Email & web marketing 10 years ago: externalization

Remember 10 years ago: a brand’s email and web marketing strategy was fully outsourced to agencies. It was a “digital silo” and because of agencies’ advertising DNA, these programs were measured according to advertising-related KPIs: visits on the website, email subscribers, etc.

Email & web marketing today: internalization

Today, more and more brands manage their email and web marketing strategies internally. The growth and success of cross-channel campaign management vendors like Neolane is a testament to this trend.

Thanks to this process of internalization, email and web channels are no longer silos. They are driven by business KPIs and are fully integrated into the organization. As a result, most brands can put an explicit dollar value on an email subscriber or a website visitor.

Social Media Plan Cartoon Tom Fishburne 2013: The Year of Social Media Marketing InternalizationSocial media marketing today: externalization

Social media channels are today where email and web marketing were 10 years ago. That is, most brands outsource their social media marketing and community management efforts to agencies.

Consequently, like email marketing programs from a decade ago, social media marketing programs are measured using advertising-related KPIs, including likes, “engagement” (meaning only buzz), views, reach, traffic, viral sharing, share of mind, etc.

Social media marketing tomorrow: internalization

Like email and web marketing before, we believe that a shift is underway where brands will internalize social media marketing and break down yet another silo. Social marketers, in turn, will follow business KPIs like revenue per fan/follower and/or conversion rate for transforming fans/followers into customers.

This change will happen with the re-appropriation of social media marketing strategies by brands and their integration into global cross-channel marketing plans.

Symbolic signs

Nike recently announced that it will stop outsourcing its social media marketing. In addition, many of our customers—including leading brands in the music, sports, and retail industries—have adopted our social media marketing module because they believe it’s time to integrate social media into their overall marketing strategy and to manage these programs internally.

Finally, I won’t list the multiples for social media marketing solutions acquired by marketing automation vendors in 2012, but more than $3 billion dollars have been put on the table. The signs are clear.

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