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Two-thirds of marketers not using social media

NOVEMBER 15, 2011 – Whether they’re promoting their goods and services to consumers or other enterprises, many businesses rely on market research to inform their advertising strategies and learn more about their customers. However, few are realizing how social media websites can assist them in those efforts, according to a recent study released by Accenture.

According to the researchers, despite 65 percent of responding executives thinking that social media is important to what they do, just one in five say they have a formal process for integrating the networks with the rest of their marketing tactics.

The study, Making Social Media Pay: Rethinking Social Media’s Potential to Bolster B2B Interactions, Customer Loyalty, Revenues and Brand Reputation, found that one of the reasons respondents were hesitant to pick a social media platform and run with it was the fear that they would choose the wrong one. A chief executive’s doubt about whether social investments would ultimately pay off was the cause for delay for 23 percent of respondents.

Just 24 percent said their companies felt very confident about their social media decisions. Making the channel an integral part of the market research and advertising strategy may result in more organizations being convinced their decision was correct, the researchers say, instead of just treating it as an unimportant “add-on” to the campaign or plan.

“It’s clear that B2B companies think social media can make a big difference to business; however, few have a social media plan in place that will help them achieve results, and many are still not sure what those results should look like,” said Kevin Quiring, managing director of customer relationship management in North America. “Companies need to be able to make a clear connection between social media and broader customer initiatives while clearly defining and measuring results.”

Taking an accurate measurement of the investment in social media and its return remains one of the greatest obstacles for marketers trying to include the channel and convince higher-ups of its contribution. This was further evidenced by the just 11 percent of respondents who say their companies have established a system for gauging the success of social.

Having a process for collecting and deciphering marketing analytics can allow a company to track its customers and gain better insight into how they behave online, according to Business 2 Community.