Gartner for Marketing Leaders has just published its Social Marketing survey for 2013 and is available for clients here. We interviewed marketers in 50 large U.S.-based companies (average revenue $5.1 billion) in seven industries (financial services and insurance, high-tech, manufacturing, consumer products, media, retail, and healthcare) to understand their future social marketing plans.
What we found was that although there are social marketing activities yet to be fully explored, digital marketers have already rolled up their sleeves and are focused on consistently generating valuable and engaging content, generating leads, and coordinating in-house and external resources. Oh and by the way, IT need not always apply.
Some of our findings include:
Content is King: Content creation is the top role for almost 50% of the social marketing team and a third of respondents report that great content and authentic engagement make a company a great social marketing leader. See Gartner’s 2013 Social Marketing Survey Finding: Content Creation Fuels Social Marketing, available to all.
The Holy Grail: 38% of respondents say social marketing results in leads. Fan and follower counts, engagement rates, and implied increases in reach and awareness are good, but bottom line results speak volumes and keep your social programs funded. See my blog post on Social Marketing in 2013.
Help Wanted: 36% percent of respondents outsource content development and management to counter a skills gap. We suggest using in-house skills as the foundation, augmented by service provider relationships, to help you scale.
Thanks IT, But No Thanks?: Only 12% of respondents give their IT organization a major role in social marketing. With interview responses like “They don’t know anything about it” or “They aren’t involved in anything, and we have our own set of rules in marketing”, IT will need to up their game in innovation and thought leadership to be relevant. We recommend sourcing from your IT organization if they are willing and able, build your own technical team or outsource it. Don’t skimp on architecture, design, and operations as you scale.
Clients can download our Social Marketing Survey findings and our recommendations here.