I’ve been hearing a lot of questions surrounding the best application of social media to the marketing mix, but one that has been slightly overlooked and under-discussed is who should really own it within an organization. And until you can figure that out, it is really difficult to hold any one internal resource responsible for devising a solid and actionable social plan.
To that end, StrongMail Systems recently conducted a survey to see how marketers were approaching the social space and who planned to own the channel. More than 500 marketers responded, and the results validated our suspicions. Social media is emerging as a direct marketing channel, and marketers are planning significant investment in email marketing and social media programs in the second half of 2009.
One thing the survey clearly conveyed is that ownership of social media within the various facets of marketing is still up for grabs, with 29% of respondents stating that responsibility is owned by multiple departments. But for 36% of the respondents, social is owned by the direct marketing organization, which allows for significant alignment with email marketing efforts. Social media was initially seen as a terrific vehicle for public relations, but surprisingly only 9% of respondents reported PR organizations owning the social media channel, which suggests that marketing teams value social media more for its demand generation potential than awareness building. A paltry 5% have a dedicated social media department.
Other notable facts from the survey include:
If you are asking yourself where to start, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. 55% of respondents report that one of their biggest challenges with integrating social media and email marketing is determining metrics by which to measure success. At 48%, establishing business goals for the program is a close second. So here are a few tips on where to start:
Based on these findings and what is known about the power of social media, it’s clear that it deserves some serious attention and has grown to the stage where it needs an owner and a purpose within marketing.
– Kara Trivunovic, StrongMail Systems