The Marketing Strategist:

ITSMA Featured Research: ITSMA Social Media Survey: It's Not About the Tools

April 6, 2010

Marketers must stop thinking of social media tools in isolation and start thinking of them as another channel in their overall marketing mix. B2B marketing lays the path to a sales discussion and supports relationships with existing customers. Social media is another channel, one of many, for making the connection and building the relationship with customers. Social media have value on their own, but they should also be used to complement other marketing channels, such as events, whitepapers, and Websites. Indeed, ITSMA’s recent Social Media Survey (participants will receive a summary of the results soon) finds that marketers’ top priority for 2010 is integrating social media into the general marketing strategy. Before embarking on any marketing initiative, marketers first think about their objectives and goals. They then come up with a strategy to achieve these goals, deciding what channels to use, which may or may not include social media. Before marketers can decide to use social media or not, they must have a good understanding of these vehicles and how their target audience is using them. Unfortunately, only 16% think that they have a good understanding of their target audience’s social media behavior. What’s more, only about 26% of the respondents are currently researching their target audience’s usage of social media to discover where they hang out. Marketers must do more homework if they hope to use social media successfully. If you have a good story on how your company has successfully integrated social media into its overall marketing mix, we want to hear about it. Submit your story to this year’s Marketing Excellence Awards: The deadline is June 11, 2010.

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