A new report issued by Forrester Research on the subject of Social Media and Word of Mouth showcases two clear things: 1) In the face of the recession, 50% of interactive marketers say they will increase their spending on social marketing (to include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other WOM marketing technologies); and 2) That organizations are still "experimenting" on Social Media programs... as it seems to be more of an afterthought than a marketing program line item, with "45-percent of marketers say their social budgets are determined as needed and 23-percent say they scrape together funds from wherever they can find them" according to the report.
"Our data shows that marketers intend to invest more in social media but have yet to justify substantial budgets. If you continue to fund social applications only as experiments, you're unlikely to be able to do enough to make an impact or to have a secure source of funding for the future. One way to put these efforts on a firmer footing is to concentrate on objectives and measure progress toward those objectives, rather than just experimenting to see what happens. ... Without concentrating on measurable objectives, it will be difficult to justify further investment in the future."
The lack of understanding of the impact of Social Media and Word of Mouth marketing has been highlighted in the recent past with classic mistakes made by some very prominent organizations. Moreover, isolated tactics in the world of Social Media do not work. For businesses to achieve long term success, a cohesive strategy is needed... with a firm eye on measurable objectives. In short: dedicated resources, solid strategy, and measurable programs.
For more information on the Forrester Research report, "Social Media Playtime is Over", please visit Forrester Research's website.