium as having a direct impact on sales.
Will that make it harder to make the case for social media marketing as a part of leaner ad budgets in 2009? With 51% of respondents also citing “low cost” as a benefit, I think the case can still be made that social media marketing is a viable medium for driving customer growth next year. But, it could be challenging, given the more immediately tangible results you can see (or not see) from more traditional online ad buys like pay-per-click or affiliate marketing.
What are you citing as the main benefits of social media marketing with your company and clients? Are you optimistic for ’09? Share your thoughts in the comments.