Given my obsession with all things mobile and social, often I am asked to give my opinion about the impact of these popular technologies on the enterprise market. Most recently, I’ve explored how mobile and social disruption is changing the face of marketing and the customer experience.
Disruptive changes in the market present a huge opportunity for new solutions. So, it is no surprise that marketers increasingly opt to prioritize social media, mobile and other digital channel spend over more traditional customer conduits such as direct mail and print, and radio and television advertising. Our friends at Software Advice recently published some great detail on this matter in the B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey.
I did find it odd that the same marketers in the poll agreed social media doesn’t produce a high quantity or quality of leads. Only five percent of the sample identified social media ads as producing a high quantity leads, while 67 percent described the channel as yielding low volumes. Similarly, only 6 percent felt social media (not ads) produce a strong pipeline of leads, while 68 percent see it as a low quantity channel.
The story was roughly the same when asked about the quality of the leads. About 46 percent said social media ads and social media (not ads) produce low quality leads; while just seven percent and 18 percent, respectively, said those channels produce quality leads.
So what’s going on here? Why would more than half of marketers say they will spend more on social media this year if this medium isn’t productive for engaging customers or producing leads?
The bottom line is that marketing professionals are still in the very early stages of figuring exactly how to monetize social media. Companies can draw straight lines to revenue from things like Facebook ads and traffic analytics, but the return on these efforts has been less reliable than other channels.
Some would argue marketers see greater return from social on less tangible metrics, such as word of mouth and relationship building, but this doesn’t help CMO’s in a “validate-every-dollar-spent-to-return” world.
What we do know is that we should we should go where the customers are – and that’s social media. Everyone and their trusted networks spend time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. This is a powerful communications interchange and marketers are constantly working to figure out what it really means to influence purchase decisions and customer behavior in this venue
Mobile Influencing Consumer Behavior
Turning our discussion to mobile, we see the same trend. While the market i still maturing, mobile is a huge influencing factor on many 2013 marketing budgets. Mobile has many advantages when it comes to influencing the customer. For one, you can more easily personalize your message based on location. Also, these devices are always on, always present and always in-use.
Consider that in December, mobile application utilization surpassed desktop browsing as far as minutes per day spent online (TechCrunch reported). This opportunity is especially concentrated in the iOs market. MarketingDaily reported recent InMobi figures showing Apple accounts for about 46 percent of American mobile ad impressions; while Android produces about 43.6 percent.
Also, the behavior and spending propensity difference between Android and iPhone users is particularly intriguing to me. A recent OPA report revealed that 66 percent of Android users haven’t spent anything on their device in the last year, versus just 30 percent of Apple users. This further validates other research about the varying spending behaviors of mobile users.
It’s not just that customers are using their mobile device instead of a computer. They are spending more time online in general on smartphones and tablets. Marketers can get ahead of this trend by investing in things like adaptive design, but it all starts with making mobile a priority in the New Year.